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James Blake And Kei Nishikori?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Kei Nishikori? Yes, that is the name of American James Blake's basically unknown 18-year old opponent from Japan in tomorrow's Del Ray Beach, Florida's International Tennis Championships final.

In what I had no doubt would be a hard hitting speedy display of power semifinal today, good buds Blake and fellow American Robby Ginepri ran each other ragged to the finish. It was enjoyable to watch though. I like it when Americans go at it tooth and nail.

Blake started a bit rough, making unforced errors and serving poorly in the beginning of the first set allowing Ginepri to break his serve, but he slowly but surely turned things around to Ginepri's dismay. By the end of the first set, Blake had begun to display that self assured play that we have been seeing since that beautiful win in December's Davis Cup championship.

In the second set, Ginepri broke serve in the third game for a 2-1 lead. Ginepri held until losing serve again in the eighth game. Blake closed out the just over an hour match defeating Ginepri 6-4, 6-4.

Of his friendship with Ginepri Blake stated, "There is going to be no hard feelings no matter what happens on the court."

Of his opponent in tomorrow's final Blake said, "I have a lot of respect for him and to be in an ATP final at 18 years old and to beat Sam (Querry) here today is pretty impressive. At 18 I was trying to pass freshman econ"

Posted by Shelia

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