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Malisse wins second Delray title

February 06, 2007 10:46 IST

Belgian Xavier Malisse took his second Delray Beach International title by beating American James Blake 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the rain-delayed final on Monday.

Play was suspended on Sunday with top seed Blake a set up and the score at 3-3 in the second but Malisse needed just an hour to wrap up the final of the $416,000 tournament when the match resumed.

Blake got off to a shaky start in windy conditions as third-seeded Malisse broke on his opening service match.

It was Malisse's 200th career win and marked his 24th triumph at what has become the 26-year-old's best performing tournament. He also took the title in 2005.

Malisse has lost just seven encounters in eight years of appearing at the 15-year championship, making him the event's top performer. World number six Blake also reached 200 career victories this tournament after winning the quarter-final here.

It was the first time that Malisse, ranked 31 in the world, had beaten 27-year-old Blake in three encounters.

The postponement of the final meant Blake had to delay his departure to the Czech Republic where he is due to play for the US in a Davis Cup match from Feb. 9 to 11.

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