Houston:Second-seeded James Blake used his strong forehand to overwhelm Italy's Davide Sanguinetti 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the US Clay Court Championships on Tuesday.
Blake needed just 59 minutes to dispatch Sanguinetti, who at one point in the second set bowed in awe of Blake's unrelenting forehand winners.
"Please, don't wake me up," Blake said on court after the Italian's respectful gesture.
Blake, coming off two singles wins in the 4-1 US win over Spain in the Davis Cup last weekend, told the crowd after the match that he was feeling more certain about his game from the team's victory.
"It's amazing what a little confidence can do for your game," he said.
His forehand was dominant throughout the match. He used it to close out the second set on his sixth match point when he hit yet another winner off that wing.
"That's what I need to do is go after my forehand. That's what dictates whether I'm playing well or play badly," he said.
Just before Blake's match, fifth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria beat Rainer Schuettler of Germany 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Earlier, defending champion Mardy Fish rallied from a set down to beat Argentine Martin Vassallo Arguello 5-7, 6-2, 7-5.
Fourth-seeded Fish also came back after dropping his first two service games in the deciding set. He rallied and broke Vassallo Arguello in the fourth, sixth and final game.
Windy conditions hampered both players.
"Tough conditions out here today, and he's a very streaky player. He plays very well when he's on and gives you some looks when he's not."
"He played well in the third set at the beginning and I picked up my game a little bit and I was lucky enough to win in the end," Fish told the crowd.
Fish dropped his serve a second time late in the first set, failing to get any first serves in, and Vassallo Arguello closed it out in the next game to lead.
The Argentine broke Fish's serve in the second set's opening game but the American stiffened and broke right back.
Fish then broke Vassallo Arguello in the sixth game on a backhand winner up the line before closing the second set after earning another break.
Also, Albert Montanes of Spain defeated Alex Peya of Austria, 6-3, 6-2. Peya got into the draw as a lucky loser out of the qualifying draw after top-seeded Andy Roddick pulled out injured on Monday.
In other matches, Dusan Vemic of Serbia beat Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 6-3, 6-0, and Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina ousted Ryan Sweeting of the United States 6-0, 7-6 (8).