Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/15/jblake_sapopen/

Yankee Blake flattens young Russian

52 minutes at the office

By Ashlee Vance

Posted in Bootnotes, 15th February 2007 08:34 GMT

SAP Open James Blake pushed aside Russian Igor Kunitsyn during two uneventful sets tonight here at the SAP Open.

The American used his all-court game, a strong serve and quick legs to dismantle Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-2 in just 52 minutes. The performance boosted the spirits of a weary Blake fresh off the plane after defeating the Czech Republic in a Davis Cup match. Equally fatigued teammate Andy Roddick also notched an easy win earlier Wednesday night.

"I think I played pretty well," Blake said, during a press conference. He added that the SAP Open hard-court surface played very fast – a possible edge for both him and Roddick in the tournament.

The SAP Open brings together a handful of the world's top men tennis players and a number of up-and-comers. Those of you not able to catch the Silicon Valley tournament live can watch the action on the web.

The 84th ranked Kunitsyn displayed brief – very brief – flashes of brilliance. He hits one of the flattest, most powerful backhands you'll see and a forehand with just a touch of topspin. These flat strokes crumbled early and often with plenty of balls diving into the net at inopportune moments.

You got the feeling that Kunitsyn could be a real menace on a perfect day with his deep, heavy shots. But, without such perfection Wednesday, the Russian made far too many errors to have a chance at pressuring a top player such as Blake.

Following the match, Blake sported an icepack around his right wrist and complained of some tendonitis. The player, however, felt like the injury is improving.

Catch choice bits from Blake's press conference

Blake faces Ivo Karlovic on Thursday, while Roddick goes up against promising American youngster Sam Querrey. ®