Fabrice got his revenge for the USO loss and beat James Blake in straight sets 7-6(4) 6-2 in Sydney. No three-peat for James
but well done to Fab.
I am disappointed that he did not wear his famous candy striped shirt, though. (see attached photos)
Santoro rolls back the years against Blake in Sydney
January 7, 2008
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- James Blake's attempt to win his third successive Sydney International ended Monday after just one match.
France's Fabrice Santoro beat the third-seeded American 7-6 (4), 6-2, taking a 5-0 lead in the second set before Blake came back to win a pair of games. Blake broke Santoro with the Frenchman serving for the match, but then lost it on his own service two games later.
Blake won the Sydney International in 2006 and 2007, beating Carlos Moya in last year's final. He was trying to become the first man since Australian John Bromwich in 1940 to win the title three times in a row.
Blake, who helped the United States win the Davis Cup in November over Russia, said he had some problems adjusting to the new plexicushion surface -- the same surface that will be used in Melbourne at the Australian Open.
"Maybe it was him, maybe it was the court, but it seemed so slow it was tough for me to put balls away," Blake said. "I think I got a bit ahead of myself."
Blake admitted to being a little sluggish after his late 2007 season due to the Davis Cup.
"I would have loved to have had a longer offseason, but I'll trade that for a Davis Cup win anytime," he said.
Found this interesting tidbit:
35-year-old Frenchman Fabrice "The Magician" Santoro will break Andre Agassi's all-time record of appearing in 61 Grand Slam tournaments when he competes at the Australian Open in late January. "It's a great record to beat because it's Andre Agassi, who is one of the best tennis players ever," Santoro said. "I have a huge respect for him and this is the only record I'll ever take from him. It means I have been consistent at a high level for almost 20 years."