MADRID: American James Blake maintained his dismal, winless record at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday with the frustrated 11th seed crashing out to on-form Frenchman Gilles Simon 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Simon, winner of two titles since July, pounced on 46 unforced errors to hand Blake his fifth loss in the Spanish capital and put the American in grave danger of dropping out of of the race for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Blake had little to offer after losing in every one of his Madrid appearances dating to 2002.
The Olympic bronze medallist, ninth in the race for the November season wrap-up, did his cause little good as he failed on nine of ten opportunities to break Simon.
The agile 16th-ranked Frenchman is riding a wave of form after winning Indianapolis and Bucharest in recent months. He becomes the first man into the third round, beating Blake as the American played after the bye given to all seeds.
At Madrid (Madrid Masters): Second round: Gilles Simon bt James Blake 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; Marin Cilic bt Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-3; Simone Bolleli bt Andy Murray 0-6, 1-2 retired.; First round: Gael Monfils bt Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-4; Marcel Granollers bt Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4; Jarkko Nieminen bt Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 3-6, 6-2; Philipp Kohlschreiber bt Carlos Moya 6-2, 6-2; Robby Ginepri bt Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4. Mardy Fish bt Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-4; Simone Bolelli bt Nicolás Almagro 7-6(4), 6-1; Gilles Simon bt Igor Andreev 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(7); Marin Cilic bt Olivier Rochus 6-3, 7-5; Thomas Berdych bt Rainer Schuettler 6-1, 6-2.
At Zurich (Zurich Open): First round: Francesca Schiavone bt Caroline Wozniacki 7-6(3), 6-2; Marion Bartoli bt Agnes Szavay 6-4, 6-0. Victoria Azarenka bt Amelie Mauresmo 6-2, 6-1; Maria Kirilenko bt Daniela Hantuchova 7-5, 6-2; Alona Bondarenko bt Alize Cornet 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(6). — Agencies
Corrections and Clarifications
In "Gilles Simon takes out James Blake at Madrid Masters" (Sport, October15), the result said Simone Bolleli bt Andy Murray 0-6, 1-2 retired. Thefigures got reversed. It should have been 6-0, 2-1 retired.