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Tursunov upsets Blake for finals berth against Simon

7/19/2008 - Tennis

INDIANAPOLIS -- Top-seeded James Blake struggled after a
rain delay and was upset by defending champion Dimitry Tursunov
4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday in the semifinals of the Indianapolis Tennis
Championships.

Tursunov, the third seed, will meet second-seeded Gilles Simon
of France in the championship match Sunday. Simon outlasted
fourth-seeded American Sam Querrey 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in Saturday's
other semifinal.

Tursunov was leading Blake 2-1 in the second set when rain
forced a 32-minute delay.

"I had time to think about the match, what I had to do. I
picked my level up a bit. He dropped his level a little bit,"
Tursunov said of the delay.

When the players returned, Tursunov focused on just keeping the
ball in play. Blake struggled with his serve after the delay.

"He was clubbing his forehand. I had to tone it down a bit and
not match his power level. I concentrated on keeping the ball in
the court," Tursunov said.

Tursunov, leading 4-3 in the second set, won four of five points
on Blake's serve, then held service to win the set.

Tursunov broke Blake's opening serve in the third set. Blake
broke back in the sixth game, but Tursunov broke Blake in the next
game for a decisive 4-3 lead.

The Russian won all three break points he had and saved three of
five.

"My serve went flat after the rain delay. He came out playing a
little better. I came out missing first serves," Blake said.

In the first semifinal, Simon dominated the first set, but
Querrey found his powerful forehand in the second set, fighting off
two game points to break Simon in the ninth game, then holding
service for the win.

But Querrey obviously grew tired in the two-hour, five-minute
match in heat and humidity, leaning on his racket and hanging his
head at the end of most points.

The two fought on in the third set, with Querrey appearing to
get the upper hand by leading 40-0 against Simon's serve in the
ninth game.

But Simon, attacking the net, battled back. The two played to
deuce four times, with Simon fighting off three break points to win
the last two points with his serve.

Querrey won just one point on his final service game.

Simon called the match one that he'll remember for a long time.

"It was not a great match, but the fight was unbelievable for
me. He managed to play unbelievable shots with his forehand. But I
saw him at the end of every point like this," Simon said, hanging
his head. "That's why I kept fighting."

Simon totaled 11 aces to three for his opponent. He saved 16 of
19 break points and won five of eight.