9/17/12 9:29 PM | Ricky Dimon
James Blake takes care of wild card entrant Albano Olivetti in straight sets on Monday in Metz. Blake is through to a second-round meeting with No. 4 seed Florian Mayer.
James Blake held off Albano Olivetti 6-2, 7-6(4) in the first round of the Moselle Open on Monday night. Blake won 86 percent of his first-serve points to advance in one hour and 15 minutes.
Olivetti made a nice run to the Marseille quarterfinals back in February, picking up the only two ATP-level wins of his career in the process, but he showed few signs of being able to do the same this week. The 6'8'' Frenchman dropped serve at 1-1 in the opening set and never came close to getting the break back. Blake added another scalp of the Olivetti serve before closing out the set at love in the eighth game.
The 32-year-old American seemed to have the proceedings completely wrapped up when he broke right away for a 1-0 lead in the second. Out of nowhere, though, Olivetti seized his first break of the day to get back on serve at 4-4. Four holds later, a tiebreaker had to decide the set.
Both players earned one mini-break in each of their opponent's turns to serves en route to a 5-4 Blake advantage. Blake went up 1-0, gave it right back, gave back another mini-break midway through the decider, but then finally took care of two straight service points at 5-4 and 6-4 for victory.
The world No. 103 withstood 19 Olivetti aces while cracking six of his own. Next up for Blake is No. 4 seed Florian Mayer, who won two Davis Cup singles rubbers against Australia last weekend on the clay courts of Hamburg.
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