In the Countrywide Classic championship, Radek Stepanek beat James Blake in an intense, high quality affair in the blistering California heat. After Stepanek took an injury timeout early in the third set, Blake won only one more game. I wasn't aware these two didn't care much for each other, but at times the encounter felt more like a shoot out than a tennis match. Both players spent so much energy on the underneath, momentum swung like a pendulum. In the end, Radek won the war 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-2 and hoisted his second career title and first of the year while a visibly angered Blake, who blew three or four (I lost count) set points in the first set tiebreak, will move on to Indianapolis to try to defend his first US Open Series title and sign more copies of his critically praised book Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life, which debuted at No. 22 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Meanwhile, Anna Chakvetadze made quick work of Akiko Morigami 6-1, 6-3 to take the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open title, the Russian's third of the year. If there was television coverage of this US Open Series event, I missed it.
Next up for the women is the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University. For more on the US Open Series, check out the official site.