Blake loses first-round match

Sydney, January 7:

James Blake’s attempt to win his third successive Sydney International ended on Monday.

France’s Fabrice Santoro beat the third-seeded American 7-6 (4), 6-2, taking a 5-0 lead in the second set before Blake came back to win a pair of games.

Blake broke Santoro with the Frenchman serving for the match, but then lost it on his own service two games later.

Top-seeded Richard Gasquet of France beat Igor Andreev of Russia 6-3, 7-6 (6).

In women’s play, Daniela Hantuchova’s career revival continued and Russian Ana Chakvetadze, the No 5 seed, was the first upset loser. Chakvetadze lost 7-5, 6-1 to Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia while the sixth-seeded Hantuchova beat compatriot Dinara Safina 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Tatiana Golovin of France had a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tzipora Obziler, Francesca Schiavone beat Jill Craybas 6-4, 6-4 and Shahar Peer beat Yuliana Fedak 6-3, 6-2.