At least for one night at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, James Blake looked as if he had a drink from the fountain of youth. He made all of the big shots against fast rising Jerzy Janowicz en route to an overwhelming 6-1, 7-5 first round win.
Blake sensed that Janowicz was struggling in the first set, ""He started out a little slow, and I kind of took advantage, used the momentum, and it came down to taking really good care of my break points. I came up with some good serves and a couple of big forehands, and that was the difference, I think."
Blake won 83 percent of his first serves in the set while Janowicz struggled with his.
Janowicz had opportunities in the second set with a couple of break points on Blake's serve at 4-5. But Blake came up with a pair of winners to hold serve.
Ultimately, this night belonged to Blake who looked quick on the court, running down shots and owning the baseline.
Blake received a Wild Card into the event and was pitted against the 14th ranked player in the World, who is clearly on a path to the top ten with all the skills needed to compete against the top players in the World.
The 33 year old Blake will try to keep things going in Cincinnati facing qualifier Dmitry Tursunov in the next round.
Blake is in the field of next week's Winston-Salem Open.