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USA Works It Out On Clay: USA 2, Austria 0

Friday, February 8, 2008

James Blake recovered to defeat Stefan Koubek 5-7 7-5 6-2 6-2 to put USA 2-0 ahead in its World Group first round tie with Austria in Vienna after Andy Roddick won a five-set thriller against Jurgen Melzer.

"I knew my match against Jurgen would be my toughest," said Roddick. "He played great but I was finally able to get to him in the fifth set."

The American repeated his criticism of the court: "It was terrible. It was only laid on Tuesday and clay needs time to settle.

"It's the same for both players, but it's a shame when points are decided by the court and not the players."

Playing on his less-favored clay court, Blake survived losing the first set from one break up and hit back to level things up before running away with the last two sets for a convincing victory that puts USA firmly in control of this tie.

“It was a really hard match, but I am very happy to have won. A 2-0 lead after the first day is a very good starting point,” said Blake, who was all smiles. “I started really well, but half way through the match, I lost my rhythm and that was it,” a disappointed Koubek commented.

Bob and Mike Bryan, whose last Davis Cup outing saw them secure the 2007 trophy, will aim to wrap things up for the champions on Saturday against Melzer and Julian Knowle.

Posted by Shelia

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