American Wildcards Blake and Baker Survive 1st Round in Cincy

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Wildcard Brian Baker overcame two tight sets to pull an upset and defeat the 15th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber. With little between the two players, Baker was able to come through when it counted, winning both sets in tiebreakers. The American’s career was halted for 5 years due to injury and multiple surgeries, but been mounting a comeback in 2012. His victory over Kohlschreiber avenged his 4th round loss at Wimbledon where he lost to the German. The 27 year-old Nashville native will play 22 year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the 2nd round. Tomic defeated Ryan Harrison of the United States in his first round match.

James Blake, another American wildcard, also prevailed in his 1st round match defeating world no. 34 Kevin Anderson of South Africa. Like his compatriot Baker, Blake came away with the win following two tight sets. At 32 years-old and ranked no. 106 in the world, Blake’s career has also been complicated by a series of injuries and is hoping for a good run in the hardcourt season. He will either play Marcel Granollers or Kei Nishikori in the 2nd round.

Other 1st round winners in the top half of the draw include Stanislas Wawrinka and qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu. Wawrinka needed three sets to overcome qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu and has set up an intriguing second round match with 4th seed David Ferrer while Lu scored an easy victory over opponent Lukasz Kubot in straight sets. Lu will face a much tougher challenge in the 2nd round where he’s slated to meet 5th seed Tomas Berdych.

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