Blake, Murray Roll Into 3rd Rd.; Ferrer Upset

July 30, 2008 08:30 AM

No. 7 seed and last year's finalist James Blake cooled off the hottest player this summer as he defeated Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3, to reach the third round on Wednesday.

Simon entered the match with a 10-1 mark in his last three tournaments, winning in Indianapolis and reaching the semifinals at the Rogers Masters in Toronto. He also came in ranked a career-high No. 14.

After falling behind 2-4 in the opening set, Blake won the last four games, breaking in the eighth and 10th games. In the second set, he broke to take a 3-1 lead and only lost three points in his last three service games.

"I'm just as surprised as anyone," said Blake of his straight-sets win. "I figured it was going to be a really tough match. As much as it looked easy, it wasn't. He's a great player and makes you work for everything. He's the kind of guy that gives you great rhythm, but really makes you beat him.

"I served well and started out a little shaky on the serve, but after that I really got a groove on my serve and was taking my shots and being aggressive. Need to be do against him. He can really lull guys to sleep by keeping balls in and keeping balls in and then kind of popping one on you when you don't expect it."

Blake will face Latvian teenager Ernests Gulbis in the third round. Gulbis saved one match point in his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) win over Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

The highest seed to lose thus far was No. 5 David Ferrer, a quarterfinalist the last two years. Ferrer lost to Ecuadorian Nicolas Lapentti 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3. Lapentti will be playing in the third round here for the first time since 1999. It was also Lapentti's first Top 10 hard court win since defeating No. 8 Jiri Novak in Miami in 2003.

No. 8 seed and British No. 1 Andy Murray broke away from a tight first set to beat American Sam Querrey 7-6(3), 6-1, and move into the third round.

"There was a few long points. I don't know if he got a little bit tired or not, but it's really important," said Murray, who will play the No. 11 Richard Gasquet-Dmitry Tursunov winner. "I know what it's like when I've played against some of the top players in the past. The first set is so important. Sometimes you can get your head down a little bit if you lose a tight set like that, especially when you've been up in it like he was. His game dropped a bit and I started to play better."

German Tommy Haas advanced into the third round when Frenchman Gael Monfils retired with illness trailing 5-1 in the first set.

 

 

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