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Monfils And Blake Advance To Quarterfinals In Brisbane; Will Face Each Other

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake Brisbane International Round 2 vs. Marc GicquelJames Blake, USA
(Photos by William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Herald Sun (Australia) - Former world No. 4 James Blake today continued his tennis revival, fighting from three match points down to grab a quarter-final berth at the Brisbane International.

Blake, who finished out of the year-end top 25 for the first time in five years, escaped with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8) win over France's Marc Gicquel in a second round match at Pat Rafter Arena.

The American will play another Frenchman for a place in the semi-finals, either third seed Gael Monfils or Florent Serra.

Blake, who is currently ranked 40 places lower than his career best, kept the match points against him in the third set tiebreak tight and Gicquel made errors on each of the three points.

Then the Frenchman made another groundstroke error when trying to keep the ball in play on Blake's first match point at 9-8.

"I was not going to let him beat me," Blake said afterwards. "You play your best when you have a clear mindset. I would prefer to win in two and two but it is good to get some tough match-ups in the lead up to a Grand Slam."

Gael Monfils, France
(Photos by William West/AFP/Getty Images)

BRISBANE - Third seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils overcame a shoulder injury and a tenacious Florent Serra to make his way into the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International on Wednesday.

Serra played some inspired tennis to push Monfils right to the limit, before appearing to tire in the decider and allow his higher-ranked countryman to run away with the match 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.

Monfils was forced to call for the trainer at the end of the first set and had his shoulder heavily strapped during the time-out.

The injury seemed to take its toll as Serra opened up a 3-0 lead at the start of the second, but Monfils fought back and took the set to a tiebreak, before running away with the third.

"I pulled my muscle a bit last week," he said of his shoulder injury.

"Last week I did a lot of weights and it's been hurting me for some time.

"I decided today to come on the court without tape and I think that was a mistake."

Monfils said he was happy with how he had served despite the pain.

"Two, three shots after the serve it hurt a little bit," he said.

"I will take some anti-inflammatories or painkillers, work on it, ice it, and hopefully tomorrow it will be much better.

He will now play American James Blake in the quarter-finals after the veteran American outlasted another Frenchman, Marc Gicquel, earlier in the day.

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils Brisbane International Round 2 vs. Marc GiquelBlack Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils Brisbane International Round 2 vs. Marc GiquelBlack Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils Brisbane International Round 2 vs. Marc Giquel

Posted by Shelia

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