Seppi and Mayer reach QFs in Metz, Blake eliminated

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Andreas Seppi knocked out Vincent Millot in straight sets, while James Blake wasted his opportunities against Florian Mayer in the second round of Moselle Open in Metz. Seppi and Mayer will now meet in the quarterfinal.

222nd-ranked domestic player Millot never looked like upsetting fifth-seeded Italian Seppi in their second round clash. Unseeded Millot had troubles with serving from the game one on, and it was not long before Seppi broke him for the first time. The Italian added another break later on and converted his third set point in the following game. World No. 28 Seppi then achieved a two break cushion by 4-1 in set two, defended three break point opportunities next, and ultimately seized the match with the third break of the set. Seppi thus advanced into quarterfinal with a smooth 6-2, 6-1 triumph. While this year’s Belgrade winner seems to be in a good form, there are still some strong opponents standing between the Italian and his second ATP title in 2012.

One of them is fourth seed German Mayer who pulled off a comeback against American James Blake. 32-year-old Blake, who has obviously seen better days in his career, had claimed victories in all three of his previous encounters with Mayer, yet he fell short this time. The match started well for Blake though as he kept his nerves in the breaker of the first set and went 1-0 up after fourty-four minutes.

However, it was Mayer who possessed more mental strength later in the clash. He first saved three break points in the opening game of the set two, and rubbed salt into Blake’s wound by grabbing a break immediately after that. 25th-ranked Mayer served convincingly enough throughout the rest of the set and managed to pull level. Mayer, who reached the quarterfinal of Wimbledon a couple of months ago, was walking on a thin ice in the decider as he had to defend five break points to keep the set on level terms at 4-4. Blake then wasted three opportunities to take a 5-4 lead and allowed the efficient German to convert his single break point of the set. This has proved to be costly for Blake as Mayer stayed relaxed and wrapped up the match after little less than two hours of play: 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4.

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