Blake back on winning trail
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:06
It is Blake’s first win since a second-round victory in late August at the US Open.
The 28-year-old lost to compatriot Mardy Fish in the next round at Flushing Meadows and decided to take the next six weeks off due to fatigue.
The world number 11 returned to action last week in Madrid but lost his first match to Frenchman Gilles Simon, who went on to defeat top-ranked Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals before falling to Andy Murray in the title match.
Blake, without a title since defeating Fish in the New Haven final last year, will face unseeded Spaniard Oscar Hernandez in the second round.
Fish saw his Basle challenge ended on Wednesday as he slipped to a 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 loss to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in the second round.
In other second-round action, sixth-seeded Russian Igor Andreev outlasted Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, 7-6 (8/6) 6-7 (0/7) 7-5 in a match that lasted two hours 34 minutes. Benjamin Becker ousted Andreas Beck 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a battle of unseeded Germans.
In addition to Blake, Jarkko Nieminen, Kristof Vliegen and Marcel Granollers claimed first-round victories.
Nieminen has the unenviable task of facing two-time defending champion and top seed Roger Federer next. Vliegen also has tough road ahead as second seed David Nalbandian – the 2002 champion and two-time runner-up – awaits him in the second round.