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Blake, Hewitt Reach Second Round

Miami, USA

Hewitt© Getty ImagesLleyton Hewitt withstood a late fightback from Joao Sousa.

Wild card James Blake cruised in the opening night session at the Sony Open Tennis Wednesday evening, sailing past countryman Ryan Harrison 6-2, 6-2.

Blake won 24 of his 27 first serve points and broke Harrison twice in each set to wrap up the win in just 58 minutes. The 33 year old improved his head-to-head series with Harrison to a 3-0 mark.

“It felt good. It was just one of those days where things were going in,” Blake said. “I felt like I was playing well last week. It’s just a matter of putting it all together and tonight is an example of what can happen when I do that.”

Nikolay Davydenko, the 2008 titlist, defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 in a match interrupted by rain. Davydenko will play 19th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov next.

Wild card Lleyton Hewitt reached the second round with a 6-1, 7-6(3) victory against Joao Sousa. Hewitt failed to serve out the match twice at 5-4 and 6-5 before closing out the win on his seventh match point.

“He played way better every time he was behind in the match,” said Hewitt. “Whenever he'd get back on serve in the second set, he actually played worse. When he was behind, he sort of just went for it a lot more. That was tough because he sort of had nothing to lose.” 

Hewitt, a three-time former semifinalist at Crandon Park, will square off against No. 11 seed Gilles Simon, a player who has won their previous two meetings.

“He's a different player.He obviously plays with a bit of finesse out there [and] moves the ball around extremely well,” Hewitt said. “His movement is a big part of his game, as well. He can pull the trigger when he wants to on his first serve, but also on the baseline.” 

Jurgen Melzer rallied to beat Ricardas Berankis, edging the Lithuanian 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(1) in two hours and six minutes. Melzer is coming off a triumph at the Dallas 2 Challenger (d. Kudla).

Xavier Malisse battled past American qualifier Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4. The Belgian claimed victory in two hours and 33 minutes to improve to 3-0 against Ram.

Lukas Rosol defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-5, 6-4 to set a second-round meeting with two-time defending champion and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, while German Tobias Kamke will face Indian Wells runner-up Juan Martin del Potro after posting a 7-6(5), 6-3  win over Blaz Kavcic.

Michael Llodra won an all-French clash, easing past Benoit Paire 7-6(7), 6-2. Llodra saved seven of the eight break points he faced to advance in 78 minutes.

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