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Huge weight lifted off Blake's shoulders with five-set win

The fifth set alone between James Blake and Fabrice Santoro was worth the price of admission. Bonnie D. Ford writes how Blake -- finally -- broke into the win column in a five-set match.

Updated: August 31, 2007, 4:14 PM ET
By Bonnie D. Ford | Special to ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- There's an inherent contradiction in winning a five-set match. It means you played poorly enough to put yourself in a hole and well enough to scramble out of it.

Still, the ability to gut out a five-setter -- and preferably win more than you lose -- is considered a necessary part of a great player's tool kit, a gauge of stamina and mental toughness. Roger Federer is 9-8 in that category so far; Rafael Nadal is 9-3. Pete Sampras won 32 of the 46 he played and Andre Agassi was ...

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