Blake beats Ljubicic to win Thai Open

US tennis player James Blake won his fourth title of the year when he scored an easy 6-3, 6-1 victory over Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic in the final of the $550,000 Thailand Open in Bangkok on Sunday.

    James Blake claims his fourth title for the year

    Blake, who had knocked out Russian Marat Safin in the semi-final, got out to a 5-0 lead in the first set stunning the top-seeded Croatian who struggled to get his trademark big serve going.

     

    "I felt like I was returning great because his serve was off from the start, and it stayed off," Blake told a news conference.

     

    "When he's winning, it's because of his serve and I took advantage of that and heaped pressure on him the whole match.

     

    "It was a combination of me playing well and him having a bad match," added Blake.

     

    Things only got worse for Ljubicic, who defeated home-crowd favourite Paradorn Srichaphan in his semi-final, as he lost the match in just 58 minutes after a poor second set performance.

     

    "It's disappointing because I wanted to fight for the title and I was never in it from the very first point," Ljubicic said.

     

    "He played good, he was returning my serves perfectly. My shots were going out when all his were landing in.

     

    "When he plays like this I had to take more risks."

     

    Blake added the Thailand crown to his 2006 tournament wins in Sydney, Las Vegas and Indianapolis, with the win being his first victory over Ljubicic in five attempts.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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