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James Blake And Venus Williams Have A Rough Go Of It, But Persevere

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Black Tennis Pro's Venus Williams And James Blake 2009 U.S. Open Round 1Americans Venus Williams and James Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Venus Williams had to dig deep to avoid one of the most shocking upsets of her illustrious career as she beat little-known Russian Vera Dushevina 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 in a first-round marathon at the U.S. Open Monday.

Williams was down a set and a service break before hitting her stride late in the match to overpower the 47th-ranked Dushevina before nearly 24,000 fans on Arthur Ahe Stadium.

"I had a lot of help from the fans here," Williams, a two-times winner at Flushing Meadows, said during a courtside interview.

"I felt so much energy from everyone when I was serving to stay in the match in the second set. It feels good to play at home."

The seven-times grand slam winner won the final three games of the second set and first four of the decider against the demoralized 22-year-old Russian.

NEW YORK (AFP) — Some odd things have happened to James Blake in his tennis career, but the 21st-seeded American never had an umpire wipe an advertising logo off his headband until a first-round US Open match on Monday.

Blake defeated Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the second round of the year's last Grand Slam event, but he did so without the brand-name logo of his sponsor on the headband, a rules violation.

"I didn't know the rule," Blake said. "I didn't know you couldn't have any writing on the headband or wristband. With the new logo, new design, there's always the logo. I didn't know we couldn't do that."

Blake, a first-round loser this year at Wimbledon and the French Open, was a bit perplexed at the crackdown while sponsor brands adorned most of the surrounding area at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

"I don't know why the ATP does some of the things it does, or if it is just the (International Tennis Federation)," Blake said. "A quarter-inch here, a quarter-inch there, they make all these rules.

"That's for them to deal with, the sponsors and everything. It's not my place to say."

Posted by Shelia

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