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Rediff.com  » Sports » Blake, Granollers-Pujol in Houston final

Blake, Granollers-Pujol in Houston final

April 20, 2008 08:50 IST

Top seed James Blake cruised into the final of the US Clay Court Championship with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Spaniard Oscar Hernandez on Saturday.

The American world number eight, seeking his 11th ATP career title but his first on a clay court surface, swept through the opening set before clinching the tiebreak in the second 7-3 to wrap up the win in 95 minutes.

In Sunday's final, Blake will face another Spaniard in Marcel Granollers-Pujol, who came from a set down to beat American Wayne Odesnik 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in Saturday's first semi-final.

Blake, who lost in last year's semi-finals in Houston, unleashed four aces and converted two of his six break point opportunities to reach his first ATP clay court final.

"Just one more win," he told reporters with a broad grin. "The way I am playing, I feel pretty good.

"I haven't dropped a set yet but I was very close today with the tiebreaker. Oscar was playing well.

"I feel like I have adjusted to clay very well, especially these courts," added the 28-year-old American who is making his eighth successive appearance in Houston. "I feel good. I must just continue playing my game."

FIRST FINAL

Seventh-seeded Granollers-Pujol, ranked 84th in the world, sealed victory in two hours 14 minutes to reach his first ATP final.

The 22-year-old was outplayed in the opening set by his 117th-ranked opponent and saved a match point on serve in the second before taking control.

Trailing 5-3, the Spaniard held serve before breaking the South Africa-born left-hander in the 10th game.

Granollers-Pujol, who reached his first ATP quarter-final earlier this season in Acapulco, edged ahead 6-5 before again breaking Odesnik to level the match.

Sensing victory, Granollers-Pujol broke in the fourth game of the final set to lead 3-1 before wrapping up the match by holding serve in the ninth game.

"I am very happy to be in my first (ATP) final," the 22-year-old from Barcelona said.

Source:
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