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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2006, 04:13 GMT
Blake triumphant in Sydney final
American James Blake
Eighth seed James Blake had the ideal warm-up for the Australian Open as he beat Igor Andreev 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-3) in the Sydney International final.

The Russian was serving for the match when Blake broke him in the 12th game of the deciding set, taking the match to a tiebreak which he duly won.

Andreev's three previous matches had all gone to three sets and fatigue seemed to play a part in his defeat.

Blake won on his first match point when Andreev put a backhand into the net.

It was a third tournament win in five months for the American, who has won on each of the three occasions the pair have met.

"I played with a lot of confidence," said Blake.

"This is perfect, the heat, to get ready for three out of five (sets) in Melbourne."

In the final set Andreev broke to lead 5-4, only for Blake to break straight back, but the Russian was not looking to make excuses for his defeat.

"I had been playing pretty well, but he played really well at that moment," said Andreev.

"Sometime even when you are doing everything right, it's not working."


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