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post #121 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: James News!

Blake dazzles at Classic

By DAVID WALSH
The Herald-Dispatch

December 11, 2005

HUNTINGTON -- While Huntington tennis fans marveled at the actions of James Blake on the court Saturday, Jeff Morrison didn't really see anything out of the ordinary.

"In James, you saw today more athleticism than what you see on TV," Morrison said after Blake defeated the Huntington native 7-5, 6-3 in the feature match in the 2005 Cabell Huntington Hospital Tennis Classic in front of 2,000-plus fans at Cam Henderson Center. "He's one of the best athletes I've ever been around. He showed those talents today."

Morrison, 26, and Blake, 25, compete on the ATP Tour and Blake finished the 2005 season with a Top 25 ranking, two tour wins and a memorable quarterfinal match against Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open which Agassi won in five sets after dropping the first two. It was a comeback year after a tough 2004 when Blake suffered a serious neck injury and his father passed away.

"Where he goes, the sky's the limit," Morrison said of Blake. "He's a tremendous, gifted athlete. He has a different perspective now. He's one of the best movers on tour. Health is the important thing."

WTA Tour members Julie Ditty of Ashland and Carly Gullickson rounded out the field for the fund-raiser. Proceeds go to the Hospice of Huntington to assist in construction of the new Hospice House. Hospice officials received a check for $100,000.

"A lot of fun, a great cause and a good atmosphere," Blake said while signing autographs and posing for pictures. "The crowd was really into it. The play was at a pretty high level."

In the opening match, Gullickson won six straight games to turn a 4-2 deficit into an 8-4 victory. After the men's singles, Blake and Morrison took on juniors Stephanie Fox and Cassie Mercer. The two pros won, 7-3. In mixed doubles, Morrison and Ditty beat Blake and Gullickson, 10-8. In the final match, Blake and Morrison defeated Ditty and Gullickson in what some called the "battle of the sexes."

Blake, who played in exhibitions earlier this month in Norfolk, Va., and Boise, Idaho, put on an awesome display of power. More than once, he ripped passing shots from the forehand side or one-hand backhand. Three times, he got to volleys, jumped into the air and smashed winners with the ball bouncing into the bleachers.

"Jump overhead? I probably wouldn't do them in a match," he said.

Both Blake and Morrison head back to Tampa, Fla., where they'll get in more training before heading to Australia in January for the start of the 2006 season.

"I felt great," Blake said. "My timing and confidence are coming back, but it's not all the way yet. I've got to build on them, plus fitness."

Morrison, who played at Florida in college and beat Blake for the NCAA singles title in 1999, said his back problems are all but gone.

"I'm feeling better," he said. "My goal is to get back in the top 100. I want to do what my potential is."

Gullickson said she overcame early jitters to defeat Ditty, former standout at Russell High School and Vanderbilt.

"Normally I start slow," she said. "I got better with the serve and volley. I was about to keep the presure on."

"She hit it harder and more consistent," Ditty said. "I kind of lost my focus. Still it was a lot of fun."

Fox, 13 and student at Barboursville Middle School, said Saturday's match was quite an experience. On one shot, she sent a sizzling forehand between Blake and Morrison to win a point.

"Awesome, awesome, awesome," she said. "After that shot, I thought, 'yes.' You can't believe how nervous I was. They messed with us at times. James Blake ... he's pretty good."
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File Type: jpg james2.jpg (10.8 KB, 11 views)

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post #122 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 03:18 PM
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Re: James News!

The match was amazing...James was definitely there to impress the fans. He and Jeff bantered comically back and forth, eliciting many laughs from the crowd. He was also very sweet to the young ballkids, even helping this one little girl get back to her spot before he served then telling her she "passed the test".

It was an amazing event to attend. I hope to have some pictures to attach once I get them developed. Unfortunately, they weren't digital and thus probably not that great!

ROGER FEDERER.




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post #123 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: James News!

aw Glad you had fun!

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post #124 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 05:55 PM
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Re: James News!

Thanks for the photos Deb. I see James is already playing with a blacked out 'Prince' frame.

Best twitter posts of the epic match:

@dougrobson - Whoever is supplying Mahut with hair gel needs to ink a sponsorship deal now.

@Wimbledon - FYI, with @Wimbledon live scoring devices, please add 50 to the games in the fifth set of the Isner v Mahut match.

@HolterMedia - Nice to see that a three-day test has come to tennis here @wimbledon.



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post #125 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: James News!

Well it's good he is, right? New frames can take quite a while to get used to sometimes, might as well use it in exhibitions

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post #126 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 06:17 PM
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Re: James News!

I was wondering, what racquet did he use for the us open? I know it had no logo, but, I was just wondering. [:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtf
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"...but the fact remains he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo when he wants to..."
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post #127 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 06:24 PM
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Re: James News!

He was still using his blue Dunlop paintjob at the USOpen.

I put it in quotes because I don't think it really is a Prince frame. I'm willing to bet that he was playing with his old racquets blacked out and that he hasn't worked out his new frame specs with Prince just yet.

Best twitter posts of the epic match:

@dougrobson - Whoever is supplying Mahut with hair gel needs to ink a sponsorship deal now.

@Wimbledon - FYI, with @Wimbledon live scoring devices, please add 50 to the games in the fifth set of the Isner v Mahut match.

@HolterMedia - Nice to see that a three-day test has come to tennis here @wimbledon.



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post #128 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 06:32 PM
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Re: James News!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juanquis.Angel
The match was amazing...James was definitely there to impress the fans. He and Jeff bantered comically back and forth, eliciting many laughs from the crowd. He was also very sweet to the young ballkids, even helping this one little girl get back to her spot before he served then telling her she "passed the test".

It was an amazing event to attend. I hope to have some pictures to attach once I get them developed. Unfortunately, they weren't digital and thus probably not that great!
You sound like you had a great time I wish I could see something like that It isn't a real tennis tournament
which I would love to see, but everyone always seems to have a good time at those events
post #129 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 06:33 PM
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Re: James News!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fee
He was still using his blue Dunlop paintjob at the USOpen.

I put it in quotes because I don't think it really is a Prince frame. I'm willing to bet that he was playing with his old racquets blacked out and that he hasn't worked out his new frame specs with Prince just yet.
ahhhh.
fankssssss.
[:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtf
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"...but the fact remains he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo when he wants to..."
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post #130 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 11:24 PM
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Re: James News!

Sounds like it was fun and a charity event for a Hospice- thumbs up!

The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.
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post #131 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 04:16 AM
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Re: James News!

Yes money was raised and I believe James got to use his new racket. A tennis player getting used to a new racket must be alittle like an ice skater getting used to a new pair of skates.
post #132 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 05:11 AM
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Re: James News!

It's probably very similar in that a figure skater would use the new skates in practice, but not in public (not even an exhibition performance) until he was completely comfortable with the new pair. According to James' website (the unofficially official site), they are still working on his specs, so I am more sure than I was before that he was using his old racquets with black out paint on them.

Best twitter posts of the epic match:

@dougrobson - Whoever is supplying Mahut with hair gel needs to ink a sponsorship deal now.

@Wimbledon - FYI, with @Wimbledon live scoring devices, please add 50 to the games in the fifth set of the Isner v Mahut match.

@HolterMedia - Nice to see that a three-day test has come to tennis here @wimbledon.



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post #133 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 05:59 AM
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Re: James News!

Too bad then it sounds like James didn't get to use his new racket. I hope James get everything worked out about his rackets soon because we are finally starting to get close to the 2006 season
post #134 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 08:44 PM
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Re: James News!

from the october 2005 tennislife issue, "mom's the word" [:
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File Type: jpg mom's the word 2.jpg (181.9 KB, 22 views)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtf
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"...but the fact remains he can move faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo when he wants to..."
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post #135 of 279 (permalink) Old 12-16-2005, 12:07 AM
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Re: James News!

Its seems like everyone is getting into "Mom's the Word". A story was done with that as a headline at AR.com.
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