2008 ATP-WTA Tour Pacific Life Open - At The Indian Wells Tennis Garden - Day 2
Story By Matt Osias
BLAKE SURGES INTO FOURTH ROUND
James Blake was in good form yesterday, needing just two sets to dispatch Spaniard Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-4 and advance to the fourth round. The victory leveled the two player’s career head-to-head record at 6-6, though it was here in the desert that Blake recorded his first win against the former No. 1 player in the world.
“Getting the win was something I was proud of,” Blake said. “This was the first place I ever beat him. That held a lot of memories for me because he was a guy that beat me a couple of times early in my career and I wondered if I’d ever get over that hump and be able to play a top player like him. To beat him here when I felt like I was I was playing really well the first time was a big stepping stone in my career.”
Down 2-3 in the first set, Blake took 10 of the next 14 games, including four in a row to close out the first set. Similarly, Blake trailed in the second set 3-4, and then ran off the last three games to win, winning all three games at love.
“I think playing a guy like that, there’s no way to expect to go through it smoothly,” Blake said. “So I’m really happy with getting through it in two sets, and either way just getting the win was something I was proud of.”
With Andy Roddick losing Sunday, Blake now appears to be the best chance for an American victory here in the desert, however, Mardy Fish remains in the hunt as well.
Blake will next face the France’s Richard Gasquet, who blew through Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela in 61 minutes 6-2, 6-1.
NADAL MAKES QUICK WORK OF YOUNG
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal ended the hopes of the 18-year-old American wild card Donald Young 6-1, 6-3, setting the table for an all-out athletic match against the 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Young admitted stepping onto Stadium Court here for the first time and playing the No. 2 player in the world was a bit unnerving.
“It’s not the first time I’ve played in front of a lot of people, but the first time I played the No. 2 in the world,” Young said. “In the second set, I felt I played a little better. I felt I had a couple of chances, but got a little overanxious and missed a shot.”
The nerves, although Nadal holds the No. 2 ranking, may tilt his way in the next round as the Spaniard was one of many victims of Tsonga’s Aussie Open run.
“In Australia I had a tough loss, but I’m going to try my best this time and improve,” said Nadal. “It’s going to be important to serve well because he’s strong in his serve, and from baseline, try to play a little bit more aggressive than in Australia.”
James Blake – USA
Ana Ivanovic – SRB
Novak Djokovic – SRB
Top seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia easily defeated No. 31 Tathiana Garbin of Italy 6-3, 6-0, while third-seeded Jelena Jankovic won easily over No. 27 Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-1, 6-1, needing just 56 minutes.
“I was very focused on the court and I really tried to do my job out there,” Jankovic said. “I didn’t want to let her into the match.”
Third-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic also eased into the fourth round, crushing Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-2. Djokovic will next face No. 16 seed Guillermo Canas, who battled to the 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-2 win against compatriot Juan Monaco.
Djokovic said he would need to play at the top of his game to get by Canas, “He’s the kind of player that’s not going to give you a lot of free points, unforced errors. He’s going to make you work for it. I expect that. I know.”
In upset news and just a day after Roddick quietly exited the tournament, fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer was upset 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 by South Korea’s Hyung-Taik Lee. Lee was forced to go the distance in his match against Ferrer after the Spaniard came back from a set down and two breaks. The 32-year-old Lee maintained his composure to give him the 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-6(3) win in two hours and 50 minutes. It marked just his fifth career win in 30 matches against a Top-10 player.
Check back tomorrow for more coverage of the 2008 Pacific Life Open.