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October 13, 2009

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Home » Sports » Tennis

Blake ousts Karlovic, Safin through

JAMES Blake rallied to beat Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the first round of the Shanghai Masters at the Qizhong Tennis Center yesterday.
The American was broken early in the first set but won the second when Karlovic sent a forehand wide in the tiebreaker.
"I didn't have very good momentum at the start," said Blake, who recently started working with coach Kelly Jones. "The third set, I liked the way, when I did get my racket on it, how I was playing."
Despite serving 27 aces in the match, Karlovic allowed Blake to break serve in the third and ninth games of the third set.
Karlovic, who holds the record for serving 78 aces in a match during a five-set loss to Radek Stepanek in the Davis Cup semifinals last month, double-faulted on the final point.
Blake will now face top seed Rafael Nadal second time in a week. The American lost an entertaining match against the world No. 2 in Beijing last week and was under no misapprehensions about what he faces in the second round here.
"I know how difficult it is to play him," the New Yorker told reporters. "I know how much he makes you run, how hard he makes you work, how great defense he plays.
"I know what I'm in for, and I'll just prepare same way I did last week, just ... make sure my legs are fresh and ... be ready to face one of the best in the world."
Spaniards Tommy Robredo and David Ferrer advanced to the second round with straight-set wins.
The 14th-seeded Robredo, who won 29 of 31 points on his first serve and never faced a break point, easily beat French qualifier Michael Llodra 6-1, 6-4, while Ferrer beat Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-3.
"Obviously it's a lot of matches to arrive at the (later) rounds, but for the moment, today, I played the first one and I won, and I'm very happy," Robredo said.
Former grand slam champion Marat Safin, coming off of a quarterfinal showing at Beijing last week, beat Chinese wildcard entry Gong Maoxin 6-4, 6-4.
Tenth seed Fernando Gonzalez reached the second round when German Mischa Zverev retired injured in the third set of a tight match.
The match was all square at 7-5, 6-7, 2-2 when the world No. 67 called an end to the contest because of what appeared to be a right wrist injury.
Gonzalez, the world No. 12, secured the first set with a superb backhand but mixed sublime shots with a string of feckless errors as the German's aggressive tactics paid off. The 22-year-old Zverev first got treatment on his hand at 40-40 in the opening game of the third set and decided he could not continue three games later.
Chilean Gonzalez, one of a handful of players competing for the last three spots at the season-ending World Tour Finals, will play Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci in the second round.
Qualifier Lukasz Kubot spurned a chance to reacquaint himself with Andy Roddick, who he beat at the China Open last week.
Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka came from behind to beat the Pole 2-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a three-hour match and will play the American fourth seed in the second round.


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