IF STOCKHOLM OPEN 2011
Blake Stuns Del Potro; Anderson, Raonic Win
by ATP Staff|
James Blake scored his biggest win of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 upset over second seed Juan Martin del Potro Wednesday in the second round of the If Stockholm Open. "This is my best win in the last three years I'd say," declared Blake. "I played some of my best tennis and I'm really proud of it... He's going to be a great champion for many years so I'll be proud of this one for a long time."
The American won 78 per cent of his service points and relied on a late break of serve in each set to clinch the victory in one hour and 27 minutes. Blake ended a two-match losing streak to the Argentine, which included a second-round defeat to del Potro at the Farmers Classic in July, and a classic five-set loss in the second round of the Australian Open last year. "Juan Martin is an excellent player and he made me work for everything," Blake said.
"I felt coming into Stockholm, I had some confidence. The body feels good for a change. We had a tight match earlier in the summer and the breaks just went my way today."
The 31 year old notched his first win against a Top 20 opponent this year by defeating the 15th-ranked del Potro, and advances to play the winner of No. 7 seed Ivan Dodig, and David Nalbandian in the quarter-finals.
The loss dents del Potro’s hopes of qualifying to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The 23 year old is in 12th position, trailing eighth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the final qualifying berth by 740 points with three weeks left to go.
Fifth seed Kevin Anderson reached his seventh ATP World Tour quarter-final (or better) on the season by beating German wild card Tommy Haas 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4. It was his 37th match win of the year, highlighted by lifting his hometown title, the SA Tennis Open, in Johannesburg (d. Devvarman).
No. 6 seed Milos Raonic progressed to the last eight of an event for the fifth time in 2011 after beating Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-3. The Canadian, who won his first ATP World Tour title at the indoor event in San Jose (d. Verdasco) in February, fired seven aces and did not face a break point to advance past the German in one hour and 13 minutes. The win avenged a three-set loss to Petzschner in the Halle quarter-finals.
World No. 44 Bernard Tomic survived a scare in his first-round match, dropping the second set to Estonian qualifier Jurgen Zopp before finishing strongly to prevail 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-0 in one hour and 48 minutes.
The Australian, who celebrates his 19th birthday on Friday, is at a career-high in the South African Airways ATP Rankings this week after defeating World No. 9 Mardy Fish en route to the third round (l. to Dolgopolov) of the Shanghai Rolex Masters last week. Also a quarter-finalist (l. to Djokovic) at Wimbledon in June, Tomic improved to a 16-14 match record on the season. He goes on to meet top-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Another of the ATP World Tour’s rising stars, Grigor Dimitrov, set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Juan Ignacio Chela after beating American Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1. The 20-year-old Bulgarian converted four of his 12 break point opportunities to prevail in 73 minutes.
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