2006 PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
RAFAEL NADAL v JAMES BLAKE
James Blake shocked world #2 Rafael Nadal of Spain on Saturday.
Blake, coming off a win in Las Vegas two weeks ago, negated the 19-year-old Spaniard's speed and retrieving ability with huge forehands, opportunistic net rushes and rocket returns of serve
"I felt great, Rafael is an unbelievable player. Somehow he brings out the best in me because I played some of my best tennis against him at the US Open," said Blake, who ousted the Spaniard in the third round at Flushing Meadows.
"I knew he's the type of guy that you have to kind of jump on that first chance.
You can't wait for two and three and four opportunities in a point. If you let him get on the offensive."
Blake broke Nadal three times during the match and nailed 21 winners to 17 from the Spaniard.
"He played good and aggressive," Nadal said. "In difficult moments, he always had the confidence to win the point, how to play the point well. I fought all match."
Blake moves up to a career high #9 in the ATP standings with the victory and gets to play Federer in the championship match at Indian Wells.