James Blake overcame a second set lapse and two squandered match points in the third to overcome Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) and advance to his second Pilot Pen final in New Haven. He'll face his good friend and sometimes doubles partner Mardy Fish, who outreturned Ivo Karlovic 7-6(3), 6-4 to make his first final of 2007.
Fish, both knees tigthly wrapped for tendonitis, received treatment on his right arm a few times in the semfinal. Karlovic was often doubled over with back pain. It looked more like an infirmary on court than a tennis match, but Fish gutted it out to reach the final.
In the night match, J-Block was in subdued form. It was likely the first match all week where the drunk and raucous fans costumed in matching powder-blue T-shirts didn't taunt Blake's opponent. I'm all for enthusiastic fans, but it seems they become a hindrance to fair play and something ought to be done to quell their antics. I've always considered them Blake's hitmen. They do what Blake, gentleman that he presents as, won't bring himself to do. It will interesting to see how they behave in the final later this evening since Mardy is such a close friend of James.
In the women's final, Svetlana Kuznetsova, who advanced when Elena Dementieva retired in the third set with nausea, will face teen qualifier Agnes Szavay (pictured) of Hungary who outlasted Eleni Daniilidou to reach her second WTA final. She won Palermo last month. Sveta will be looking for her first title of 2007, having lost four previous finals this season.