tampabay.com

Tampa's Blake cruises past top seed to wrap up fourth title of year

By TIMES WIRES
Published October 2, 2006


BANGKOK, Thailand - James Blake dominated top-seeded Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-1 Sunday to win the Thailand Open.

The third-seeded Blake, a Tampa resident, controlled the match from the start with superior ground strokes, wrapping up his fourth title of the year in less than an hour.

"I played great since the beginning. His serves were a little off," Blake said. "It's a combination of me playing well and him not playing the best through the whole match. It happens to everyone."

Blake stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the first set and went up 4-0 after Ljubicic double-faulted. Ljubicic won a game back with his powerful serve and trimmed Blake's lead to 5-3 before the American closed out the set.

KOREA OPEN: Eleni Daniilidou held on for a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3) win over fourth-seeded Ai Sugiyama in Seoul, South Korea, to earn her fourth WTA singles title.

FORTIS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Alona Bondarenko swept past fifth-seeded Francesca Schiavone in Luxembourg 6-3, 6-2 to claim her first WTA tournament victory.

PALERMO INTERNATIONAL: Filippo Volandri won the second title of his career, beating Nicolas Lapentti 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 in Palermo, Sicily.

GUANGZHOU OPEN: Anna Chakvetadze cruised past Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-1, 6-4 in Beijing to her first WTA singles title.

MUMBAI OPEN: The final between Tomas Berdych and Dmitry Tursunov was postponed to today because of rain.

ET CETERA

HORSES: Discreet Cat overwhelmed four rivals to remain unbeaten with a 10¼-length win in the $155,800 Jerome Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park in New York. The 1-20 favorite romped to his fifth victory with Valid Notebook a distant runnerup. ... Rail Link held on to win the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe in Paris by a neck, giving trainer Andre Fabre his seventh win in Europe's most prestigious race. Taking the lead along the outside, Rail Link fought off late bids by Deep Impact and Pride to prevail in a field of eight. Ridden by Stephane Pasquier, the 3-year-old colt earned $1.45-million from the $2.54-million purse.

SOCCER: Manchester United moved back into first place in the English Premier League, beating Newcastle 2-0 in London with both goals coming from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Man United and Chelsea have 16 points, but United leads on goal difference. ... Abby Wambach had three goals and three assists to lead the United States to a 10-0 rout of Taiwan in an exhibition game in Carson, Calif.

BOXING: Lucas Green Arias, 25, was being treated to relieve bleeding in his brain following his loss in a WBC super-middleweight bout. Arias (11-2) was floored by Jean Pascal near the end of the sixth round of their fight Saturday at the Montreal Casino. Promoter Yvon Michel visited the hospital Sunday and was told Arias was responding to the treatment.