Blake Mentally Tough in Davis Cup Win

United States one victory away from first title in 12 years
By Mike Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 10:54 PM CST
Blake Mentally Tough in Davis Cup Win
James Blake, of the United States, return the ball to Mikhail Youzhny, of Russia, during the Davis Cup Final tennis tie Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, in Portland, Ore. Blake defeated Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3) to give the US a 2-0 lead. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – James Blake got past his reputation for failing in big situations, in part by avoiding the fifth set today. The No. 2 American player defeated Russia's Mikhail Youzhny to give his nation a commanding 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup Final, reports the Oregonian. Fellow American Andy Roddick won in quick fashion in the day's other match.

Blake came into the day with a 1-10 record in five-set matches, and Roddick was clearly aware as he nervously watched Blake fail to serve out the win at 5-4 in the 4th set after breaking Youzhny in the previous game. But Blake would stave off any jitters he felt to get to a tiebreaker and win it, closing out a three-hour battle. The host U.S. is one win away from its first Davis Cup title since 1995. (Read more tennis stories.)

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