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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pujol stuns Blake in Houston final

Pujol stuns Blake in Houston final

April 21, 2008 09:52 IST

Spain's Marcel Granollers-Pujol rallied from three games down in the final set to upset top seeded American James Blake 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to claim the US Men's Clay Court Championship and his first ATP title on Sunday.

The 22-year-old, who came into the event ranked 84th in the world and seeded seventh, had never previously advanced past the quarter-finals of an ATP tournament but he battled back gamely against the world number eight to seal a deserved victory.

"It's the best day of my life, I think, and I'm very happy for this," Granollers-Pujol told reporters

"I've played tennis since I was very young and have always dreamed of a day like this," added the Spainiard, who plunged into the swimming pool at the River Oaks Country Club, the tournament venue, to celebrate his win.

Granollers-Pujol took the first set 6-4 but Blake appeared to find his rhythm after an unexpected 20-minute break, enforced while officials attended to an ill spectator.

The 28-year-old winner of 10 ATP titles overpowered Granollers-Pujol with his serve and powerful forehand to take the second set 6-1.

The American appeared on course for victory after cruising to a 3-0 lead in the final set, but his first serve deserted him while Granollers-Pujol cut out his unforced errors and clawed his way back into the match.

"James was playing a lot better than me, he was very involved in the match and I couldn't find a way to play him. But at 3-2, the game changed a little and I got back in it," the Spaniard said.

For Blake, the loss was a bitter pill to swallow.

"It's really tough right now, I'm very upset about it, very disappointed," he said. "Being up three-love, I definitely could have served a little better and I wasn't attacking as much.

"It's tough to do against a guy who plays such good defence and moves as well as he does. It really made it tough for me to execute what I was trying to do."

Source:
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