Friday, February 8, 2013
Top two seeds fall in quarterfinals
DALLAS -- The two American veterans with the most accomplished resumes in the field will play Friday night for a spot in the singles final of the 2013 Challenger of Dallas.
James Blake, once ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, takes on Robby Ginepri, formerly ranked as high as No. 15, in Friday's marquee semifinal.
The winner advances to Saturday night's championship match in the $100,000 event at T Bar M Racquet Club.
Blake is 4-3 lifetime in seven previous matches against Ginepri on the full ATP Tour, but the last of those was a 2008 quarterfinal in San Jose that Ginepri won handily.
Blake, 33, had to save two match points in the second-set tiebreaker against No. 2-seeded Houston resident Michael Russell before claiming a 6-7 (7-2), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 victory in Thurday's quarterfinals.
The tournament actually moves into the weekend without its two highest-ranked players after defending champion and No. 1 seed Jesse Levine followed Russell by losing a three-set match Thursday night to Canadian Davis Cup teammate Frank Dancevic.
Dancevic's 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 triumph over Levine sends him to the semifinals to face unseeded American Rhyne Williams on Friday afternoon, while also extending his personal win streak on North Texas soil to 10 matches in a row. Ranked No. 151 in the world as of Monday, Dancevic won the $125,000 Dallas Tennis Classic in Las Colinas in last March as a qualifier and this week added wins over fellow Canadians Levine and Vasek Pospisil, as well as American Michael Tani, to his seven in a row from the spring of 2012.
Levine, ranked 80th in the world, had won seven straight matches in Dallas dating to last year's event at T Bar M.