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It Was The Thrilla' In Manila!! Ehhh..Flushing Meadows

Friday, August 31, 2007

American James Blake and Frenchman Fabrice Santoro gave the people what will probably be the epic match of the 2007 U. S. Open. The 3 1/2 hour match gave the people what they wanted and then some. Blake went in a 5-set virgin and came out smokin'! Santoro went in a 34-year old veteran of the game and came out looking quite cool.

I can 99.9% guarantee you that no matter who is in the final, it will not hold a candle to the wonderful tennis that we saw these two put on display last night.

To reach a final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, the veteran Frenchman Santoro brought his entire arsenal of shots. He had to have used, literally, every shot that he's ever learned over his tennis career, and prayed to the tennis God's as well.

The 27-year old young blood Blake was no slouch in the shot making department either. Blake used the lob shot with particular effect over the course of the match. And while Blake didn't summon the Divine, he had private consultation during the change over.

The match was so long and grueling for Santoro that he got a headache!

He deserved an ice pack the way that he played. He was all over the court defending Blake's powerful shots with his smooth slice. He didn't care what fancy shot Blake pulled out of his pocket, he just kept on coming. It was wonderful!

Prior to tonight's match James Blake had the label of having never won a 5-set match, he was 0-9. I was more concerned during the third set than I was when Santoro took the 4th set, because I knew that the Blake that has evolved to this point was not going to let this 5-set opportunity at the U. S. Open pass him by. That's just who he is at this point, he expects to win.

"A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I actually honestly said to myself at the beginning of that fifth set, I'm not going to lose this match. I'm going to win"

At some point Santoro realized the truth too. He was such a character. He came to play and brought all of his emotions with him.

"My body was totally dead at the end. I tried to give him some troubles and I think I did. He looks tired."

Santoro gave him some troubles alright, and Blake helped his cause with 71 unforced errors. Santoro had only 21. Nonetheless, no matter what they did to or for one another, they mesmerized the crowd who stayed late into the night.

"New York is something special, a night session is special. When you have the chance to play in New York in a big tournament like a Grand Slam, a night session against an American guy is a great atmosphere, I was feeling lucky on the court, and the battle was just great."

Santoro wasn't the only one who loved the battle, the J-Block was in the house keeping up much noise to spur their friend on.

Celebrities like Colin Ferrell were in the house keeping up a racket also. This time they got to watch the performance.

Blake and Santoro created yet another memorable match that will list among the great ones at the U. S. Open.

With all of the ups and downs and twists and turns that this match brought, there could only be one victor. But in the end, we know that both of these players won last night.

Posted by Shelia

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