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Blake beats Philippousis as Delray Beach tennis tournament begins

james blake

"Oh, don't be in," says James Blake, as he watches the ball sail over his head, Friday at the Delray Beach Open. Blake got his wish — the shot by Mark Philippousis during the tiebreaker — was long by about six inches.

By Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — American James Blake beat Australia's Mark Philippousis 6-7 6-3 10-8 Friday evening in the opening match of ATP Champions Tour play at the Delray Beach Open by the Venetian Las Vegas.

In the second match, Croatia's Goran Ivanisevic beat American Brad Gilbert 6-2 6-4. For the second consecutive year, the tournament is set up as a team event, with the United States pitted against an International team.

Neither Blake or Philippousis, a former Delray Beach resident, are strangers to the tournament. Blake was twice a finalist of the ATP world tour event and won the doubles competition with Jack Sock in 2013. Philippousis won the Champions tournament in 2011. For that matter, Ivanisevic played in last year's Champions event and coached Delray BeachATP World Tour winner and U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic.

* * * * *

During the evening, tournament officials announced that top-seeded American John Isner will face the unseeded Marinko Matosevic in the opening match of the ATP World Tour play Tuesday evening at 6. Isner is the tournament's second seed. Matosevic of Australia was a finalist at Delray Beach two years ago. . . . Gulfstream resident Kevin Anderson is the top seed in the tournament and will play a qualifier in his opening match, yet to be scheduled. Qualifying play begins Saturday at 11 a.m. . . . First place this year is worth $84,250.

Saturday's Champions Tour schedule:

* 12 noon, Justin Gimbelstob vs Mark Philippoussis
* Not before 2 p.m., Brad Gilbert vs Mikael Pernfors
* 6:p.m., Justin Gimelstob vs Goran Ivanisevic
* Not before 8 p.m., James Blake vs Mikael Pernfors



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