Del Potro bests Blake at Farmers Classic
Del Potro got his break in the fifth game of the first set when he handled two Blake overheads before slapping a backhand down the line for a winner. Then Del Potro pulled away from the American in the middle of the tiebreak with a well-angled serve, an error from Blake, and a forehand winner that collectively helped seal the straight-set victory.
Those few points were about all the decided the contest.
“That was a really tough match for me tonight,” Del Potro said, while still panting immediately after the match.
For his part, Blake looked far superior to his No. 90 ranking. Behind a partisan crowd in his favor, Blake pounded balls from the baseline and showed flashes of the game that once slotted him in the top 10. But Blake had only two break chances, one of which he converted.
A dejected Blake walked off the court without waving. He received only 20 ATP points for his first-round win, though he was hoping to accumulate many more before the U.S. Open and enter the main draw without a wild card.
-- Matt Stevens
Photo: Juan Martin Del Potro returns a shot to James Blake during their match Wednesday at the Farmers Classic. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press