Saturday, March 12, 2011
American James Blake came back to defeat Australian Chris Guccione 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Friday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, following a special Salute to Heroes ceremony featuring The National 9/11 Flag flown at Ground Zero.
Blake dropped the opening set, but quickly regrouped to take a 2-0 lead in the second. He broke Guccione two more times in the third set to clinch the victory in one hour and 35 minutes.
The win ensured a blockbuster second-round clash between Blake and top American Andy Roddick, both past finalists at the year’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. It will be the 11th meeting between the pair (Roddick leads 7-3).
The 31-year-old Blake entered this year’s BNP Paribas Open with his lowest ranking since his 2000 desert debut, having dropped to No. 158 after an injury-plagued season in 2010. Meanwhile, World No. 8 Roddick has won seven straight matches, clinching his 30th ATP World Tour title in Memphis and leading the U.S. into the Davis Cup quarter-finals.