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.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Padres reportedly making progress on Cashner trade

NFL Network to stream on PlayStation Vue

Report: Eagles’ Nigel Bradham charged for assaulting cabana boy

Rudy Gay underwent minor Achilles procedure this summer

Bashaud Breeland brought puppies to Washington camp

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

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

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

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