• Berlocq, Blake clash in Houston first round

    4/9/12 6:43 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Berlocq, Blake clash in Houston first round The night session on Day 1 of main-draw action in Houston features veteran American James Blake. He has a tough test on his hands in the form of No. 6 seed Carlos Berlocq.

    Carlos Berlocq and James Blake will be squaring off for the second straight time in the first round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships when they meet on Monday night.

    Blake pulled through last year's encounter 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4, a much different result from their only other matchup despite producing the same winner. In the 2006 Miami second round, Blake decimated Berlocq 6-0, 6-0.

    Berlocq, however, is a very different player now than he was even one season ago in Houston. The Argentine has finally emerged at 29 years old and he is up to a career-high ranking of No. 37 in the world. Berlocq already has 13 ATP match wins this year (against eight losses), giving him 49 lifetime.

    At 32 years old, Blake appears to be on the last legs of his career. The American is 0-2 at the ATP level for his 2012 campaign and he is toiling down at No. 74 in the world.

    Clay does not help Blake's chances of scoring what would have to be considered an upset. He has always done his best work on fast hard courts, whereas Berlocq is right at home on the slow stuff. Look for Berlocq to get the job done in straight sets.

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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