Blake battles back over two days into Estoril final
Estoril, Portugal - James Blake on Sunday became only the second American to play for the title at the Estoril Open as he completed a rain-hit two-day semi-final win over Russian Nikolay Davydenko, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.
The fourth seed with ten trophies and just one on the dirt was due to face off later Sunday against Spanish seventh seed Alberto Montanes, who got through his semi on Saturday despite an afternoon of rain.
But Blake was caught, out forced to abandon due to lack of light on Saturday down a set but leading 4-2 in the second against the 2003 champion Davydenko.
Blake fought through on Sunday, taking the second set in a tiebreaker and sweeping through the third for a win in just under two and a half hours.
He will aim for a title in the footsteps of compatriot Todd Martin, who lost the 1999 edition to Albert Costa.
Blake had never been past the quarter-finals on European clay and had stalled at the third round at Roland Garros.
He and Montanes, playing in his sixth final - all of them on clay - have never met. Blake now owns seven wins over Davydenko after the pair met on clay for the first time. (dpa)