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Blake Gets Top Seed at NCAAs

By William P. Bohlen and Barbara E. Martinez, Crimson Staff Writerss

With the best of American professional tennis currently battling in the French Open, Harvard sophomore James Blake may be the best player on American soil right now.

Blake, the No. 1 collegiate player in the country, learned yesterday that he was the top seed in the 1999 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament in Athens, Ga.

He will face the unseeded Asaf Tishler, from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, this afternoon.

Tishler has won 16 of his last 18 matches and earned a season-high rank of 19 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll.

Tishler was also senior player of the year for the ITA Region VIII.

Blake's season record stands at 36-3, and his career mark is now at 74-8.

Blake and senior Kunj Majmudar are the No. 2 doubles seed, despite their No. 3 ranking in the latest ITA poll. They will play Manual Calvo and Damien Ward of Brigham Young later this week.

Majmudar was also selected for the singles competition and drew sixth-seeded Michal Chmela of Louisiana State (LSU) this morning.

Chmela was the top singles player for the Tigers, the Southeastern Conference champions.

Chmela was ranked No. 1 in the pre-season ITA poll and was an All-American last year.

The junior has also competed for his native Poland in the Davis Cup.

Because of the top singles seed, Blake has already earned All-American status. He and Majmudar have also earned All-American status as a doubles team by virtue of their second seed.

Majmudar can become an All-American singles player if he wins two singles rounds.

If Blake were to win the national title, it would only add to his myriad accomplishments this year.

Blake earned the Ivy League "Triple Crown" by being named Ivy League Player of the Year, first team all-Ivy in singles and first-team all-Ivy in doubles.

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