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  • Blake opens in Indian Wells against Haase

    3/7/13 4:32 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Blake opens in Indian Wells against Haase James Blake will look to capitalize on his Indian Wells wild card on Friday. Up first for the veteran American is Robin Haase.

    James Blake and Robin Haase will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they do battle in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.

    Haase leads the head-to-head series 2-1, but it is all tied up 1-1 on hard courts. They most recently faced each other two years ago in Winston-Salem, where Haase dominated 6-4, 6-1.

    Blake is now in the twilight of his career at 33 years old, but he is not done yet--in part thanks to a flurry of wild cards into American tournaments. The former world No. 4 is still in the Top 100 (albeit at 99th) and he played decent tennis at the Dallas Challenger (semifinals) and in Memphis (advanced one round).

    Haase has a respectable four ATP victories this season, but he has struggled since reaching the Zagreb semifinals. The 47th-ranked Dutchman lost his openers in Rotterdam (to Ernests Gulbis) and in Marseille (to Gilles Simon).

    Haase is in slightly better form than his opponent, but neither man is on top of his game right now. Surface and setting will likley be the difference in this one for Blake, who always plays his best tennis on U.S. soil. Look for Blake to get the win in three tough sets.


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