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Karlovic upsets Blake at SAP Open

2/16/2007 - Tennis

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Unseeded Croatian Ivo Karlovic upset
second-seeded American James Blake 6-7 (4), 7-6 (11), 6-4 to
advance to the quarterfinals of the SAP Open on Thursday.


The 6-foot-10 Croatian, who's ranked 103rd in the world, used 29
aces to beat the sixth-ranked Blake. Karlovic saved five match
points in the second tiebreaker.

Top-seeded Andy Roddick defeated wild-card Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-6 (3) to advance to the quarterfinals.

Blake had Karlovic down 30-love in the second set while leading
5-4, but Karlovic came back to tie the match 5-5 and win it in the
tiebreaker.

"After I lost my serve, I knew that it was my only chance to
break him and win the set," Karlovic said. "After I won the set,
I felt really up. And felt my playing level go up."

After taking the set, Karlovic began to attack Blake's game
instead of relying on his booming serve, which was clocked at more
than 140 mph.

"After winning the second set, I became more aggressive in
going after his serve and I felt more confident on the court,"
Karlovic said.

Karlovic is coming off a left knee injury last year. He faces
fifth-seeded Mardy Fish, who defeated Sam Warburg 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

"It's disappointing to lose," Blake said. "There's no one to
blame but myself for the errors I made out there. I couldn't make a
first serve. I had few match points to get and I couldn't close him
out.

Blake had trouble dealing with Karlovic's height and service.

"I wasn't used to dealing with the angle it was coming in,"
Blake said. "I see a lot of big serves dealing with Andy
[Roddick]. But you don't see anyone coming from 6-foot-10. I felt I
got on it well enough to win, but I didn't take advantage of him
when I need to."

Roddick, the fourth-ranked player in the world, improved his SAP
Open record to 19-3, but had trouble with his serve all night,
delivering just 11 aces.

"Two years ago, I feel like Sam was an after-school tennis
player," said Roddick, who trains with Querry. "Now he's playing
with great stuff and I think he's learning every day. He's not
going to get blown out a lot."

Querry stayed alive by serving 20 aces, but was done in when
Roddick converted on triple match point during the tiebreaker.

Roddick will face eighth-seeded Vincent Spadea in the
quarterfinals.

Fourth-seeded Marat Safin of Russia also advanced when he
defeated unseeded Lu Yen-hsun of Chinese Taipei 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Safin is ranked 25th in the world and Yen-hsun is 93rd.

"I had a hard time out there," Safin said. "He doesn't make
many unforced errors, I just had to rely on my experience to beat
him."

Safin, who is playing in his first SAP Open, faces Germany's
Benjamin Becker in the quarterfinals.

Earlier Thursday, Hyung-Taik Lee, Becker and Spadea also reached
the quarterfinals.

Lee beat Simon Greul 6-2, 7-6, Becker downed Bjorn Phau 7-6,
1-6, 6-3 and Spadea outlasted Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 7-5, 7-6.

The quarterfinals will also feature Lee against defending
champion Andy Murray.