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Kamke Stuns Del Potro; Blake Beats Benneteau

Miami, USA

Blake© Getty ImagesJames Blake beat Julien Benneteau to reach the third round.

Tobias Kamke pulled off the biggest surprise of the Sony Open Tennis thus far, stunning fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(5), 6-1 in a second-round meeting interrupted by rain on Friday.

Del Potro held two set points at 5-2 and was up a mini break in the tie-break, but couldn’t capitalize. After play resumed, Kamke dominated the second set to oust last weekend’s Indian Wells runner-up. The 89th-ranked Kamke improved to 2-8 against Top 10 opposition and reached the third round of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career.

“I saved two set points [at] 5 2 and somehow I came back in that set and had the chance to win it,” said Kamke. “The second set after the break, I felt even better. Then in the beginning, he missed some easy forehands and he was a little bit frustrated, I think. He didn't play obviously his best tennis, but still I think I did a good job and pretty satisfied with that.”

Wild card James Blake defeated 29th seed Julien Benneteau 6-2, 6-3. Blake consistently pressured Benneteau’s serve, converting six breaks to claim victory in just over an hour. The 33-year-old American leveled their head-to-head series to a 2-2 mark and notched his second win over the Frenchman in Miami, having also won their second-round encounter four years ago in straight sets.

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“I remember that match pretty well, and I remember it was a little closer. I think it was like 4 and 4, but it was one I really did a good job taking care of my serve and taking advantage of chances,” said Blake. “I do remember I had to play well to beat him there and now putting that together I knew I had to today. So there is the similarity of it being on the same court and similar result, but what I'm most proud of is that the tennis was kind of the same.”

Kei Nishikori won his opening-round match, defeating Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-3. The No. 13 seed broke the Romanian five times from 11 opportunities to seal the win in 80 minutes.

Nishikori is looking to reach the round of 16 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the second straight year (l. to Nadal). In the third round, the 23-year-old Japanese star will play Xavier Malisse. The Belgian dismissed 22nd-seeded Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-2, winning 60 percent of his return points. 

Jurgen Melzer knocked off 31st seed Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4 to set a potential third-round clash with fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine and recent Indian Wells runner-up will play Tobias Kamke later on Friday.

Grega Zemlja also caused an upset, defeating 23rd-seeded Florian Mayer 6-3, 7-6(3). Zemlja is appearing in his first main draw at a Masters 1000 tournament.

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