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Ohhhhh!! Blake Does It Again, Winning A 5-Set Davis Cup Match

Friday, April 11, 2008

I am now convinced that it is American James Blake's sole responsibility to bring the fire to the USA's Davis Cup matches. But how much can we stand?

Both James Blake and Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu were up to the task during Davis Cup play at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina today. It was whip here, whizz there, ace here, lob there, and whatever else you want to call some of those shots. It was remarkable.

At the same time, if you were cheering for the USA, James Blake losing that fourth set was the onset of a coronary. Enduring a fifth set was just almost unthinkable. But you couldn't really complain because neither Blake nor Mathieu was doing anything wrong. They were just both in their own zone.

James Blake saved two match points to win the five-set epic in this quarterfinal encounter. Blake defeated Mathieu 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in three hours and 48 minutes to post his third five-set win in 11 played.

Blake was greeted with a huge ovation by his team, a long hug from his mother and brother and a roar from the American crowd to honour his achievement.

“He was serving so well,” said Blake. “I wanted to give myself a chance, to get those returns in place and then take advantage of any opportunity that I had. He made an error on one of them and, before I knew it, I was back in it. And once you get that feeling of confidence, you feel like you can do anything. You get a second wind.”

“There were so many ups and downs during the match,” continued Blake. “Against a player of a very similar level, 12 in the world, it came down to one-two points, who is at home, who has the surface that’s right for them, down to confidence.”

“There is no better feeling in the world than being up 2-0 and watching the Bryans, sitting back and watching them with their energy and their ability,” added Blake. “No better feeling.”

A victory by the Americans tomorrow would put them into the semifinals against the winner of the Germany/Spain quarterfinal. Spain leads Germany 2-0 and Rafael Nadal and company would relish a chance to play the Americans in a reprise of the 2004 Final.

Posted by Shelia

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