Blake saves 3 set points en route to 2nd-round win

Sep 4, 2009 - 1:59 AM NEW YORK(AP) -- James Blake took his act into prime time at the U.S. Open. He'll also be taking it to the third round.

Blake staved off three straight set points in a third-set tiebreaker Thursday night to overcome Olivier Rochus of Belgium, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3.

The match, scheduled for late afternoon at Flushing Meadows, started late and continued past sunset, pushing back night matches involving Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick by nearly two hours.

With stadium workers removing trash from the upper deck at Arthur Ashe Stadium to get ready for the night session, Blake fell behind 6-3 in the third-set tiebreaker. But he answered with five straight points to pull it out - jumping for joy and shouting out when he hit a down-the-line winner to seal the set.

"I had some nail-biting moments there in the tiebreaker in the third set," Blake said. "Could have gone either way. To get through that and feel good, get the emotions and feel the crowd getting into it - everything about it was really good."

He broke Rochus' serve in the sixth game of the fourth set and served out the match from there.

Blake has advanced to at least the third round of the U.S. Open in his last seven appearances - he missed 2004 after breaking his neck in a freak accident when he ran into a net post - but has yet to get past the quarterfinals of any major.

His next match is against 14th-seeded Tommy Robredo.

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