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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 January 2007, 11:57 GMT
Blake beats Moya in Sydney final
James Blake
Blake has won six titles in the last year
James Blake joined Pete Sampras and Lleyton Hewitt as back-to-back winners of the Sydney International with a 6-3 5-7 6-1 win over Carlos Moya.

The American world number five took control early on before Moya roared back from 0-4 down in the second set to level the match.

But Moya had nothing left in the final set and Blake eased home for his ninth ATP Tour title.

Blake and Moya face each other again in the first round of the Australian Open.

The American has yet to get past the fourth round in five Australian Opens, but he will be more confident this time round having won five titles last season.

Striking clean winners to all parts of the court, Blake led by a set and 4-0 at one stage.

But bidding to become the oldest champion in Sydney since Australian John Alexander in 1982, the 30-year-old Moya won seven of the next eight games to force a deciding set.

But the third set belonged to Blake, who became only the fourth player to defend a Sydney men's title.

Sampras (1993-94) and Hewitt (2000-01 and 2004-05) are the only other players in 40 years to have successfully defended their title at the third-oldest tournament in world tennis.



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