James Blake's perseverance and Andy Roddick's power gave the United States a commanding 2-0 lead over France in the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Friday. Blake overcame his fifth-set woes, fighting off two match points to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 and Roddick ripped 30 aces on the fast hard-court in a 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) win over Michael Llodra in the opener.
The Americans' top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan can put the United States into the semifinals with a win on Saturday against France's likely pairing of Llodra and Arnaud Clement. The reverse singles are on Sunday. Blake, who lost the first nine five-set matches in his career, has now won three of four. He appeared finished when Mathieu had two match points serving at 5-4 in the fifth set.