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  • San Jose - Blake, Hewitt advance

    2/8/11 7:41 PM | Kelli DeMario
    San Jose - Blake, Hewitt advance James Blake is through to the second round at the SAP Open, following his straight-set victory over compatriot Jesse Levine. The American is joined by former champion Lleyton Hewitt, who took out Bjorn Phau late Monday.

    (7) Lleyton Hewitt def. Bjorn Phau 6-3, 6-3

    Seventh seed Lleyton Hewitt won his first match of the season, after downing Bjorn Phau Monday evening. Despite a struggle on serve, the 29-year-old Australian veteran came through in just 71 minutes. Hewitt, who dropped serve twice during the match, converted five of 9 break point opportunities.

    He will face either Brian Dabul or Alejandro Falla for a place in the quarterfinal.

    James Blake def. (Q) Jesse Levine 7-5, 6-1

    Former SAP Open semifinalist James Blake made a successful start to the tournament with a straight-set win over fellow American Jesse Levine. The 31-year-old veteran trailed by a break at 4-5 in the opening set, but came back to capture nine of the next 10 games. Blake, who secured his first victory of the 2011 season, converted four of 11 break points through one hour and 14 minutes.

    “It was a little tricky there at the start,” Blake explained, post-match. “I was definitely not taking care of the break points, the big points you need to win to win matches at this level. I kind of got through that. Unfortunately he got a little hurt in the second set and that made my job a little easier, but I definitely feel like I was starting to play a lot better.

    “It’s really the one thing you can’t practice for, no matter how long you’re hitting or how long you’re on the practice court, you can’t practice for those pressure situations. I thought it might take a little while to get back into playing my best at the big times, so hopefully this is a good step and it’ll keep getting better.”

    He is next to meet fourth seed Xavier Malisse or Milos Raonic in the round of 16.

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