Tennis-Blake defeats Hewitt in Vegas final
LAS VEGAS, Mar 6 (Reuters) American James Blake recorded a shock 7-5 2-6 6-3 win over top seed Lleyton Hewitt in the final of the Tennis Channel Open.
Blake tested his opponent with big forehands, laser returns of serves and solid play from the net as he defeated the Australian for the first time in seven attempts.
''I'm happy to finally get a win against one of the best players of all time,'' the fifth seed told reporters yesterday after scooping his fifth career title.
Blake is now projected to rise to a career-high 14th when the world rankings are released on Monday.
Two of the fastest players in the game, Blake and Hewitt stood toe-to-toe trading groundstrokes from inside the baseline during the first set.
The 26-year-old American pierced Hewitt's armour when he broke to lead 6-5 with a dazzling backhand down the line.
Hewitt roared back in the second set, reading Blake's serves well and powering his backhands deep to break three times.
Blake turned the tables in the decider by immediately breaking Hewitt with a backhand down the line return.
Hewitt broke back to 1-1 before Blake began to feast on his second serves and bully him with forehands.
REUTERS VJ RAI0524