Brief tidbit on James Blake's exit
I forgot to mention that on Wednesday I spotted Jon Lovitz in the food court towards the end of the day. Lovitz had on the same outfit he wore Monday for the celebrity tennis match. I hope he washed it. I also saw Steven Perry, the former lead singer of the 80s group Journey, strolling around. He was darkly tanned and wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I asked if I could take his photo and he said,'Oh no, I can't do that, but I can shake your hand.' I congratulated him on Journey getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and then I went on my way.
Today, I saw Karlovic and Hernych take on MacPhie and Leach in doubles. MacPhie and Leach won the match, but it was very close, Karlovic and Hernych were not easily deterred, but in the end it was unforced errors from Hernych that sealed his team's losing fate. After the match, I talked to Rick Leach a bit. I asked him about his old partner Jim Pugh (they were selected for Davis Cup several times back in the 90s) and he told me that Jim was teaching in Manhattan Beach. He is a pleasant person and seemed pleased that I remembered the old days. Brian MacPhie was nice too. I remarked on a televised exhibition match that he played against Andre Agassi several years ago and told him he played well. (He lost 1-6, 4-6. The first set's score was the result of nerves - he was a student at USC at the time - and the second set's score was reflective of his ability at the time - he was an excellent college singles player - I wonder what went wrong for him on the tour, there were high hopes for him at one time). Brian was chatting with another fan and said that his wife was having a baby and that he planned to take a few months off to enjoy it, while also teaching tennis locally (gotta make money somehow!). Brian liked having his picture taken and is very cute with a head full of brown curly hair. Rick Leach has a hot bod for a 40 year old (his wife has a nice playground to keep her occupied).
Karlovic's girlfriend was escorted in just before the match started. I quickly snapped a photo of her and she asked me,'Why did you do that?'.
I told her,'You're Karlovic's girlfriend, right?'
In a surprised voice, she replied,'No, I'm his wife.'
I was really surprised, because I read on this site that she was his girlfriend. I must've looked very stunned, because she asked me,'Where did you get that information?'
I told her about the forum and she said,'Well thats the wrong information.'
Then she asked,'Who are you?'
I told her I was a tennis fan and she seemed satisfied with that answer and said,'Oh, ok.' and half smiled at me. I told her that I'd delete the photo of her that I took, because I wasn't trying to offend her or anything. She was very nice about it and said that I didn't have to, but I went ahead and just deleted it.
Aspelin and Perry withdrew from the tournament because Perry has a hurt stomach muscle. There was a legends doubles match today featuring Brian Gottfriend paired with Raul Ramirez and the Armitraj Brothers, Vijay and Anand. I caught the end where both teams were walking off court. Vijay's son was there (I don't remember his name) and he was looking like a hip LA cutie, flashy sun glasses, gelled hair, and sharp clothes. He is shorter than his Dad, lol! Vijay Armitraj is very vivacious and was enjoying talking to people after the match. The fans who were talking to him were the older variety and were lavishing praise on him for his career accomplishments back in the day. He was lapping it up with a humongous smile. His brother, Anand, was also chatting with people, but his personality is much more sedate than his gregarious older brother. I asked the elder Armitraj to smile for a picture and he said,'For you, of course.' What a sweet man! I really liked him. A cute Asian girl approached him and started chatting with him and he seemed 'interested' if you know what I mean. She was the last fan around talking to him and asked him if she could have some water (i.e. the Evian water kept on ice for the players!). He said,'Of course,' and gave it to her. She noted that it wasn't very cold and a tournament official who happened to be walking by said,'M'am those were just put in there, so they aren't very cold.' I thought that was hysterical.
I also saw Leif Shiras and asked him if I could take his picture. He said yes and said that it didn't happen very often that he got photo requests. He was very tanned and has light cornflower blue eyes that complimented his skin tone. We chatted a bit and he told me about his boys, ages 12 and 14 who play tennis competitively. I asked him if Geoff Grant still worked for The Tennis Channel and he said that Geoff left and was working in commercial real estate in Baltimore. The ladies in Baltimore are very lucky, Geoff is a hot red headed guy
James Blake had two bleach blonde Barbie
types, his coach, and John Mayer in his box during match. As I mentioned before, the line calls were ridiculously bad in Ginepri's favor. The bad line calls started early on within the first three games of the first set and James quickly became alarmed. They added up throughout the first set and at one point, James comedically got on his knees and begged umpire, Norm Christ, to reconsider. His pleas were ignored and the crowded roared with displeasure at the umpire. James also gifted Robbie with a good amount of unforced forehand and first serve errors. He kept going for free points on his first serve as if he were Andy Roddick. It was a poor idea and it was reflected in the score. In regards to the unforced forehand errors, they were the result of James trying to hit blazing winners, instead of just trying to hit the shot so that it stayed in the court. He had no interest at hitting as many shots as needed to win a point, he went for outright winners. That approach, coupled with the insanely bad calls at key moments, proved to be his undoing. Ginepri didn't have to do anything special to win the match, although he was moving very well and hitting the target with superior accuracy. I could really tell that Robbie has been working hard. James lacked the confidence to challenge the new and improved Robbie Ginepri. Players on the tour can smell fear, I think his career will most be on the downslide at this point. He'll be around for a few more years but will never attain his previous success.
I saw his practice session yesterday and he wasn't being pushed much. He was smugly hitting forehand winners against a distinctly older, somewhat fawning practice partner. His coach, Brian Barker, looked on approvingly. However, James has all the shots, but doesn't have a solid match play strategy to rely on. That should have been fixed a few years ago, but James refused to switch coaches, as advised by many, including Davis Cup captain, Patrick McEnroe.