PARIS ท James Blake, the former Harvard All-American living in Tampa, came back from a slow start to defeat Tomas Cakl of the Czech Republic 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 Saturday and qualify for the main draw of the French Open, which begins Monday.
It was Blake's 13th consecutive win, though 10 have come as he won two Challenger titles in Mississippi and New York, and three in the French qualifying.
Blake, now ranked 132, and former U.S. Open junior champion Meilen Tu were the only Americans to qualify.
Lindsay Lee-Waters and Brian Vahaly both lost last-round qualifying matches Saturday.
Roger Federer now has reason to believe he can master the grueling surface here and join Andre Agassi as the only active men to win all four majors.
Along with his No. 1 seeding, the 23-year-old Federer comes into the French with his confidence high following his title on similar red clay courts in Hamburg last week, where he beat France's Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (4) in the final. Low key by nature, a realist from experience, Federer does not suffer from low expectations.
"Honestly, I don't see it being such an unbelievably tough draw," he said. "I'm not worried playing anybody.
"I'm confident I can do it. If I won't ever do it, this will only show at the end of the career. You have to be a little patient."
A career Grand Slam, especially in this era of deep fields, is a testament not only to extraordinary tennis talent but extreme versatility -- winning on grass, hard courts and clay. Only five players have accomplished the feat: Agassi on all three of those surfaces; Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson in the days when the Australian, Wimbledon and U.S. Nationals were on grass and the French was the lone major on clay.