Monfils beats Blake at US Clay Court Championships

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 08, 2013
Gael Monfils of France served 15 aces to beat John Blake of the United States 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the first round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships on Monday. Blake, once ranked No. 4, played his 51st match at River Oaks Country Club where he is a crowd favorite but Monfils won cheers for his performance in his first match in the city. Monfils, who played in only 10 tournaments last year because of a knee injury, matched the sixth-highest total of aces in the tournament. He will next face top-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Rhyne Williams of the United States, playing on a wild card, beat Guido Pella of Argentina 7-5, 7-5 in an earlier first-round match. Monfils broke Blake in the 11th game of the second set on three straight errors by Blake and wrapped it up quickly with a love final game that included two aces. He won at the first match point on Blake's backhand error. ''I am 100 percent with the level the way I played,'' Monfils said. ''I was happy the way I was moving. I can say it's a nightmare (injury) behind me so I am very happy.'' Blake held after six break points in the eighth game of the first set but his serve failed him in the 10th game and the set eventually went to a tiebreaker. The score was tied at 3-3 in the tiebreaker when Monfils won three straight points and then capped the set with an overhead at set point. ''He really makes it tough out there,'' Blake said. ''He makes you work hard to win points and combining that with a pretty big first serve. When that's going in, that makes a big difference.'' Monfils applauded the crowd after his win but said he didn't hear their cheers during the match. ''It's been four weeks since I played so I was more focused on winning this match and hoping there was no more pain,'' Monfils said. ''The crowd was very fair today. I knew it would be tough because James is a big favorite here.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Serena Williams the most important modern athlete?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

Tennis News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker