Blake, Moya Win Openers at MS-Canada; Nadal Readies Title Defense

Posted on August 8, 2006

Fifth-seeded American James Blake beat Canadian wild card Philip Bester 6-4, 6-1 Monday night in the first round at the Masters Series-Canada.

Blake broke Bester four times and didn't face any break points on his own serve. The American won 60 points to 38 for the Canadian.

Blake improved his record for the year to 39-16. Bester, 17, was playing only the fourth ATP match of his young career. He is 1-2 this year.

Blake has a career record of 3-2 in this event. In the second round, he'll play Frenchman Richard Gasquet, a 6-4, 6-3 victor over his countryman Fabrice Santoro Monday. It will be the duo's first ATP meeting.

In other late afternoon and evening matches Monday, Carlos Moya of Spain rolled over Gaston Gaudio 6-1, 6-4. Moya broke Gaudio three times and held all his own service games. The Spaniard won 70 points to 52 for Gaudio.

With the win, Moya widened his career edge over Gaudio to 4-2. Moya lifted his 2006 record to 24-14. Gaudio slipped to 24-19.

Moya has a 5-5 career record in this event and has never advanced beyond the third round. In the second round this year, he will face the winner of Stepanek-Vliegen.

Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand beat Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-2. Srichaphan broke Simon four times and was only broken once himself. The Thai won 67 points to 46 for the Frenchman. It was the pair's first ATP meeting.

Srichaphan improved his 2006 record to 17-19, while Simon slid to 18-16. Srichaphan has a career record of 6-6 in this event and has never advanced beyond the third round. In the second round this week, Srichaphan will play the winner of Davydenko-Malisse.

Julien Benneteau of France upset No. 10 seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Benneteau's 2006 record gained to 15-12, while Baghdatis fell to 27-14. In the second round, Benneteau meets Dominik Hrbaty, a 6-4, 6-4 victor over Robert Kendrick.

Third seed David Nalbandian crashed out of the Rogers Masters Monday, winning only three games in a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Italian qualifier Davide Sanguinetti. Nalbandian won only 42 per cent of points on his first serve and was aced six times in the defeat. Sanguinetti will next face either Jan Hernych or Nicolas Mahut.

The No.15 seed Fernando Gonzalez, who has reached a quarterfinal and semifinal in his last two tournaments (Indianapolis and Los Angeles), came through a three-set encounter with Robin Soderling. He defeated the Swede 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in just short of two hours, and will face the winner of Paul Goldstein and Juan Carlos Ferrero in the next round.

Argentina's Jose Acasuso came through an epic second set tie-break against Germany's Bjorn Phau to advance. Acasuso won 7-5, 7-6(18) in a match that lasted just over two hours. Acasuso will have another stern test when he faces either seventh seed Tommy Robredo, or Marat Safin in the next round.

In the battle of the Canadian wild cards, Frank Dancevic defeated Peter Polansky 7-6(3), 6-3. Dancevic, 21, served eight aces in an 81-minute victory. He will now line-up against either Jarkko Nieminen or Russian qualifier, Teimuraz Gabashvili in the next round.

World No.45 Mikhail Youzhny took 74 minutes to beat former World No.4 Greg Rusedski 6-4, 6-2. That puts Youzhny's record for the year at 17-16. The Russian will face either home favorite Daniel Nestor or Tomas Berdych in his next match.

Richard Gasquet defeated countryman Fabrice Santoro 6-4, 6-3 in 69 minutes. The victory improves 20-year-old Gasquet's record on the circuit this season to 18-15. His second round meeting will be with either the No.5 seed James Blake, or Canadian wild card Philip Bester.

Thomas Johansson, currently No.39 in the INDESIT ATP Rankings, defeated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Despite facing 19 aces, the 31-year-old Swede came through and will play either 11th seed Lleyton Hewitt or Juan Iganacio Chela in the next round.

World No.60 Tim Henman saw off the competition of Jonas Bjorkman in his first round match. Losing only five games, the British No.2 beat the veteran Swede 6-2, 6-3. Henman will next play compatriot Andy Murray or No.11 seed David Ferrer.

Former World No.4 Sebastien Grosjean beat fellow Frenchman Florent Serra in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Grosjean took 73 minutes to complete his victory in their first ever meeting.
-- ATP