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Karlovic Saves Match Point; Blake Beats Haase

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Karlovic© Getty ImagesIvo Karlovic saved one match point to beat Jack Sock.

Qualifier Ivo Karlovic saved one match point to edge American wild card Jack Sock 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-2 on Friday in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open. The Croat trailed 7-8 in the second set tie-break, but fought back to win in one hour and 53 minutes.

World No. 143 Karlovic, who has been as high as No. 14 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, recorded just his third win main draw win of the season. The 34 year old, who reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells two years ago (l. to Nadal), goes on to face American No. 23 seed Sam Querrey.

American wild card James Blake defeated Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4 to claim his second win of the season. The 33-year-old Blake, a former World No. 4, reached the Indian Wells final in 2006, finishing runner-up to Roger Federer. He goes on to face eight-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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"I came out kind of firing, which worked well," said Blake. "I think he was maybe expecting me to be a little more passive, and I got the better of him right at the beginning, which was a good feeling to get off to a good start and get a lead. The cold never bothers you as much when you're winning. It was a good feeling to start that way and to close it out the way I did, too."

Seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro will open his campaign against Nikolay Davydenko. The Russian defeated France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6(1), 6-2 in 90 minutes. The 31 year old improved to a 10-6 match record in 2013, highlighted by finishing runner-up to Richard Gasquet in the Doha final.

Three more qualifiers also advanced. Australia’s Matthew Ebden, who reached the fourth round last year (l. to Isner), battled past Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, German Philipp Petzschner beat fellow qualifier Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-4, and American Bobby Reynolds edged Benjamin Becker 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

France’s Michael Llodra will face 17th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic in the second round after beating Daniel Munoz-de la Nava 7-5, 6-3.

Australian Marinko Matosevic set a second-round clash with 14th-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco after beating Spanish wild card Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-2. Meanwhile Spain’s Pablo Andujar will challenge 19th-seeded German Tommy Haas after edging American wild card Steve Johnson 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.

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