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American James Blake recorded his first win on clay in 2009 with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 over Portugal’s top player, Frederico Gil on his Estoril debut. The 29 year old has lost all of his first round encounters on clay this season which included Houston (l. to Canas) and Rome (l. to Crovoi).
Blake improved to 10-8 this season, highlighted by a semi-final showing at San Jose (l. Fish) and a fourth round showing at the Australian Open (l. to Tsonga). He next meets Frenchman Marc Gicquel in the second round. Gil, a two time semi-finalist this year in Johannesburg (l. Tsonga) and Costa da Sauipe (l. to Belucci), dropped to 12-7 this season.