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How Incredibly Cool Is This? James Blake Into Estoril Open Final

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake Estoril Open SemifinalJames Blake, USA
(Photos by Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake Estoril Open SemifinalMADRID (AFP) — American James Blake continued his fine form on clay by reaching the first European clay final of his career with a 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 win over Nikolay Davydenko at the Estoril Open on Sunday.

Blake, who had never advanced beyond the quarter-finals on the continent before, won a rain-delayed semi-final over two days and now faces a last test in the title match later on Sunday.

The fourth seed will face experienced clay campaigner Alberto Montanes, the Spanish seventh seed, who booked his spot in the final on Saturday.

Blake trailed by a set to 2003 winner Davydenko but took a 4-2 lead in the second before darkness on Saturday finally forced the contest off court after a frustrating afternoon of rain.

Davydenko, who lost the 2008 final to Roger Federer at the Estadio Nacional, levelled at 4-4 upon their return as the Russian's vast experience on the surface looked like paying off.

But the newly confident Blake fought through a second-set tiebreaker, sweeping into a third set after the Russian put a backhand wide.

Blake consolidated in the third set, sewing up his personal best performance on the surface in two and a half hours.

The American and Montanes have never met, while the 28-year-old Spaniard tries to improve a 13-13 season record and bids for a second title from a sixth career final.

Blake holds a 10-12 career record in finals as he plays only his second on clay after losing last year in Houston.

Blake becomes the second American to reach an Estoril final since Todd Martin in 1999.

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake Estoril Open Semifinal

Posted by Shelia

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