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|October 12, 2001||
Davis Cup: Paes, Mankad lose in straight sets
India on Friday lost both its opening single matches against the USA in the Davis Cup World Group Qualifying round in North Carolina.
While Andy Roddick thrashed Harsh Mankad 6-3 6-4 6-1, Paes lost to newcomer James Blake 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.
Mankad started the match impressively without showing any nerves, but was slowly overpowered by Roddick who never had to go full steam to quell the Indian's challenge in 89 minutes.
Roddick, who started the serve in the first set, won it in 27 minutes finding the crucial break of serve in the eighth game. From 3-3, Roddick held his serve to 4-3 up, broke Mankad's serve in the next game and then served out the set with a barrage of aces.
Mankad's game slowly came apart in the second and third sets even as Roddick stepped up the pace a bit. After the first four games in the second set went with serve, Mankad was broken in the fifth game as Roddick cooly converted the first break point that came his way.
The third set showed the real difference in class between the two players with Roddick dictating the pace and finding the lines with precision and leaving Mankad to do a hopeless retrieving act.
After splitting the first two games in the third set, Roddick broke the serve for the third time in the match. At 15-15, Mankad missed a simple drop volley at the net to go 15-30 down and then Roddick came up with a clean return winner to make it 15-40. Though Mankad saved the first break point he failed to save the second as his back-hand cross court shot sailed wide.
The next game saw the Indian forcing his first break point of the match with a brilliant back-hand winner. But any hopes of a come back soon evaporated as his next shot found the net and Roddick quicky made it 3-1 with his big serves that hovered around 145 miles per hour.
Mankad again faced two break points in the next game when he was down 15-40 and once again Roddick broke the Indian converting the second chance to go 4-1 up.
Mankad did not win any points after that as Roddick held his serve with some more big serves. The Indian was now under severe pressure and again lost his serve without winning a single point to lose the set in 27 minutes.
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