James Blake moves into the second round of U.S Men’s Clay Court Championships
31-year-old American, James Blake, a wild card entry in the tournament overpowered Carlos Berlocq of Argentina in the first round of U.S Men’ s Clay Court Championship in River Oaks Country Club, Houston on Tuesday. The match turned out to be very thrilling
as both players were exchanging heavy blows across the net. Berlocq grabbed the first set with a 7-6(3) score but the American quickly took the turn for better and nabbed the remaining two sets in order to go two up in the set score. The American took two
hours and thirty eight minutes to worn down his Argentine counterpart in a three-set thriller, closing at 6(3)-7, 6-3, 6-4.
This was the American’s 10th appearance at the River Oaks International tournament in Houston, Texas. His previous appearance at the tournament came in 2009, where he couldn’t move past the third, round losing to Guillermo Canas of Argentina in
straight sets. Blake’s most prominent accomplishment at the event came in 2008, where he reached the finals of the tournament by defeating Kei Nishikori, Ryan Harrison, Agustin Calleri, Oscar Hernandez, before losing to Spaniard Marcel Granollers in straight
In the opening set, The American served 3 aces and was merely 34 percent on target but gained an impressive first serves percentage of 71 percent. Berlocq on the other hand served 79 percent of first serves and won 73 percent of points on them. Both players
didn’t squander any break point opportunity and cashed in all of them. Finally the set went into a tie-break situation which Berlocq summed up in his favor. He broke Blake in the second and fifth game to take the set with a 7-3 score line.
In the following sets Blake turned the tables and clinched the next two sets with a 6-3, 6-4 score. He committed only one double fault, delivered 2 aces and 67 percent of the first serves. The Argentine on the other side had two double faults, delivered
only a single ace and 70 per cent of first serves. Blake exceeded Berlocq with 67 percent of points on first serves and clinched the set with a 6-3 score.
In the third set, Berlocq displayed poor quality tennis as he only managed to win 58 percent on 70 per cent first serves. Moreover he squandered 2 break points opportunities. While Blake turned 11 out of 12 break points in his favor, he won 72 per cent of
points on first serves and took the set with a score of 6-4. The American seems to be in full form again and may prove to be a tough opponent in the next round where he will face Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.