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1 Response to la07stepanek_blake

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 49-47, 34-38, 30-18 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    34 % Stepanek – 34 of 100
    29 % Blake – 34 of 116

    Very lucky tournament for Stepanek [101] during times when he was struggling with his form – his first round opponent retired, then he easily ousted two Americans (the second of them – Fleishman – played his only ATP quarterfinal), in the semifinal he didn’t even bother to enter the court because Kiefer withdrew (sore knee). So the Czech player was exceptionally fresh on Sunday and it made the difference at the end. In the opener no break of serve, but before it they both escaped from “0/40” on serve. In the tie-break Blake [9] wasted three set points leading 6:4* & 7:6 (service winner, FH pass, beautiful stop-volley). The Czech was two points away from the title in the 2nd set when Blake survived the longest rally of the final (18 strokes) at *4:5 (deuce). Stepanek asked for a medical time-out leading 2:1* in the 3rd set and it was a smart move – Blake lost his focus and 4 of the last 5 games. “The feeling (of winning title) is different,” said Stepanek, who was No. 8 in the world before his injury. “I know what I went through, it was a tough time in my career, so this title means a lot more than the first one. Emotionally it means much more.” Due to neck injury, Stepanek was sidelined for six months, and when he returned to the tour, he was struggling to regain his form for another six months – in the consequence he dropped outside the Top 100. He won’t be ranked so low until 2015…

    Stepanek’s route to his 2nd title (34th main-level event):
    1 Alex Bogdanovic 6-1 ret.
    2 Mardy Fish 6-2, 6-2
    Q Zack Fleishman 6-4, 6-2
    S Nicolas Kiefer w/o
    W James Blake 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-2

    Serve & volley: Stepanek 7/14, Blake 0

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