Points won by each set: [ 43-35, 48-45 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
26 % Zabaleta – 21 of 79
14 % Blake – 13 of 92

Zabaleta’s “swan song”… The 29-year-old Argentinian [156] lost his long status of an ATP player in 2006, he had to go through the qualifying rounds of Houston, and surprisingly advanced to the final not dropping a set (having beaten three good players: Fish, Melzer & Blake). The night session, windy semifinal vs Blake [9] was the toughest; Zabaleta trailed *4:5 in the 1st set, and 3:5* (30/40) in the 2nd set when he played a backhand down the line winner. He saved five set points in total, the second SP in the same game, then trailed *4:6 & 6:7 in the tie-break which he won 9/7 after Blake’s terrible double fault. Zabaleta was a slight favorite in his first ATP final in three years, but lost to Ivo Karlovic in their only meeting, after unexpectedly short match (4-6, 1-6). “It’s my first title and it’s on clay, which is really unbelievable,” Karlovic said. The Argentine said Karlovic’s serve was simply too difficult to handle. “If that ball hits you, it will kill you,” joked Zabaleta, who won a Challenger title (Bermuda) the following week. Houston ’07 meant one of his last main-level events, an injury sidelined him in 2008, and he finished his career in 2009 playing the entire season only at the Challenger level.

Serve & volley: Zabaleta 0, Blake 7/8

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