Blake survives battle with Korean qualifier

July 18th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Indianapolis (Indiana), July 18 (DPA) Rattled top seed James Blake made heavy weather against a number 293 qualifier but finally gained late control to advance 6-3, 7-5 into the quarter-finals of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. The 2006 champion needed four set chances Thursday to wrap up the first set against inexperienced Korean qualifier Jun Woong-Sun, who had earned his first ATP match win in the first round over Australian Chris Guccione.

The 22-year-old didn’t shy away from his opportunities against the sometimes fragile Blake, who seemed to thrive best on home shores after winning five of his 10 titles in the United States.

Blake got out of jail in the second set, saving a pair of set points in the 10th game to ice victory in 71 minutes.

“I felt good about the last few games,” said Blake, now faced with another Asian Friday when he plays Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun. “Those are the ones I’ll remember for the next round.”

“I shouldn’t have had as much trouble as I did,” Blake added. “It had more to do with me than him today. Maybe I felt him out a bit too much at first.”

Lu is the fifth Asian in the past six editions to reach the last eight at Indianapolis. The number 77, who had stopped the rot this week after six consecutive first-round losses on the ATP dating to February, beat American Rajeev Ram 6-1, 7-6 (7/1).

Lu has also played quarter-finals in San Jose in February and a year earlier in Memphis. He follows South Korea’s Lee Hyung-taik (2007) into the Indy last eight.

He was treated in the second set for a back problem but rallied to advance after a tiebreaker.

“I felt the problem in the first set when I was a bit tight, but it got worse in the second,” Lu said. “I felt more pain in the second, but I took my chances in the tiebreaker to win.”

Bobby Reynolds celebrated a 26th birthday with a rout of Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-1, 6-1.

The number 90, the last American standing at Wimbledon when he lost in the third round, is to play in only the third quarter of his top-level career.

“It was hot out there,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t expect the match to go like this.

“I didn’t play at even half of my level. I didn’t serve well, but I was pleased with my returns. You just hope that your best tennis will come in the next match.”

Reynolds is to face fourth-seeded compatriot Sam Querrey, who put out veteran Vince Spadea 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

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