Las Vegas: James Blake defeated Lleyton Hewitt for the first time in seven tries on Sunday, breaking the former world No 1 four times in the final set to win the Tennis Channel Open 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. "It's not easy to play against him,'' Blake said. "I'm just happy to finally get a win against him. He's one of the best players of all-time.'' Blake earned his fifth career title and second of the year, highlighting a career-best 14-4 start. He also captured an ATP event in Sydney, Australia, on Jan 15. "This one definitely ranks up there,'' Blake said. "I've been on tour six years and this is my fifth title - it's not like it happens everyday.'' Blake won $52,000 for the title and 175 ranking points in this $380,000 event, while Hewitt earned $30,600 and 120 points. New rankings Blake, the fifth seed, had held serve in 35-of-36 tournament games entering the match, but was broken four times by the tournament's top seed, including three straight to close the second set. He responded by hitting 20 winners in the third set. The win was Blake's sixth in 28 matches against top-10 opponents. He won despite four double faults and 30 unforced errors. "He's on a great run,'' said Hewitt, ranked No 10. "Blake has come back as one of the best players out there.'' Hewitt dropped his fourth straight championship match and has not won in more than 13 months, including two weeks ago when he fell to Andy Murray in the finals at San Jose, California.
Topics : Tennis