Blake Wins Forest Hills Clay Court Classic
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 5:55 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (AP) -- James Blake won his second title in as many weeks, defeating Dusan Vemic of Serbia and Montenegro 6-3, 6-4 in the Forest Hills Clay Court Classic on Saturday.
The seventh-seeded Blake also won a Challenger event in Tunica, Miss., last week. The back-to-back victories were his first since playing on the Futures circuit his rookie season.
It's certainly an improvement from last year. The former U.S. Davis Cup player broke his neck last May crashing into the net during a practice, and later was diagnosed with Zoster, an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralyzed part of his face.
I knew he damaged his spine, but broke his neck? Wouldn't that make it impossible to play tennis? Also, didn't know about this other illnes..
''My health is 100 percent,'' said Blake, ranked No. 130 in the world. ''Winning two weeks in a row is great. The goal now is to get my ranking to where it was.''
Blake, who was ranked a career-best 22nd before his injury, will try to qualify for the next two Grand Slams, the French Open and Wimbledon, before returning to hardcourts.
''I'll go on the hardcourt circuit when I get back to the U.S.,'' he said. ''I have already been promised some wild cards.''
In the doubles final, third-seeded Nathan Healey of Australia and Mark Merklein of the Bahamas upset top-seeded Americans Jason Marshall and Huntley Montgomery 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.