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Gabashvili Saves 4 M.P. To Oust Isner; Querrey, Blake Advance

Delray Beach, U.S.A.

Teymuraz Gabashvili© Delray Beach International Tennis ChampionshipsTeymuraz Gabashvili saved four match points to defeat John Isner.

Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili outlasted No. 4 seed John Isner in the third set tie-break Monday at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, prevailing 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(13) after two hours and 30 minutes. The 76th-ranked Gabashvili saved four match points and converted on his fifth opportunity.

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Gabashvili, who snapped a four-match losing streak dating back to the first week of the season, said: “We were both fighting so hard and in the end he missed his first serve... Probably when he saw that he had to play the point, he just went for it and I had so much luck. Otherwise, he could make another ace and we can play maybe like he played in Wimbledon, we could play tie-break like 100-all. I remember from 3-2 I didn’t lose a point from the baseline.”

It marked the second straight first-round loss for Isner, who bowed out to Juan Martin del Potro last week in Memphis.

Third seed Sam Querrey was extended to three sets in his first-round match, but pulled through for a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over German Dustin Brown. Querrey will be looking to reach the quarter-finals for a second straight week when he next faces the winner between Russian Igor Andreev and American qualifier Ryan Sweeting.

The American made an 0-3 start to the 2011 ATP World Tour season before turning things around with a quarter-final effort in Memphis.

James Blake joined his countryman in the second round after defeating seventh-seeded German Benjamin Becker 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes. Blake, a former World No. 4 who currently stands at  No. 144 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, is a two-time Delray Beach finalist.

Top American Andy Roddick withdrew from the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament Monday with flu-like symptoms. Roddick was set to make his first appearance in Delray Beach since 2003.

“I’m very disappointed. I’ve waited too long to come back and play this tournament,” said the World No. 8, who won his 30th tour-level title on Sunday in Memphis. “It’s just unfortunate timing. I was looking forward to coming back. I honestly don’t feel I can go out there and give my best.”

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