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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Unseeded James Blake celebrates his second career victory in six finals.
By Times wire
Published August 29, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In his mind, James Blake has been back all summer. The Tampa resident's fluke neck injury, his rare illness and the emotional loss of his father were behind him, and the one-time top 20 player said he had a new perspective on the tennis court.
He proved it Sunday, beating Feliciano Lopez 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to complete an improbable run from unseeded challenger to champion of the Pilot Pen tournament in front of a hometown crowd.
It was the first win in three years for Blake, who was raised in nearby Fairfield and was the tournament's biggest draw. It felt even better, he said, that he had to come from behind to win, readjusting his strategy to account for Lopez's 130 mph serves.
"At the beginning of the year, I probably wouldn't have won a match like this," Blake said.
Last year, he slipped and broke his neck on a practice court in Rome. After that injury, he contracted Zoster, an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralyzed part of his face. His father died of cancer that summer. Just a few months ago, he was out of the top 200.
"For a while, you never know if you're going to be back to where you were before you got injured," he said.
But he played well in Washington this month, losing in the final to Andy Roddick . He entered the Pilot Pen ranked No.67 in the world and was more relaxed than he had been in years. "It helped with my perspective, with knowing that every match isn't the end of the world," Blake said.
Lopez said he had never played against an American who had the crowd so solidly behind him. The raucous fans stuck out an hourlong rain delay, screaming Blake's name and occasionally heckling Lopez with chants of "no mas" - "no more" in Spanish. "They are his friends," Lopez said. "They want him to win."
Man U wins third straight
Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy scored in the second half as Manchester United won its third straight English Premier League game, 2-0 at Newcastle.
Man U has not allowed a goal through three games, but still trails first-place Chelsea, which has won its four games also without giving up a goal. Newcastle is winless in four games and has yet to score.
Rooney's goal came after defender Jean- Alain Boumsong allowed the ball to bounce past him. The Englishman pounced and beat goalkeeper Shay Given .
DUTCH LEAGUE: U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley entered as a substitute in the second half and scored to help PSV Eindhoven beat Roda JC Kerkrade 3-0 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
WORLD CUP: Goalkeeper David James and defender Glen Johnson , criticized after England's 4-1 loss to Denmark, were dropped by coach Sven-Goran Eriksson for two qualifying matches. England trails Poland by two points with a game in hand in Group 6 of European qualifying for next year's World Cup in Germany, with only the top team guaranteed to advance.
Ghanian captures 100 in 9.99
Aziz Zakari of Ghana ran under 10 seconds in the 100 meters, and he didn't care that Justin Gatlin and Asafa Powell were not at the Rieti Grand Prix in Italy see it. Zakari won with a meet record of 9.99 seconds, matching a career best. Powell set the world record of 9.77 two months ago; Gatlin is the Olympic and world champion. In other news, Olympic and world heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft fell over a hurdle and injured her left thigh during the Sweden-Finland meet in Goteborg.
WNBA: Coach Anne Donovan , the first female coach to win the league title last season, signed a multiyear contract extension with the Seattle Storm.
NHL: An arbitrator ruled that Penguins defenseman Dick Tarnstrom should make $1.6-million. If signed, Tarnstrom would become the team's fifth-highest paid player this season.
SAILING: Defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland extended its winning streak to 18 match races, beating two of the worst teams in the Louis Vuitton Act 6 regatta in Malmo, Sweden. BMW Oracle , the only boat from the United States, also won both races.