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Blake Leads Americans Into Second Round; Haas Advances

Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.

Bobby Reynolds© Getty ImagesBobby Reynolds In Action

Top-seeded American James Blake opened his bid to reclaim the title at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships presented by Lilly, defeating Israeli Dudi Seal 7-6(2), 6-2 in first round action Tuesday.

Blake, the 2006 Indianapolis champion (d. Roddick), failed to defend his title after losing in three tie-break sets to Sam Querrey in last year's quarterfinals. This season, the 28-year-old American has advanced to the quarterfinals or better in his four ATP main draw appearances on U.S. hard courts, including a runner-up finish in Delray Beach (l. to Nishikori).

He will attempt to continue that success when he next meets Korean qualifier Woong-Sun Jun, who notched his first ATP main draw win by defeating Australian Chris Guccione 6-4, 7-6(4) in one hour and 23 minutes.

Vince Spadea had no problems getting past 18-year-old Donald Young in an all-American opener, needing just 51 minutes to secure the 6-2, 6-4 win. Spadea, a finalist in 1999 (l. to Lapentti), next faces another young compatriot, 20-year-old Sam Querrey. The fourth-seeded Querrey defeated Japan's Go Soeda 6-4, 6-4 to earn his 20th match win of the season.

American Wayne Odesnik earned a second round confrontation with defending champion Dmitry Tursunov after defeating Pakistani Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 7-5. Odesnik, who is making his Indianapolis debut this week, withstood 17 aces from Qureshi and broke his opponent's serve three times in six chances to improve to a 10-10 season record.

Fifth-seeded German Tommy Haas saved eight of nine break point chances faced to secure a 7-6(4), 6-2 win against 20-year-old American Jesse Levine. Haas said: "It's always difficult when you play each other for the first time in a match. We've known each other for quite a long time and we practice together once in a while, but a match is a totally different story... I played a couple good points late in the tie-break to get it going my way."

Haas has advanced to the quarterfinals or better twice in six appearances in Indianapolis, reaching the quarterfinals on his debut in 1996 (l. to Sampras) and the semifinals in 2002 (l. to Rusedski). The 30-year-old next plays American John Isner, who served 21 aces and saved all 11 break point chances faced to post a 7-5, 6-4 victory over compatriot Robert Kendrick.

American Bobby Reynolds (pictured) ousted last year's Indianapolis finalist, Canadian Frank Dancevic, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 52 minutes. Reynolds fired 17 aces to Dancevic's 12 and dropped serve just once to record his first career win in three Indianapolis appearances. He next faces Colombian Alejandro Falla, who defeated eighth-seeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Last week's Newport champion, No. 5 seed Fabrice Santoro, bowed out in his first round match to American wild card Rajeev Ram, 7-6(6), 6-4. The 24-year-old Ram, currently ranked No. 210, last won an ATP match in his season opener at Chennai. Ram titled at the Challenger-level tournament at Winnetka (d. Jenkins) in his last last main draw appearance earlier this month.

"It was certainly a quality win," said Ram. "He doesn't really give you anything, so putting together two sets of good tennis is great."

 

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