Reuters - Wed, 28 Jul 11:05:00 2010
American wildcard James Blake was all smiles after winning his first match since March with a crushing 6-1 6-4 demolition of Argentina's Leonardo Mayer at the LA Open.
Sidelined for two months with an injured right knee before returning to the ATP Tour in June, Blake broke Mayer three times before wrapping up victory in just over an hour.
The 30-year-old, a losing finalist when he last played here in 2007, fired seven aces and saved all five break points on his own serve to ease into the second round.
"I'm really happy with the way I played," said Blake after winning for the first time since the opening round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
"I went into the match with the goal of just controlling my side of the court and playing with the right kind of energy.
"I'm back to feeling healthy and I want to just play that way without the huge expectations or anything, just playing my game," added Blake, who missed the entire claycourt season because of his injury.
"I did it and it worked out well today."
In other matches, American Robby Ginepri brushed aside Serbian Ilija Bozoljac 6-3 6-4, Colombian Alejandro Falla beat Slovakia's Karol Beck 7-6 6-4 and US wildcard Ryan Sweeting scraped past Belgian Kristof Vliegen 2-6 6-3 6-4.
South African qualifier Kevin Anderson powered through 6-3 6-2 against Ukrainian Illya Marchenko and will face second-seeded American and defending champion Sam Querrey in the second round on Wednesday.
British world number four Andy Murray is the top seed for this week's $619,500 (£398,000) event and is scheduled to play his opening match on Thursday against American qualifier Tim Smyczek, a 6-2 6-3 winner against Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili.