-- American veteran James Blake took home the winner’s trophy at the Relyaid/Natomas Challenger with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 win over Mischa Zverev of Germany. For Blake, his second visit to Sacramento proved to be more successful than the first, where he lost in last year’s final to Ivo Karlovic.
Blake started the match quickly, as he broke Zverev’s serve twice and cruised to an easy 6-1 first-set win. The match took a quick turn at the beginning of the second set, when Zverev broke Blake’ serve. From there, it was Zverev playing his typical aggressive game, going to the net at every opportunity and converting a number of key volleys to secure the second set, 6-1.
The third set was a close affair, with both players playing to their strengths. Blake tracked down some great gets, firing his big forehand, while Zverev did his best to control the points by attacking the net. In the end, Blake’s serve made the difference, as he converted 20 of 23 service points and wore down his German opponent. Blake broke serve in the 10th game of the set and took home the win, 6-4.
The doubles final was an All-American affair, with Tennys Sandgren and Rhyne Williams winning their first title on the Pro Circuit by beating Devin Britton and Austin Krajicek in a very entertaining match, 4-6, 6-4, 12-10. It was a bitter defeat for Britton and Krajicek, as they were up in the super tiebreak, 9-6.
The Relyaid/Natomas Challenger has experienced tremendous local support, forming partnerships with FSP Shipping, Anderson Schoach and Lasher Audi Volkswagen. Visit www.natomaschallenger.com
ABOUT THE USTA PRO CIRCUIT:
With more than 90 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more that 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour ranking points. Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, Jelena Jankovic, James Blake, John Isner, Melanie Oudin and Mardy Fish are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide-an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional home in their neighborhood.