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James News!

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Deboogle!.
04-29-2005, 05:08 AM
We needed a thread for this :cool:

From the Providence newspaper.......
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On the Courts by Mike Szostak: Blake tries to regain elite status

NEWPORT -- Finally fit after a year of a scary injury and illness, James Blake has begun the long haul to rejoin the tennis elite.

You remember James Blake, the one-time New England Wonder Boy who started hitting tennis balls in Harlem as a kid; moved with his family to Fairfield, Conn.; followed his All-American brother Thomas to Harvard, where he became an All-American; bid farewell to the Crimson in 1999 after his sophomore season and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships; won his first ATP Tour title in 2002; earned his highest ranking, No. 22, in 2003, and broke his neck while crashing into a net post in Rome in 2004.

Well, Blake, now 25, is back on the ATP Tour, determined to improve his ranking, eager to do well on clay and grass in Europe and excited to return to Newport for the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis championships in July.

Blake was in town Tuesday to mingle and have lunch with tournament sponsors and box holders, smile for photographs, sign autographs and answer questions from his fans during a relaxed Q&A session led by WHJJ's Steve McDonald.

Always gracious, and always grateful to Hall of Fame boss Mark Stenning for giving him a break when he was a collegiate star and a struggling young pro, Blake was great. He charmed everyone with his personality and impressed all with his thoughtful responses. He earned a round of sympathetic applause after describing his father's influence on him before he died of cancer last July.

Blake has committed to the Hall of Fame tournament July 4-10. This will be his seventh consecutive appearance at the Newport Casino.

"Why would anyone not want to come back? This is a beautiful place, and it's so much fun," he said.

When Blake returns with his pals Robby Ginepri, Jeff Morrison and Mardy Fish -- Jurgen Melzer, Justin Gimelstob and Vince Spadea also have entered -- he hopes his ATP entry ranking is higher than his current No. 189. His ranking tumbled last year while he recovered from a broken vertebra in his neck, suffered when he tumbled into a net post while practicing in Rome in March, and from zoster, an inflammatory nerve disease than can affect hearing and vision.

After his neck injury, he played only Newport, Washington, D.C., and Delray Beach, Fla. He missed Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Having recovered from zoster, he started working on his conditioning and was ready for the start of the 2005 campaign in January. He played a tournament in Aukland, New Zealand, and lost to Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the first round. He fell to Lleyton Hewitt in the second round of the Australian Open.

Back home, he lost first-round matches in Delray Beach and San Jose and a second-round match in Memphis. Playing in the desert, he reached the third round at Indian Wells and the quarterfinals at Scottsdale in February. He reached the quarterfinals again this month at the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston.

"I feel I'm back on the level I want to be in terms of fitness," he said. "In terms of tennis, I feel I'm hitting the ball great, but I've lost three '6-in-the-third' matches. I know that's a matter of not playing. I don't feel comfortable on the big points. I feel that when I win one, they'll start coming in bunches."

Blake's tough three-set losses occurred to Nicolas Lapentti in the quarterfinals at Houston, 7-6 (3); to Fish in the first round at Memphis, 7-6 (7), and to Carlos Moya in the second round at Key Biscayne, Fla., 7-6 (6).

Blake plans to play Challenger tournaments in Robinsville, Miss., and Forest Hills, N.Y., to boost his ranking and then head to France for the French Open qualifier in mid-May.

"I haven't had to play the qualies since 2001, so this will be a new experience," he said.

Then it will be on to England for the brief grass-court season. He is counting on his dual citizenship -- his mother is British -- to help earn a wild card or two. After Wimbledon, he will return to Newport, his "home" turf on the pro tour.

PaulieM
04-30-2005, 06:12 AM
yes definitely needed a news thread!:yeah:

smucav
05-11-2005, 04:07 PM
http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14504123&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=7592&rfi=605/11/2005
Two Pilots In Flight
Home court appealing to Blake
Jim Fuller , Register Staff

NEW HAVEN — When word finally reached James Blake that Connecticut is once again a player in the men’s professional tennis game, the most prominent player on the ATP with ties to the Nutmeg State couldn’t help but be a bit reflective.
When Blake was a teen-ager, he would make his way from Fairfield, where he attended Fairfield High, to watch the pros strut their stuff at the Connecticut Tennis Center. Back in 1998, the last time the Pilot Pen had a men’s tournament, Blake competed in the qualifying draw. So when Blake heard that the Pilot Pen would hold men’s and women’s draws the same week starting in August, he didn’t hide his enthusiasm. "I would really love to play there," Blake said. "It would be great to have people come and support me, and it would give my friends and family a chance to see me play." Blake, a former top 25 player currently ranked 66th, is enthralled at the idea that the Pilot Pen became just the fifth American event to hold men’s and women’s professional events at the same time. "I see a great upside for that tournament," said Blake, who stopped short of becoming the first men’s player to commit to the 2005 Pilot Pen. "(New Haven) definitely deserves a (men’s) pro event." David Wheaton, a former top 15 player and a 1997 Pilot Pen quarterfinalist, believes that the sport would benefit by having more events featuring WTA and ATP draws. "I believe that could be the future of tennis," Wheaton said. "It gives the fan, the most import person in tennis, a feeling like that are going to a buffet. You buy a ticket and you can find what you like. It is like a smorgasbord. "I played in the tournament when it was held in Stratton Mountain, Vt. (it moved to New Haven in 1990). I remember the beauty surrounding that tournament, the (celebrity) softball game. When it moved to New Haven, it wasn’t the same atmosphere. Now that the women’s tournament has been there, I think it will be a great tournament." A week before the Pilot Pen was awarded the right to the event formerly known as the TD Waterhouse Cup, 2004 Pilot Pen women’s quarterfinalist Mashona Washington was in New Haven giving free lessons to 400 New Haven youngsters. When she met with the media, she was quick to throw her support behind New Haven’s bid to bring back men’s tennis. "It has been successful," Washington said of the women’s event. "We like to come here. It has been such a great warm-up tournament (for the U.S. Open). It is great. I enjoy it. "The men just bring a whole different dimension to it. Andy (Roddick) and James Blake, if they come here, that would be cool. Sometimes I think our tournaments aren’t as good, in my opinion, and I think (a men’s draw) kind of brings the level of a tournament up." Jim Fuller can be reached at jfuller@nhregister.com. Register sports columnist Dave Solomon contributed to this story.

2005 pilot pen tennis tournament
WHEN: Women Aug. 21-27; Men Aug. 21-28
WHERE: Connecticut Tennis Center, New Haven
FINALS: Women: Saturday, Aug. 27 (CBS); men: Sunday, Aug. 28 (ESPN2)
SINGLES MAIN DRAW: Women: 28; Men: 48
INFORMATION: 1-888-99-PILOT or 776-7331. www.pilotpentennis.com

©New Haven Register 2005

Deboogle!.
05-12-2005, 03:13 AM
Really nice from Oprah's O Magazine :)
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AHA! MOMENT
James Blake

The accident could have paralyzed him. The shingles almost did. Then an unending parade of friends (and their jokes) reconnected the tennis player to the simple pleasures of his life.

For a guy who's 25 years old, I think I've lived a lot. As a pro tennis player and a model, I've had more real-life experience than most people my age. But last year was a very difficult one. In May I broke my neck. I was on the court, and I was running for a ball, tripped, and hit a net post headfirst. But it could have been much worse—I could have been paralyzed if I hadn't turned my head at the last moment. And it meant I got to spend time at home with my dad in the last weeks of his life. He was struggling with stomach cancer; he lost the fight in July. But we got to say everything we needed to before he was gone.

A week later, I started to feel very sick, and soon after I was diagnosed with shingles. The virus left half my face paralyzed, messed up my balance and blurred my vision. The doctors told me that in six months to a year and a half I'd be 100 percent back to normal. But I didn't know if I'd ever compete again.

Leaving the hospital, I felt it was all catching up with me. I couldn't walk, I couldn't taste anything, I didn't look right. I went home and got ready to spend months alone, sitting on the couch, waiting to get better. That's when they started coming. What felt like a constant stream of friends from every corner of my life descended on Fairfield, Connecticut, with one purpose: to cheer me up. They made me laugh at them, and when they saw my crooked grin, they made me laugh at myself. That's when I realized how many deep, lifelong connections I had made. I try to make people laugh and happy, and they were all returning the favor.

Now that I've fully recovered, I'm grateful for everything. I walk down the street and think, I'm not dizzy, my legs are working right, I can see straight and smell and hear clearly. It's a nice day. I have a family that loves me and friends who will be there no matter what. My father is with me. I'm competing again, and I think people are rooting for me. I have a new credibility with fans because they've learned that I don't have the perfect life. I'm like the character in a movie whose misfortunes help people relate to him. And I'm always aware that everything can go wrong, that it can all be taken away at any minute. Like I said, I feel much older than 25.

smucav
05-12-2005, 05:59 PM
James is the third alternate for the Surbiton challenger (the second week of Roland Garros).

smucav
05-17-2005, 03:36 PM
James has committed to the Pilot Pen:

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showpost.php?p=1686414&postcount=1

He also says he is hoping for a WC to Wimbledon, otherwise he will play the qualifying.

smucav
07-11-2005, 07:52 PM
http://www.atptennis.com/en/newsandscores/news/2005/Insider_0708.aspTwice during the Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships, ATP players went to a baseball diamond to throw out the first pitch. On Sunday, New England native JAMES BLAKE was at Fenway Park in Boston to throw out the first pitch before the Red Sox took on the Toronto Blue Jays. Blake fired in a strike, and then took in the game. During the middle innings, he sat atop the famed “Green Monster” in left field and was interviewed by NESN. On Monday, JEFF MORRISON delivered the ceremonial first pitch before the Newport Gulls played a USA Baseball team of college all stars. Morrison spent time before the game chatting with Team USA players who, like him, attended the University of Florida.

Deboogle!.
07-11-2005, 08:32 PM
James was given a WC into Cincy!!!!! :banana:

Golfnduck
07-12-2005, 03:25 AM
YES!!! I really hope he has a good summer.

smucav
07-12-2005, 09:16 PM
http://www.worldteamtennis.com/schedules/results.asp?game_id=252Date: Monday, July 11, 2005

Springfield Lasers def. Boston Lobsters 24-14

Set Score SPR BOS
MD: de Voest/Leach (SPR) def. J. Blake/T. Blake (BOS) 5-1 5 1
WD: Mc Cain/Smashey (SPR) def. Bedanova/Schlukebir (BOS) 5-2 10 3
WS: Mc Cain (SPR) def. Bedanova (BOS) 5-3 15 6
MS: J. Blake (BOS) def. de Voest (SPR) 5-4(5-3) 19 11
MX: Smashey/Leach (SPR) def. Schlukebir/Landsberg (BOS) 5-3 24 14

OT
FINAL 24 14

Springfield Lasers:
Lindsay Davenport, Rik de Voest, Rick Leach, Kelly Mc Cain, Kaysie Smashey, Tamarine Tanasugarn

Boston Lobsters:
James J. Blake, Martina Navratilova, Daja Bedanova, Jonathan Chu, Johan Landsberg, Kristen Schlukebir, Thomas T. Blake

Site: Bright Arena at Harvard University in Cambridgehttp://connpost.com/sports/ci_2855270Article Last Updated: 7/13/2005 09:03 AM
Blake happy with homecoming
By CHRIS CASAVANT ccasavant@ctpost.com
Connecticut Post

NEW HAVEN — To say that James Blake is eager to play at the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament next month would not sufficiently describe his excitement.
Blake, from Fairfield, was the first ATP player to commit to the Pilot Pen after it added a men's tournament to run alongside the existing women's event.

He also agreed to take part in Tuesday's annual Street Clinic in front of City Hall, even though he was scheduled to play World Team Tennis in Boston on Monday night and will compete in Houston tonight.

"I've been looking forward to it since I first heard there was a chance of it coming to New Haven," Blake said Tuesday when he met with the media following the clinic. "Even before that, when I heard Long Island might be canceled, I was hoping New Haven would get it."

The Pilot Pen is scheduled for Aug. 19-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center on the Yale campus. The men's event replaces the TD Waterhouse Cup, which had been held on Long Island.

Blake conducted a clinic with local kids on Church Street Tuesday afternoon. The street was blocked off and a tennis net was set up for the event. He also competed in a few light-hearted matches with local television personalities.

After he was introduced to the crowd, which included kids and anyone who chose to stop by during the course of the afternoon, Blake, who attended Harvard, was presented with a Yale T-shirt by Bruce Alexander, vice president of Yale.

Blake then pulled a Harvard shirt out of his pocket and made an exchange.

"I'll wear the Yale T-shirt when you put on this Harvard shirt," Blake quipped.

Blake arrived in New Haven after midnight on Monday and was up fulfilling media commitments only a few hours later. He left after speaking to the media so he could fly to Houston.

Asked about his health following an injury- and illness-plagued 2004, he joked, "I feel great. I could have had more sleep last night, but other than that ..."

But Blake, who fractured his neck and was slowed by a virus called zoster last year, is healthy now and trying to work his way back up the rankings. He was once as high as No. 22 in the world.

"I feel fantastic," said Blake, now ranked No. 110. "It's a great feeling. I think every kid takes their health for granted and feels like they're invincible, and now I've been woken up to the realization that my career is finite, and I'm trying to make the most of every match every year I'm on Tour now. It could have been taken away in an instant and it still could be taken away in an instant, so every moment I'm out there, I enjoy it."

One moment he's especially excited about is the Pilot Pen. Tournament director Anne Worcester said she expects a Blake cheering section on Stadium Court.

"Long Island is relatively close, but not like being in your back yard," Blake said. "Being able to possibly stay at home and travel up here every day is a great feeling. And all my friends will be coming here, especially if I have night matches. Hopefully they won't get too rowdy that Anne will kick them all out. I'm really excited. My mom will be able to come watch. It's really a thrill to be able to play here in Connecticut."

NOTES — Worcester said she expects the pre-wild card field on the men's side to be announced today. ... Worcester also said the tournament needs additional volunteers to accommodate the two tournaments. Those interested should visit www.pilotpentennis.com. ... With the help of the USTA, the tennis courts at East Shore Park in New Haven were given a face lift and new instructional programs are already under way.

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site96/2005/0713/20050713_065704_13A1BLAK.jpg
Pro tennis player James Blake of Fairfield high-fives children as he descends the steps of City Hall in New Haven on Tuesday for the annual Pilot Pen street tennis clinic. (Brian A. Pounds/CTPost)

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site96/2005/0713/20050713_065926_13BLAKC1.jpg
James Blake, who attended Harvard, gets a laugh out of a T-shirt from rival Yale that he was given Tuesday at New Haven's Pilot Pen Street Clinic. (Brian A. Pounds/CTPost)

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site96/2005/0713/20050713_070257_13C5BLAK.jpg
Tennis pro, James Blake of Fairfield looks on as Sebastian Formica, 4, of Orange takes a swing at the ball during Tuesday's Pilot Pen Street Tennis Clinic in New Haven. Blake himself was only four years old when his father took him to a clinic in New York conducted by Author Ashe. (Brian A. Pounds/CTPost)

smucav
07-14-2005, 04:17 AM
http://www.worldteamtennis.com/schedules/results.asp?game_id=263Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Houston Wranglers def. Boston Lobsters 23-22(STB 7-6)

Set Score BOS HOU
MD: J. Blake/T. Blake (BOS) def. Fish/Fisher (HOU) 5-4(5-3) 5 4
WD: Cargill/Gallovits (HOU) def. Bedanova/Schlukebir (BOS) 5-3 8 9
WS: Cargill (HOU) def. Bedanova (BOS) 5-4(5-3) 12 14
MS: J. Blake (BOS) def. Fish (HOU) 5-4(5-4) 17 18
MX: J. Blake/Schlukebir (BOS) def. Fish/Gallovits (HOU) 5-4(5-3) 22 22

OT
STB 6 7
FINAL 22 23

Boston Lobsters:
James J. Blake, Martina Navratilova, Daja Bedanova, Jonathan Chu, Johan Landsberg, Kristen Schlukebir, Thomas T. Blake

Houston Wranglers:
Mardy Fish, Steffi Graf, Tommy Haas, Ansley Cargill, Ashley Fisher, Edina Gallovits, Ryan Newport

Site: Westside Tennis Club in Houston

Angle Queen
08-22-2005, 04:56 PM
Heads up, James Fans! He's the featured guest on ESPN's on-line chat at 2pm this afternoon (22 AUG 05)

Here's the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/index

bright_light_23
08-23-2005, 02:46 PM
Hi everybody :)

Does anyone have the transcript for the chat? You have to become a member to read the entire thing I think... :sad:

aceit
08-23-2005, 03:03 PM
Bright light, I found this on GM:

JAMES BLAKE
Thanks to everyone for signing on and for you interest in tennis and in me!

Erin, Sudbury MA
I was able to see you play with the Boston Lobsters this summer...was that team a good experience?

JAMES BLAKE
That was a great experience being back in Boston and playing at Harvard, where I haven't been in a while. I played with my brother and I wish we could have won, but it was great and I hope to be able to play team tennis again.

patrick (bessemer,AL)
How did the matches vs. Federer in Cincy and Roddick in DC will help in your Open preparation?

JAMES BLAKE
They are two of the best players in the world and getting them on hardcourts will help me know what I need to do best at the Open. I'm close, and hopefully playing here at the Pilot Pen will help me get a little closer to playing with the Roddicks and Federer's of the world.

Abid (Fredericton, NB Canada)
Who do you hang out with the most from the tour, off the court

JAMES BLAKE
My best friend is Marty Fish, he lives near me in Tampa and we play cards a lot. All the young Americans are my friends and we have a good time when we're on the road. And I've played doubles with Mark Merklin a few times and he's a good friend, as well.

andrew. harrisburg pa
what would you consider your biggest moment has been in your career?

JAMES BLAKE
I'd say playing and winning my first Davis Cup match. Playing in Winston-Salem about a month after 9/11 there was an extreme sense of patriotism, and that was the last time I can remember being nervous on the court. It's something special when you get to play for something bigger than yourself and represent your country.

Twonk (New Jersey)
I'd think you and Sharapova would make a popular mixed doubles team. How 'bout it?

JAMES BLAKE
I think that would be a whole lot of fun! But the only chance for mixed doubles is at the Grand Slams and we're more focused on singles right now. Maybe later in our careers, if she'd have me. But she’s probably got a whole lot of other offers!
Lauren (Chicago, IL)
I just want to offer you a big WELCOME BACK. It's great to see you back on the court and playing so well. Do you feel your time away from the game last year has given you an even greater drive to play and just enjoy your time out there, win or lose?

JAMES BLAKE
It's definitely given me a little different perspective on enjoying things. Young players tend to think it will last forever but last year made me realize that there's a finite amount of time out here. I need to enjoy it while I can because not a lot of people get to do what I do -- travel the world and do something I love -- so I have to enjoy it. What gets me going is knowing I've worked to get the most out of my talent and done my best, so I just want to work hard and enjoy the next few years no matter what.

Matt (Chicago)
What would be your dream match, who would it be and where would it be.

JAMES BLAKE
Probably against Andre Agassi, someone who I enjoy playing because he hits the ball clean, gives great points and would allow me to use my speed. His serve won't blow youaway and the speed makes for a great match. He's also one of the best guys on the tour and that would make it even better, and I'd like to play him at the US Open, which I grew up watching.

Dave (NJ)
Was there a moment or moments growing up that convinced you that you could make it in this sport?

JAMES BLAKE
Not growing up, because I really didnt' think I had a chance to do this. As I got older I realized how hard it would be to be a pro player, but when I was winning the 18s I still didn't know it. When agents started talking to me I didn't know why, but when I did well at the college level and played okay in some futures events in the summer I started to realize I maybe had a future in front of me in tennis.

Juliette (Holland)
What would you like to do after your tenniscareer?

JAMES BLAKE
I'm not sure, yet. I'd like to finish my degree at Harvard, but other than that I'm not sure. I don't know if I'll be married or whatever, but beyond that I just don't know. I'd like to stay in sports, though, because I just love it and I'd like to stay around other athletes.

Abid (Fredericton, NB Canada)
Who was tougher to play; Sampras or Federer?

JAMES BLAKE
I never played Pete. I practiced against him quite a bit and that's a lot different. But Federer is one of those guys you have to play near-flawless tennis against to beat. Some guys you might not have to be at your best but with Federer you have to do everything right.

Abid (Fredericton, NB Canada)
Who were you favorite players growing up?

JAMES BLAKE
I loved watching Jim Courier because of how hard he worked, I loved Stefan Edbergs's sportsmanship and how he carried himself on the court. Those two were my favorites.

Matt (Chicago)
What were you studying at Harvard?

JAMES BLAKE
I was studying economics at the time, but if I go back I'll most likely change to sociology or African-American studies. Given the changes in my life I don't think I'll be going to business school, so econ is out.

Vanessa (NC)
Is there anyone that you really enjoy watching play tennis?

JAMES BLAKE
I enjoy watching Federer because it's like watching history as he chases Sampras' record. I also like watching Carlos Moya, who plays a bit like me, and Marat Safin because he's so unpredictable and one of the most talented guys out there.

Eve (Davao City)
do you eat a particular kind of food before a match?

JAMES BLAKE
I don't have a specific meal like Wade Boggs, but I like to get a lot of protein the night before and lots of carbs the day of the match. Bagels, fruit, that kind of stuff to give me some energy.

Justin (Cali)
You think you'd ever be interested in college coaching down the road?

JAMES BLAKE
Maybe, because I had always planned on going back to Harvard and helping out. I always felt like I could help the other players when I was there, and now with my Davis Cup and tour experience I feel like I would have something to offer. I think I would definitely enjoy that.

Andre (Chicago,Il)
what is your favorite european tournament and city to play in?

JAMES BLAKE
Favorite is probably Wimbledon. I love going to England because my mom is from there, and even though I don't always play well on grass. And prior to my injury there, Rome was at the top of the list, too. The history is amazing and so is the food.

Kelso (NYC)
Do you have any kind of friendship with the Williams sisters? Any talks with them ever about being a minority in tennis?

JAMES BLAKE
I do have a good relationship with both of them. They are great girls who enjoy life and tennis. Serena is an incredible competitor. I know her better than Venus, but we've become friends, too. And we do have a connection being minorities in a 'country-club' sport. They've inspired a lot of young black girls and I appreciate everything they do and everything they have to say.

Matt (Chicago)
What are your favorite sports teams? Are they all New England teams?

JAMES BLAKE
I was born in NY so I'm a huge Mets fan, and I was a huge Michael Jordan fan and am still a Bulls fan. I also cheer for the new York Giants, and now that I'm in Tampa I'm getting into hockey and am becoming a huge Lightning fan.

Lynn Austin, TX
Will you ever grow back your trademark dreads?

JAMES BLAKE
I don't know. Right now I enjoy how easy it is to get out of the shower and not have to worry about my hair! Ask me again in a few years and we'll see what happens.

Marlene (Richmond VA USA)
If you were in charge of mens professional tennis, what one thing would you make a priority to change?

JAMES BLAKE
I would shorten the season a bit, so that after the US Open there is only the Davis Cup and Masters Cup. Guys are playing so many tournaments that there are a lot of injuries, so fewer tournaments would mean less injury and would make the tennis easier to follow. I would also change the Davis Cup format a little, because it's a little hard to follow right now with all the different schedules and teams. Make it more like the Ryder Cup, every two years, or condense it into two or three weeks.

Steven (Canada)
How many weeks in a year do you spend at home?

JAMES BLAKE
I'm probably in Tampa training about 15-20 weeks out of the year and in Connecticut maybe 8-10 weeks out of the year. The rest are spent on the road.

les, orlando
Hi James, great to see you back on the tour! I have a quick question, how was it being in Xbox Top Spin and are you going to be in Top Spin2?

JAMES BLAKE
It was a lot of fun. I never thought I would see myself in a video game and it's cool to see myself there. That's a good game and hopefully I can get into the next one.

Vanessa (NC)
How would you rate you current game compared to where you want to be?

JAMES BLAKE
I think I'm getting close to where I want to be. I feel like I'm better now than when I was top 25 because there are things I've improved. I think it's only a matter of time before my ranking shows that, and I think I'm getting to a point where I can compete with the top 10 players in the world.

Toni Shreveport, LA
What do you think is contributing to all the injuries to tennis players today?

JAMES BLAKE
I think it's the grueling schedule that guys are forced to play. And the game is so much faster now that every week you're breaking down your body and you don't have much time to build it up first. You can't spend one month preparing and then 11 months tearing your body down and not expect to get injured. That's the major reason I said before that I would shorten the season and give guys a little more time to recover and take care of their bodies.

JAMES BLAKE
I have to run, but thanks to everyone for sending in the great questions and taking an interest in tennis!

bright_light_23
08-24-2005, 06:48 AM
Hi aceit :bigwave:

Thank you SO MUCH. :yeah: They asked him some *really* awesome questions! I'm glad they were able to chat with him... :cool:

Thanks again!

Fee
08-25-2005, 05:19 AM
Another Shot Of Redemption
Blake Beats Llodra, Avenges Davis Cup Loss

August 24, 2005

By JEFF GOLDBERG, Courant Staff Writer

NEW HAVEN -- This has been a year of redemption for James Blake. A year ago, the 25-year-old from Fairfield lost most of his season to injury and illness. Now he is regaining the form that placed him in the class of up-and-coming American players just three years ago.

It was during his ascension in 2002 that Blake took part in a Davis Cup loss to France in Paris. And there was a little redemption for that Tuesday night.

In his first match on Stadium Court at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, in front of a decidedly partisan crowd of 7,409, Blake easily dispatched Michael Llodra of France 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the Pilot Pen.

"We got him back," Blake said. "He was one of the team members when they beat us in Paris. It's a good feeling. I knew it was going to be this way when I heard how many fans were coming out and how many of my fans were going to be here. It's a good feeling when they're on your side."

Blake's victory was particularly pleasing to those occupying the "J-Block," a section devoted to Blake fans who made their presence known throughout the match.

"It's a lot of fun," Blake said. "Just being home, staying in my own bed, being around so many friends, people that go way back ... it's something that's very rare on tour. To be back so close to my hometown is a great feeling."

Blake won despite being on the wrong end of an unusual chair umpire's ruling in the second set - the kind of call one doesn't expect on a home court, and one that sometimes changes the course of a match.

Leading 3-2 and with a break point, Blake was called for hindering Llodra by vocally celebrating an apparent winner before Llodra could return it. Chair umpire Carlos Bernades gave the point to Llodra, forcing deuce.

Instead of falling behind a break, Llodra held serve for 3-3, then took a 15-40 lead on Blake's subsequent service game. But Blake responded with two points, including an ace, before winning the game after a long deuce rally. Blake then broke Llodra in the 10th game to win the match.

"He said it was a hindrance, because I said `Come on,' too early, although I'm really not sure Michael had a chance at that," Blake said. "That's what I expressed to [Bernades] and he said that in his judgment he could have had it, so we left it at that. But I've never seen that ever called in my career and my coach [Bryan Barker] said he's never seen it as long as he's been in tennis.

"It's just one of those things that luckily I was able to move on. He made some great serves after that hold, and then that next game was the one where I had some trouble holding. But once I got through that, I knew it was behind me."

Blake will face No.10 seed Filippo Volandri of Italy in a second-round match this afternoon on Stadium Court.

Blake dominated the first set Tuesday, breaking Llodra in the opening game, then adding two more breaks to take the set, 6-1. Blake had Llodra looking to the heavens and muttering to himself with a series of backhand winners.

"I figure most people, it's going to be their game plan to attack my backhand," Blake said. "I got a lot more confidence in it. When I have time to hit it, I feel like I can really go after it and hurt people with it, as opposed to playing defense all the time. I think I passed him with three backhands that first game and that's probably something he wasn't expecting."

Earlier Tuesday, American Mardy Fish lost his first-round match 6-4, 6-4 to Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber, a setback in his recovery from left wrist surgery that was performed in Hartford in May. It was Fish's first match since retiring during a tournament in Indianapolis last month.

Fish, ranked 140th on the ATP Tour, said he was able to return serves without pain, but it hurt when he tried to create pace on his own shots. The pain was not a welcome development six days before the U.S. Open.

"It hurt more than I thought it was going to," said Fish, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist. "It kind of wore down. I've been practicing for three months now in Tampa and I don't think I was really rusty. The doctor reassured me that I couldn't hurt my wrist any worse, but that didn't take away the fact that it still hurts.

"Obviously my goal was to try and play next week and do well. I would definitely be happy just being able to play with minimal pain."

In second-round matches, No. 4 seed Tommy Robredo of Spain defeated American Scoville Jenkins 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, and No. 5 Feliciano Lopez of Spain defeated Italian Davide Sanguinetti, 6-4, 6-3. Fernando Verdasco of Spain eliminated 14th-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).

Romanian Victor Hanescu defeated Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 after Minar replaced ninth-seeded Greg Rusedski, who withdrew Tuesday citing fatigue.

http://www.courant.com/sports/hc-penmen0824.artaug24,0,1567093.story?coll=hc-utility-sports

Fee
08-25-2005, 05:21 AM
Looking Forward To Hometown Crowd
August 21, 2005

By JAMES BLAKE, Special To The Courant

Taking that week off after making it to the finals in Washington, D.C., was beneficial for me. It was important to have a full tank of gas this past week in Cincinnati, and for the tournaments at Pilot Pen and the U.S. Open.

Obviously it was disappointing to lose at Cincinnati after drawing No.1 Roger Federer in the first round. But I feel I played a great match against him, and my confidence remains high after a close match, losing 7-6, 7-5. There was a lot of electricity and energy in the air during the match, and I felt I played Roger close all the way to the end.

The day after the match I watched the footage to look for turning points and areas I can improve. Overall, I am happy with the way I played but will continue to practice this week to fine tune my game.

I am excited to be coming to New Haven to play at the Pilot Pen. I have a lot of friends and family in the area, and I've had a chance to catch up with so many people. I am going to have my own cheering section, so I'm looking forward to having the home crowd this week.

There are a lot of people pulling for me, and I don't want to disappoint them.

I know they'll support me win or lose; I'll be going out with a high confidence level, ready to get some big wins under my belt.

I look forward to seeing the stands packed!


Connecticut native James Blake will be sharing his thoughts periodically for The Courant before and during the Pilot Pen tennis tournament, which begins today and continues through next Sunday at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.

http://www.courant.com/sports/hc-blakediary0821.artaug21,0,1283239.story?coll=hc-utility-sports

Skyward
08-31-2005, 04:44 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/open/2005-08-30-blake_x.htm

Resilient Blake tops Rusedski at U.S. Open
By Steve Wilstein, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Backed by his friends and many fans chanting "James! James! James!" in Arthur Ashe Stadium, James Blake served a 131 mph ace to reach match point, then ripped a backhand passing shot to beat the No. 28 Greg Rusedski, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.


To see Blake play so beautifully and with unfettered ease in a straight-sets takedown of former finalist Rusedski at the U.S. Open on Tuesday was to watch a man who summoned a reservoir of inner strength from a year of unrelenting misery following a fractured neck injury.

Unseeded, Blake may not be a threat to win the Open. He's playing the best tennis of his life at age 25, but he harbors no illusions that he's in the same class as No. 1 Roger Federer, who won his first-round match against Czech newcomer Ivo Minar 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in 1 hour, 1 minute earlier in the day, or No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who could end Blake's run in the third round.

It was a sweltering afternoon at the Open as No. 12 Tim Henman of Britain lost 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round to Spain's Fernando Verdasco. Women's No. 2 Lindsay Davenport won in straight sets in the breezy evening after No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo, No. 6 Elena Dementieva and French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne, No. 7, did the same during the day. There were touches of drama in three-time French Open champ Gustavo Kuerten's 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over American Paul Goldstein.

But there was no more joyous scene than in the stadium as Blake played his heart out a year after he could do no more than watch the tournament from home.

"It was tough to watch," Blake said. "I kept thinking, 'I wonder how I'd be doing if I was there.' Now this year to go out there, it's just a great feeling."

Blake won his first tournament in three years on Sunday in New Haven, Conn., not far from where he grew up in Fairfield. It was a victory, a few weeks after he reached the final in Washington against Andy Roddick, that showed how far Blake had come since his lowest moments — when he lay in a hospital bed with a fractured neck last spring from a freak accident on court; or when he later contracted an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralyzed part of his face; or when he watched his father dying of cancer last summer.

"Every different scenario was going through my head," Blake said of his toughest days. "At times I was thinking, 'I wonder if I'll be able to play again. I wonder if my face will ever come back to normal.' Just kind of general curiosity as to what life has in store for me. Just trying to think about every situation and find a way to be happy with each situation.

"If I couldn't play tennis again, am I still going to be happy going back to school, maybe going to business school, doing whatever else I could do? ... Would I be able to be happy if my eye never came back to normal and I couldn't really be athletic at all the rest of my life? Could I find a way to still be happy? All those I tried to answer yes."

He could answer yes, he said, because he still had friends, still had people who believed in him and would stand by him, joke with him, make him smile. He had the lifetime lessons of his father, who had learned tennis in middle age and "attacked it with the same vigor that he did everything."

"He taught me about hard work, the joy of hard work for just improving yourself," Blake said.

Blake's life has long been a story of triumphing over difficulties. At age 13, he was diagnosed with severe scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, which forced him to wear a back brace 18 hours a day. He didn't let that stop him from becoming an athlete, going to Harvard for two years, then pursuing a pro tennis career. He got his ATP ranking up to No. 22 in 2003 and seemed capable of moving higher. Then, suddenly, he was gone from the game for nine months when he fractured his neck after crashing into a net post while practicing in Rome and came down afterward with a case of shingles.

All of that, good and bad, imbued Blake with a deep appreciation for what it takes to be successful and what each achievement means. He could look up into the stands and see his friends cheering for him, know they'll be there for him, win or lose, as they were when he was home last year, dealing with his injury, his illness and his father's cancer.

"They were all someone special to me, every single one of them there," he said. "It means so much to be (winning at the Open again) in front of them. They're picking me up now when I'm high. They were picking me up when I was low. I don't know how much I can give back to them, but everything I do, it's probably not enough for how much they've done for me."

ataptc
08-31-2005, 03:08 PM
great article :yeah: thanks for posting it! :)

Stevens Point
09-08-2005, 11:13 AM
Blake to Appear on Letterman Thursday Night

US Open quarterfinalist James Blake will appear on the CBS hit “Late Show With David Letterman” on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. Blake and superstar Jennifer Lopez will serve as Letterman's two guests.

The hour-long weeknight talk show taped in New York City features the latest in news and entertainment and is hosted by comedian David Letterman. Guests appearing regularly on the show include celebrities, sports figures, politicians and other exciting personalities.

Blake is riding a wave of summer success that includes winning his second career ATP title in New Haven and reaching his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. The 25-year-old American has made an inspiring comeback this season after fracturing vertebrae in his neck and contracting Zoster (shingles) in 2004.
Blake will clash with two-time US Open champion Andre Agassi on Wednesday night for a spot in

bright_light_23
09-08-2005, 06:39 PM
Cool thanks!:)

tangerine_dream
09-15-2005, 02:40 PM
James was the top Yahoo sports search for w/e Sept. 15 :banana:

Sports
Rank Subject 1-Day Move
1 James Blake +4078.87%
2 Elena Dementieva +1830.25%
3 Sania Mirza +289.10%
4 UEFA Champions League +287.65%
5 Maria Sharapova +227.59%
6 UEFA +173.09%
7 Mary Pierce +167.86%
8 John Madden +153.27%
9 Water Polo +75.34%
10 Fenerbahce +72.45%
11 Florida Marlins +70.58%
12 Dc United +60.56%
13 Shaquille O'neal +60.33%
14 Michael Vick +59.98%
15 Jose Canseco +51.11%
View Complete Chart..

ataptc
09-16-2005, 08:40 AM
that's cool to know :cool:

Deboogle!.
09-16-2005, 10:59 PM
Some cool news from Jamesblaketennis.com!
-------------
James is doing the media thing in style of late. He's been in Chicago the past couple days taping an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show (a big deal for the non-Americans out there). Even more impressive, James has Mike Wallace of the CBS news program 60 Minutes on his tail (and will so through the Davis Cup in Belgium). The Oprah show will be on later this month or perhaps early October. Non set time yet for 60 Minutes. What else? James leaves tomorrow night for Belgium. He probably won't be playing a new frame (tennis racquet) until next season. Plenty of other things in the works, but nothing to report as of yet according to his agent Carlos Fleming.

PaulieM
09-16-2005, 11:08 PM
OMG james on oprah :hearts: i can't wait

tangerine_dream
09-17-2005, 05:30 PM
James on Oprah *and* 60 Minutes? Wow :eek: :banana: :bounce: :cool: :dance:

Deboogle!.
09-17-2005, 05:39 PM
Pretty awesome, huh?! James will soon be taking over the world :p

MissFairy
09-17-2005, 07:45 PM
James will soon be taking over the world :p
I like this sentence mucho. What a cool world where the leaders look more like him and less like Tony Blair :hearts:

Deboogle!.
09-17-2005, 08:01 PM
:haha: :haha: :haha:

James might be smarter, too :p

MissFairy
09-17-2005, 08:03 PM
Deb, my dear, now that's not a question of 'might', it's a question of 'by how much' (:

Deboogle!.
09-17-2005, 08:10 PM
:haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

Right, how could I be so silly.

guida
09-18-2005, 12:32 AM
OMG james on oprah :hearts: i can't wait

Ditto. It'll be awesome! :banana::bounce:

Deboogle!.
09-18-2005, 09:44 PM
OMG THIS IS SO FUNNY LOL!!!!!!
======================
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=nichols/050902
James Blake
By Rachel Nichols
Page 2

EDITOR'S NOTE: On occasion, we all need help. But where to turn? Fortunately, Rachel Nichols is here to bring us the special kind of advice that only the world's greatest athletes can dole out. Whether to take it … well, that's up to you. Today's Ill-Advised expert: pro tennis player James Blake.

RACHEL: OK, James, you've been tearing up the courts all summer. You're a New York Times cover boy. That's nice and all, but can you give good advice?

JAMES: I'm going to try. No guarantees, though.

RACHEL: Well, we'll start with the easy stuff. What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?

JAMES: The best advice I ever got was from my dad. He said to have fun and work hard at the same time.

RACHEL: He wanted you to practice naked while drinking beer?

JAMES: I don't think so -- although that's not a bad idea. I think he meant that it shouldn't be just about winning or losing, that you should enjoy the way you get better when you work hard.

RACHEL: Ah. Smart guy, your dad. But let's not write off the beer thing so quickly. I'm just saying. OK, let's get to the huddled masses, clamoring for your words of wisdom. Like Eric in Los Angeles. He writes, "I pretty much made my girlfriend move out to Los Angeles for me, and she keeps bugging me to move back to Minneapolis (her hometown). What can I do to get her to like L.A. and want to live here? Should I just buy her a lot of expensive stuff?"

JAMES: Buying girls expensive stuff is always a good idea. If you don't mind going broke, I'd say that's the way to go.

RACHEL: What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought someone?

JAMES: Well, expensive jewelry for a girlfriend, but I have bought cars, twice. But those are for people who were real close to me, my dad and my coach. Girlfriend doesn't get a car -- yet. Maybe if the girlfriend turns into wife … well, we'll see.

ACHEL: A bridal prize package. Classy.

JAMES: Hey, I said we'll see.

RACHEL: True. No promises. Not even for Jim Tanner in Boulder, Colo. -- Jim, you definitely don't get a car. But you can get some advice. Jim writes, "I have to travel a lot for work and get bored waiting for planes so much. My girlfriend actually taught me how to knit but I feel if I do that in public, people at the airport terminal will start laughing at me. Can you think of any way for me to save face but still get a nice ski cap or something out of all that down time?

JAMES: No, because I'd laugh at you, too.

RACHEL: Yeah, I have to agree there.

JAMES: I say, pick another hobby. I personally favor online poker. And if you do well enough at that, you can buy yourself a hat.

RACHEL: Or your own private airplane. Then you can knit to your weird little heart's content.

OK, let's move on to Rukiya Anthony, in St. Louis. She writes, "I am the biggest tomboy in my school. All the girls in my class tease me about me wearing only basketball shorts, and about how I have never had my first kiss. What should I do? Should I ditch my Jordans and trade them in for a pair of heels?"

JAMES: No way. You have to just be who you are. You can't try to fake it. People will like you for who you are.

RACHEL: That's easy for you to say. You're a professional athlete. People would still like you if you were the one wearing the heels.

JAMES: Are you kidding? I was 5 feet tall and wearing a back brace in high school. I was not the big man on campus. But fortunately, I had some friends who still wanted to hang out with me, and they are the ones who are still around today.

RACHEL: Those are the ones getting cars today.

JAMES: Exactly.

RACHEL: Bottom line, Rukiya, keep the Jordans. Just tell the other girls they'd better be nice to you if they want to be around later on when you're in the WNBA making crazy cash. Well, at least when you're in the WNBA.

OK, next up is Mike Henderson from Philadelphia. Mike writes, "My fiancé[e] has atrocious grammar. It doesn't bother me, but I see my mother wince every time she mangles her beloved English. Family is very important to me and I want everyone to respect each other and get along. Any suggestions on how to smooth things over?"

JAMES: That's a tough one. My mom is an English major, so she taught me proper grammar and spelling and all that, and so I have the nasty habit of always correcting people.

RACHEL: Wow, you're fun at parties.

JAMES: Yeah, people get annoyed when I do that. I also correct people's spelling on e-mails.

RACHEL: James, I hate to break this to you, but I'm no longer sure it was the back brace that was chasing people away in high school.

JAMES: Yeah, I know. It's nerdy. But I'm trying to stop. Really.

RACHEL: You know what they say: The best advice is the advice we give ourselves. Unless of course you're David Pound from California. Then the best advice could come from you -- David writes, "My coach has terrible breath. Any way I can let him know to deal with that funk before yelling at me, or should I just quit the team?"

JAMES: You just need to be generous. Every time you see him, give him some Altoids or breath mints. Or you can just go for space. I had a similar problem with a coach once, and every time he started yelling, I started backing up. There's also the towel-over-the-face trick. Cover the nose. A good motto.

RACHEL: I hear they're considering that for the state flag.

JAMES: Trust me, it works.

RACHEL: Well, what else you got? The last question we always ask is, what's your best piece of advice?

JAMES: I before E, except after C. Live by it, people.

cobalt60
09-18-2005, 10:36 PM
That was great! Thanks

renee_chin
09-19-2005, 01:11 AM
Oh my dear God... That's so damn funny... :lol: :haha: :haha: :haha:

James is a nerd! :p Good to see all the boys are on the same page :kiss:

snaillyyy
09-22-2005, 10:15 PM
The episode of Oprah that was taped last week featuring James is tentatively set to air this coming Monday, September 26th :D lets hope its true :D

PaulieM
09-22-2005, 10:18 PM
The episode of Oprah that was taped last week featuring James is tentatively set to air this coming Monday, September 26th :D lets hope its true :D
omg my tv just suddenly quit on me today, i hope i can get it fixed soon, i'll be sad if i miss james on oprah :(

renee_chin
09-27-2005, 03:11 PM
The episode of Oprah that was taped last week featuring James is tentatively set to air this coming Monday, September 26th :D lets hope its true :D

Did anyone catch this?! :confused:

Angle Queen
09-27-2005, 03:24 PM
Ok, gang...what's up with this: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2172598

Similar threatening letters denouncing interracial relationships have been sent to other public figures in recent months, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Jason Taylor and the parents of tennis star James Blake. The threats have been traced to the Cleveland area.emphasis mine

:( :mad: :fiery: at bigotted, close-minded idiots who can't get past skin color and gender.

renee_chin
09-27-2005, 03:32 PM
:(

It's bad enough to throw racial abuse to players - but to the parents as well?! :fiery: :ras: :retard:

Deboogle!.
09-27-2005, 04:00 PM
What's sadly ironic is that James's father has passed away, and his mother is white.

Anyway, I totally forgot to watch Oprah yesterday omg, but I don't think James was on? :scratch:

Deboogle!.
09-27-2005, 04:31 PM
Ah, here's the answer about Oprah :p
----------------------------------
Blake's star rising, just ask Oprah
By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
Published September 27, 2005

A few signs you've hit the big time:

Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes drops by your house to chat.

Oprah Winfrey flies you to Chicago.

Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair and Vogue have articles planned.

Welcome to the life of James Blake .

In the wake of Blake's memorable U.S. Open performance, which included a quarterfinal finish and thrilling five-set loss to Andre Agassi , the interest of the media and public has swelled. Blake's story, you might recall, goes well beyond the court. A year ago, the 25-year-old Tampa resident suffered a major spine injury, had temporary paralysis in his face and lost his father to cancer.

"It's really interesting how he has penetrated the mainstream," said Blake's agent, Carlos Fleming of IMG. "People who don't even follow tennis were paying attention to what he did at the Open."

No dates have been released for Blake's 60 Minutes and Oprah appearances.

snaillyyy
09-27-2005, 04:43 PM
LMFAO!! I was just reading that Deb ;) :p
And the whole article about the racial threats :mad: :mad: it just disgusts and makes me so angry that people resort to that kind of behaviour!

Golfnduck
09-27-2005, 04:57 PM
I need to watch James on Oprah, that should be a very interesting episode.

PaulieM
09-27-2005, 11:55 PM
yay i didn't miss james on oprah :), hopefully by the time it's on i'll have my new tv

ataptc
09-29-2005, 03:35 AM
What's wrong with interracial relationships? :mad: Isn't Jeter's mom white and dad a balck too?

On a lighter note, I can't wait to see James on Oprah! Though it would surely be delayed by a month or so here :(

snaillyyy
10-07-2005, 09:59 PM
Agassi, Graf, Blake, Bryans Ready To Rock

By Tennis Week
10/08/2005

Andre Agassi and James Blake rocked Arthur Ashe Stadium in a classic quarterfinal that was the most memorable match of the 2005 U.S. Open. In December, the two friends will renew their rivalry on court again for a cause — after Agassi and wife Steffi Graf make their mixed doubles debut together.


Agassi will partner with the Hall of Famer he knows well — Graf — and Agassi and Blake will join forces to take on the Bryan Brothers in the Tamarack Resort's Rock-n-Racquets at Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho on Saturday, December 3rd.

"Similar to our success in other cities, our intention is to bring this unique event to a market that typically has not had the opportunity to see professional tennis at a whole new level," Agassi said. "On the heels of our new partnership with Tamarack Resort, we felt the people of Boise would really embrace Rock-n-Racquets and we couldn't be more pleased with the overwhelming support displayed to date. Steffi and I are looking forward to returning to Idaho."

The format features three matches: Agassi and Blake will share the court in taking on 2005 U.S. Open champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in a doubles match; Agassi and Graf will make their mixed doubles debut together against Blake and a partner to be determined before Agassi and Blake rekindle the fire of their classic U.S. Open quarterfinal that brought fans to their feet in Arthur Ashe Stadium as the Americans battled into a dramatic fifth-set tiebreak. Gates open at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 3rd with play scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

"I am excited to be part of such an elite group of players," Blake said. "Andre and I had such a memorable match at the U.S. Open and it will be great to play with him once again in Idaho. This will be fun."

Rock-n-Racquets is an annual fundraising tennis exhibition that benefits theAndre Agassi Charitable Foundation. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 14th at 10 a.m. MST and will be priced from $15 to $85. Family packages and BSU student, group and USTA discounts will be available. For tickets, please visit www.idahotickets.com (http://www.idahotickets.com/)or phone (208) 426-1766. For more information, please visit www.rocknracquets.com (http://www.rocknracquets.com/).

Fergie
11-05-2005, 02:28 PM
James will play in Argentina in a 4 exhibition tournament (4 and 6 of December in the Luna Park of Buenos Aires) ... If I get my holidays for that days I will be there :)

RacingStone
11-10-2005, 01:00 AM
yes , james will play with Coria , gaudio and gonzalez

Deboogle!.
11-10-2005, 01:05 AM
Wow, cool! :) Thanks for the info :)

ataptc
11-10-2005, 02:14 AM
On clay?

Deboogle!.
11-10-2005, 02:20 AM
I can't imagine that :sobbing:

ataptc
11-10-2005, 02:35 AM
:lol:

RacingStone
11-10-2005, 12:26 PM
no , in Indoor Carpet

Deboogle!.
11-11-2005, 02:45 PM
:yeah:

Finding a sunny day

Professional tennis star James Blake, who returned to tennis almost a year after a spinal injury, stops in Hampton Roads to promote a charity exhibition and conduct a youth clinic.

BY DAVE FAIRBANK
247-4637
November 11, 2005

NEWPORT NEWS -- When James Blake stepped on the tennis court last January, he had no idea what lay ahead. Would he build upon the world-class talent he exhibited a year earlier, or would injury and illness cut short a promising career?

Eleven months and many trials later, Blake again is near the upper echelon of men's tennis. He had the most successful year of his career, fueled in part, oddly enough, by a loss.

Most important to Blake, he is in a position now to help others, which gives his tennis meaning and which brought him to Virginia on Thursday.

"To oversimplify it," Blake explained, "the old cliché is: You can't enjoy the sunshine without some rain, and last year there was a lot of rain."

On a sunny and unseasonably warm November day, Blake made three stops in the state, all of which dovetailed nicely with his causes and passions.

He was in Norfolk, where he promoted the AnthemLIVE! charity tennis match and concert Dec. 1 at the Constant Center.

He then came to Newport News, where he conducted a youth clinic and volleyed with kids at the Achievable Dream Tennis Academy.

He later traveled to Richmond, where he was present for the donation and dedication of personal items that belonged to his idol, Arthur Ashe, to the Virginia Historical Society.

"When we're fortunate enough to have these guys and gals that have done so well with their lives, it's extremely motivating," Achievable Dream chairman and founder Walter Segaloff said.

"Amazing," said Heritage High sophomore Tonique Merrell after hitting balls with Blake. "He's kind of a role model, how he never gives up in matches."

The Dec. 1 date at the Constant Center is an unusual event featuring an exhibition tennis match between Blake and compadre and mega-star Andy Roddick, as well as concert performances by John Mayer, Blake's childhood friend, and Gavin DeGraw.

"I feel like I'm worthy of being on this lineup," Blake joked Thursday morning during a press conference at the Constant Center. "When I did this at the beginning of the year, people probably were excited to see Andy Roddick and John Mayer, and now I feel like I at least belong on the billing.":hug:

Proceeds will go to cancer research, a crusade near to Blake's heart after his father died in July 2004 at age 57 following a year-long struggle with the disease.

"I probably will have to warn some of my friends that I'm going to be bugging them to come around and help out in causes like this," Blake said. "Hopefully, if it can ease the pain and suffering of someone like my father or keep them alive longer for their kids and their families, it's definitely worth calling in a few favors and having some of my friends and other entertainers help out."

Blake's professional cachet is on the rise after winning two tournaments last summer. His most notable performance, however, was his run to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, where he defeated second-seeded Rafael Nadal and lost an epic, five-set match to Andre Agassi that went past 1 a.m. and drained the capacity crowd at the USTA National Tennis Center.

"It wasn't anything where either of us should be hanging our head. I can say that because I'm the one that should be hanging my head," Blake deadpanned. "But I'm really not that displeased with it. If you're going to lose, it's better to lose when you're playing well and against a legend and an icon like Andre Agassi than to go out making a lot of errors."

Success in Grand Slam events was the last thing on Blake's mind when 2005 began. He suffered a broken vertebra in a freak accident in May 2004 when he slipped while practicing and rammed his shoulder into a net post.

"If I had hit on the top of my head, we wouldn't be talking about playing again," he said. "We probably wouldn't be talking about walking ever again, so I'm extremely lucky."

The injury sidelined him for two months, coincidentally sending him home for the final six weeks of his father's life. Thomas Blake was a medical salesman for 3M Company for 30 years and helped introduce James and his older brother, Thomas, to tennis.

After his father died, James Blake came down with Zoster - commonly known as shingles - in his face and head. The nerve disorder affected his vision, hearing and balance. His recovery was frustratingly incremental.

"It was a time when maybe my body was telling me I needed to be home with my family and friends, anyway," said Blake, who already had overcome a bout with scoliosis at age 13 to become one of the nation's best junior tennis players.

Blake attended Harvard for two years before turning professional in 1999. One of the sport's fastest and most gracious players, he slowly ascended the world rankings before his setbacks last year.

When he returned to competitive tennis this year, he said, "At the beginning, it was very inconsistent. I would play a match that was really good - top-20 tennis or top-50 tennis - and then I'd play a match that looked like I learned how to play the day before. I really didn't know if that was going to continue, but it took a lot of matches to get me back to where I was consistent."

Blake advanced to the final in August in Washington, D.C., where he lost to Roddick. He won events in New Haven, Conn., and Stockholm, sandwiched around his U.S. Open performance.

"The other matches we play are kind of for selfish reasons," Blake said after the clinic at Achievable Dream. "They give us the opportunity to do these kinds of things. You win matches, you make a name for yourself so you can have an effect on these kids. If I had never won a tennis match, these kids wouldn't want to listen to a word I had to say about achieving a dream, so I'm happy I had a chance to do this."

cobalt60
11-11-2005, 03:33 PM
Nice write up. But that seems to be the norm for him.

ataptc
11-12-2005, 04:01 PM
no , in Indoor Carpet
:D

renee_chin
11-16-2005, 11:53 PM
Tale of two seasons for James Blake

By Bonnie DeSimone
Special to ESPN.com

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?id=2224612

HERSHEY, Pa. -- If you think James Blake's comeback season was defined by a gallant loss, think again.

Blake's epic five-set, wee-hours U.S. Open quarterfinal tussle with Andre Agassi was certainly memorable, one of those it-was-an-honor-to-be-there events. But a few weeks later, under far less ballyhooed circumstances, Blake notched his first-ever European tournament win at the Stockholm Open.

It was his second ATP title of the year, along with a win in New Haven, and added an exclamation point to his climb back from a tumultuous 2004 season in which he fractured vertebrae in his neck in a freak accident during practice, suffered a case of shingles that left his face temporarily paralyzed, and lost his father, Thomas, to stomach cancer.

Blake, 25, currently has a ranking to go with his age -- a jump of more than 50 places from his 2004 year-end ranking. He's looking forward to a brief offseason crowded with exhibitions and charity events, including his own inaugural cancer benefit on Dec. 1 in Norfolk, Va. Last week, before playing a World Team Tennis fund-raiser for Elton John's AIDS Foundation, the Fairfield, Conn., native took time to reflect on his season.

Question from Bonnie DeSimone: What exactly did it mean to win in Stockholm?

Answer from James Blake:: I'd never even been in the semis of a tournament in Europe. To go through and win one made a big difference to me, [especially] the way I did it. I was down a set and a break at one point in the second round. So I very easily could have made it another European trip where I don't have a whole lot of success and I come home and say, 'Oh, I'll get it back in the States or in Australia or whatever.' But I didn't have any thought of getting down on myself or being a little burned out because it's near the end of the year. I just kept playing my game and doing my best and that's something I'm proud of. Being a little older makes it easier to have that kind of perspective.

Q: Seems a little unfortunate that so many people saw you lose at the U.S. Open, while Stockholm didn't get nearly as much attention.

A: It started in D.C. [where Blake lost to Andy Roddick in the finals], then I did well in New Haven and then the U.S. Open, all close to where I grew up, and so I had friends there, people cheering for me. Going to Europe, a lot of people would then kind of nosedive. But I proved to myself that I can do it without all the friends and family around. Winning a tournament in Stockholm, where I really just had my coach out there with me, was pretty exciting for me, to know it's me doing it, all the hard work I've put in.

Q: Sometimes it's harder to stay back than to come back. Do you think you'll be able to keep the momentum of this season going?

A: I don't think the memory of 2004 will ever leave me. I know that things can end in a hurry. I'm going to try to keep that adrenaline rush going, and try to continue having the same perspective of just being happy to be out there and making the best of it. … This is something I think a lot of people go through the first time they have success. I had it as well when I jumped up to 20-something in the world, then dropped back down to 30 or 40 the next year. You're dealing with expectations, more time concerns, more people gunning for you. Now I feel a little more ready for that. I was coming back to that point when I got hurt originally. Now I know how to manage my time better and how to succeed and continue to improve.

Q: Any plans to return to Harvard to finish your degree?

A: I have two years left. I'd like to go back when I'm done playing. I think it might help with my transition. A lot of guys don't know when to stop or what they're going to do when they stop and I have a feeling I won't know. It'll give me a reason so I don't hang on too long … but as long as my body holds up and I'm playing as well as I am and enjoying it and feeling like I'm getting better, I'm going to keep playing. Andre's an inspiration to all of us.

Q: The word comeback doesn't really apply to losing a parent, does it?

A: It's really tough to describe to anyone who hasn't been through it. [My father] taught me everything I know about being a man. His last lesson in death was putting things in perspective and letting you know what's important. I was so lucky I was home his last few weeks [while recovering from injury] to be around him and hear him say, face to face, that he was proud of me. I think it's going to get me through the rest of my life to know that everything I've done made him proud. Hopefully I'll continue to live that way. The only thing I can do is teach my future children and anyone who's willing to listen all the lessons he taught me, about being kind and respectful to people … I want to start a scholarship at my high school because that's something my dad always took pride in. He always made sure my brother and I were scholars first and athletes second.

Blake's "AnthemLIVE" event on Dec. 1 at Old Dominion University's Ted Constant Center in Norfolk, Va., will feature an exhibition match between Blake and Roddick and musical performances by Gavin DeGraw and Blake's childhood friend John Mayer. Proceeds will benefit the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where Blake's father was treated, and several other organizations. For information, go to www.constantcenter.com.

ataptc
11-17-2005, 12:56 AM
James :yeah:

Carito_90
11-19-2005, 12:08 AM
James will play in Argentina in a 4 exhibition tournament (4 and 6 of December in the Luna Park of Buenos Aires) ... If I get my holidays for that days I will be there :)

Really!? I am so going too! :D

I still can't believe it :lol:

Deboogle!.
11-20-2005, 04:35 PM
James took part in the Swingtime event this weekend in Florida.. here are a few articles :)
================
Blake, Morariu both know about adversity, how to overcome it

By ANDY KENT, ankent@naplesnews.com
November 20, 2005

As lonely a sport as tennis appears to be, it might be a bit surprising to some how tight the ranks close on both the men's and women's circuit when one of their own is hurting.

James Blake and Corina Morariu discovered this closeness separately on their own, then again when they first met each other in person. And in the process, they discovered another link that drives them to help others, which is one of the reasons why both are in Naples this weekend as part of the Swingtime tennis exhibition benefiting the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation.

Morariu, who has rebounded from a fight with acute leukemia that nearly ended her life in 2001, was coached by Tim Gullikson when she was an 11-year-old living in Boca Raton. Gullikson died of brain cancer at the age of 44 in 1996, and one of his doctors was Morariu's father, a neurologist.

"Tim coached me when I was 11-years-old and he was like a second father to me, so I would do anything for him," said the 27-year-old Morariu, who teamed up with Mardy Fish in a mixed doubles exhibition against Xavier Malisse and Jenny Hopkins on Saturday afternoon at the Players Club & Spa at Lely Resort.

Blake, 25, lost his father, Thomas Blake Sr., to stomach cancer in July of 2004. Two months earlier, Blake fractured a vertebrae when he crashed into a metal net post during a practice session with Robert Ginepri on a wet clay court in Rome. He was almost paralyzed, and then after his father passed away, he came down with shingles.

Overcoming physical adversity was nothing new to Blake. He had scoliosis as a child and stood just 5-feet tall when he started high school. Now 6-1 and no longer affected by the disfiguring condition, Blake still never forgot the important lesson his experience taught him.

"If you're appreciating everything that's going on in your life from a day-to-day basis you're going to be happy just because you can appreciate the little things," Blake said. "I appreciate being able to get up and smile in the morning, or just a nice day, a beautiful setting right here or a football game."

But Blake also didn't realize how many people he inspired even before his incredible comeback this past summer that culminated with a thrilling five-set loss to Andre Agassi in the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

He first caught Morariu's attention in the 2001 U.S. Open when he lost a hard-fought match to Lleyton Hewitt that was marred a little by a controversial remark made by Hewitt about an African-American linesman. Blake handled the matter in the post match press conference very well, and at the time Morariu was in the hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments.

"I remember thinking he just handled himself with such class," Morariu said. "He started doing well when I was sick and in the hospital. So I started playing again and I played against his team in a team tennis match and I remember him just pulling me aside and saying, 'I think it's so great what you've done, you're such an inspiration.' I just remember thinking for a young guy to pull me aside and say something like that, I just remember thinking that was really incredible."

When Blake found out how much of an impact he had on Morariu while she was fighting her cancer, he was taken aback.

But the two developed a friendship after that and an equal passion for helping other people with life-threatening illnesses. He said they both have been given a newfound perspective on life and realize how lucky they are to be able to still be playing tennis and to have the means to help with causes like the one supported by the Gullikson's foundation.

Morariu, who described her cancer experience as "visiting hell on earth," looks at Blake as the type of person Tim Gullikson would have had the utmost respect for and as a great ambassador for the game. Blake feels the same away about her.

"She's incredible," he said. "Everyone seems to make a big deal about everything I've done or gone through last year, but there needs to be more of a big deal made about how much she's endured and the fact that she's still smiling, still healthy, still playing the sport she loves.

"She really appreciates being at events like this and she supports causes like this, which is great, and she is an inspiration to so many kids that it's very exciting to be a part of it with her."

Tom Gullikson, Tim's twin brother, can't say enough about both players. He pointed out that Blake is a board member of the foundation and referred to Morariu as "simply one of the finest young ladies on the tour today."

Blake had to pull out of his scheduled exhibition with Taylor Dent on Saturday due to an injury.

Gullikson also hopes that Blake, Morariu and the other men's and women's players who continue to participate in events like Swingtime — Dent, Fish, Xavier Malisse and Jenny Hopkins — receive the recognition that they deserve.

"The players are often portrayed as aloof and inaccessible and greedy," Gullikson said. "And these players that are here this weekend refute all of those points, they really do a great job."

============================================
============================================
============================================
============================================

Players entertain fans at charity event at Lely
Tournament provides pros with practice at same time

By Jl Watson
jlwatson@news-press.com
Originally posted on November 20, 2005

They traded backhands for barbs, top spins for trash talk.

The players at Swingtime — a Pro-Celebrity, Pro-Am Tennis and Golf Tournament held Saturday at Lely Resort in Naples — entertained fans while getting in a little extra practice time on the courts. Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) star and all-around nice guy James Blake had to sit this one out, but signed autographs and talked to fans.

"I sprained a ligament in my foot," Blake said. "I hurt it Wednesday on a treadmill while I was running."


It was one of his first workouts after coming off a short layoff. Blake said he thought the injury was minor but found out on his way to Naples that the ligaments needed rest.

"My foot is supposed to be better in a week," he said. "I'll get back to training, hopefully without hurting myself again."

With 2005 singles titles at the Stockholm Open and Pilot Pen tournaments, Blake has had a great year, considering that in 2004 he battled huge obstacles: a broken vertebrae that threatened his life, never mind his career; the death of his father; and a virus that kept him off the tour for eight months. Perhaps his greatest match this year was in the U.S. Open quarterfinals, where he took on Andre Agassi. Agassi won in a grueling, five-set marathon that sapped the energy from both players.

"We both have a ton of respect for each other," Blake said. "He's an incredible person. We both played our best. If you're going to lose a match, you want it to be one like that, where you're playing well."

If he didn't walk away with the win, Blake at least won the congeniality category. His friends and fans, the "J-Block," are avid followers and are a vocal presence at most of his matches.

"I'm so lucky to have people like that," Blake said. "I've had people ask me, 'Do you really know all those people?' I can tell you the personal lives of all of them. They're friends, coaches, people I grew up with, friends' parents. I'm so happy to see them out there."

Blake left the J-Block at home for Swingtime, but spent time cheering on his doubles partner Mardy Fish, who is rehabilitating a left wrist injury. Both players said they will be ready to play in warmup tournaments Down Under while gearing up for the Australian Open in January. ...

Deboogle!.
11-22-2005, 08:19 PM
:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:


Blake To Appear On 60 Minutes On Sunday
By Tennis Week
11/23/2005


James Blake made one of the most inspirational comebacks in tennis this year. On Sunday, Mike Wallace brings Blake's story to the nation in a profile that will air on CBS' "60 Minutes" starting at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Wallace interviewed Blake and teammate Andy Roddick in Belgium during the United States' Davis Cup World Group Playoff tie against host Belgium.

Three years ago, Blake was a hot property both on and off the court where his rise up the rankings after claiming his first career title in Washington, D.C. was accompanied by an IMG modeling contract and another title — People Magazine named Blake "The World's Sexiest Athlete".

A year ago, Blake's life took a tragic turn: pursuing a drop shot in a May, 2004 practice session with Robby Ginepri on the red clay of Rome, Blake burst forward full speed when his foot caught on the clay and he slammed head first into the net post with such force his neck snapped back before his body crumpled to the court like a marionette whose strings were suddenly snapped. As he lay immobile on the court with a broke neck, pain, panic and fear flooded Blake's body. The sight of his friend flattened on the court provoked the terrifying prospect of paralysis in the mind of Blake's coach and mentor, Brian Barker.

"I feel like I am generally a pretty calm laid-back person, but at that time I was very, very scared," said Blake. "The way I hit that pole, the first thing my coach said he was thinking the way I hit it for sure it I’d be in a wheelchair the rest of my life and was just hoping I was going to be able to walk someday, so he was just as scared as I was apparently."

The pain deepened considerably a few weeks later when Blake's father, Thomas Blake, passed away after a bout with cancer. Then Blake found himself battling a virus called Zoster, which paralyzed half his face and diminished his sense of sight and smell. But Blake battled back from the personal and professional pain to post the best season of his career this year.

The 24th-ranked Blake captured tournament titles in New Haven and Stockholm and played a classic five-set final with Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open quarterfinals that will be remembered as one of the best matches in recent years. Blake¹s triumph over tragedy, his reckless abandon on the court, and his resilient attitude off it, have attracted legions of fans, but the question remains: Just how good can he get? Mike Wallace examines Blake's story this Sunday.

sol
11-22-2005, 11:36 PM
Thanks...:)



http://www.bonitanews.com/news/2005/nov/20/blake_morariu_both_know_about_adversity_how_overco/?sports

Blake, Morariu both know about adversity, how to overcome it

By Andy Kent (http://www.bonitanews.com/staff/andy_kent/)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

As lonely a sport as tennis appears to be, it might be a bit surprising to some how tight the ranks close on both the men's and women's circuit when one of their own is hurting.

James Blake and Corina Morariu discovered this closeness separately on their own, then again when they first met each other in person. And in the process, they discovered another link that drives them to help others, which is one of the reasons why both are in Naples this weekend as part of the Swingtime tennis exhibition benefiting the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation.

Morariu, who has rebounded from a fight with acute leukemia that nearly ended her life in 2001, was coached by Tim Gullikson when she was an 11-year-old living in Boca Raton. Gullikson died of brain cancer at the age of 44 in 1996, and one of his doctors was Morariu's father, a neurologist.

"Tim coached me when I was 11-years-old and he was like a second father to me, so I would do anything for him," said the 27-year-old Morariu, who teamed up with Mardy Fish in a mixed doubles exhibition against Xavier Malisse and Jenny Hopkins on Saturday afternoon at the Players Club & Spa at Lely Resort.

Blake, 25, lost his father, Thomas Blake Sr., to stomach cancer in July of 2004. Two months earlier, Blake fractured a vertebrae when he crashed into a metal net post during a practice session with Robert Ginepri on a wet clay court in Rome. He was almost paralyzed, and then after his father passed away, he came down with shingles.

Overcoming physical adversity was nothing new to Blake. He had scoliosis as a child and stood just 5-feet tall when he started high school. Now 6-1 and no longer affected by the disfiguring condition, Blake still never forgot the important lesson his experience taught him.

"If you're appreciating everything that's going on in your life from a day-to-day basis you're going to be happy just because you can appreciate the little things," Blake said. "I appreciate being able to get up and smile in the morning, or just a nice day, a beautiful setting right here or a football game."

But Blake also didn't realize how many people he inspired even before his incredible comeback this past summer that culminated with a thrilling five-set loss to Andre Agassi in the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

He first caught Morariu's attention in the 2001 U.S. Open when he lost a hard-fought match to Lleyton Hewitt that was marred a little by a controversial remark made by Hewitt about an African-American linesman. Blake handled the matter in the post match press conference very well, and at the time Morariu was in the hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments.

"I remember thinking he just handled himself with such class," Morariu said. "He started doing well when I was sick and in the hospital. So I started playing again and I played against his team in a team tennis match and I remember him just pulling me aside and saying, 'I think it's so great what you've done, you're such an inspiration.' I just remember thinking for a young guy to pull me aside and say something like that, I just remember thinking that was really incredible."

When Blake found out how much of an impact he had on Morariu while she was fighting her cancer, he was taken aback.

But the two developed a friendship after that and an equal passion for helping other people with life-threatening illnesses. He said they both have been given a newfound perspective on life and realize how lucky they are to be able to still be playing tennis and to have the means to help with causes like the one supported by the Gullikson's foundation.

Morariu, who described her cancer experience as "visiting hell on earth," looks at Blake as the type of person Tim Gullikson would have had the utmost respect for and as a great ambassador for the game. Blake feels the same away about her.

"She's incredible," he said. "Everyone seems to make a big deal about everything I've done or gone through last year, but there needs to be more of a big deal made about how much she's endured and the fact that she's still smiling, still healthy, still playing the sport she loves.

"She really appreciates being at events like this and she supports causes like this, which is great, and she is an inspiration to so many kids that it's very exciting to be a part of it with her."

Tom Gullikson, Tim's twin brother, can't say enough about both players. He pointed out that Blake is a board member of the foundation and referred to Morariu as "simply one of the finest young ladies on the tour today."

Blake had to pull out of his scheduled exhibition with Taylor Dent on Saturday due to an injury.:confused:

Gullikson also hopes that Blake, Morariu and the other men's and women's players who continue to participate in events like Swingtime — Dent, Fish, Xavier Malisse and Jenny Hopkins — receive the recognition that they deserve.

"The players are often portrayed as aloof and inaccessible and greedy," Gullikson said. "And these players that are here this weekend refute all of those points, they really do a great job."

Deboogle!.
11-22-2005, 11:45 PM
HI SOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you look at the second article in this post http://menstennisforums.com/showpost.php?p=2713729&postcount=61 that I posted a few days ago, he explains what happened - he'll be ok real soon, sounds like a weird freak little accident :lol:

sol
11-22-2005, 11:53 PM
HI SOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you look at the second article in this post http://menstennisforums.com/showpost.php?p=2713729&postcount=61 that I posted a few days ago, he explains what happened - he'll be ok real soon, sounds like a weird freak little accident :lol:
haha...:lol:

PS:
... I didn't read your post before.. I'm so lazy...

Deboogle!.
11-22-2005, 11:58 PM
:lol: That's ok, I'll forgive you :p :kiss:

cobalt60
11-23-2005, 05:42 PM
Somebody slap me please( ok only a few folks here are allowed:lol:) but I was asked about some of my favs playing tennis and I only answered about the 2 doubles teams and I forgot James!!! Big sigh.....
And Deb I will say it again- thanks for posting this stuff.:)

Deboogle!.
11-23-2005, 09:46 PM
:)

Comeback Kid James Blake
cbs.com
Nov. 23, 2005

(CBS) Rising tennis star James Blake, who came back from a broken neck and made the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open this year, credits his deceased father with inspiring him to get past difficult times in big matches.

60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace profiles Blake this Sunday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

In his quarterfinal match with Andre Agassi during the U.S. Open this year, his father, Tom, who died of stomach cancer, was with him in spirit. If the fans wondered what Blake was doing when he looked up and mouthed some words during the fifth-set tiebreaker, Blake’s mother, Betty, knew immediately. “He looked up and he said, ‘Dad, I love you,’ ” she tells Wallace.

Blake explains his look-up-and-play moment to Wallace. “I was thinking how much (his dad) would have enjoyed being there. I think he would have been proud of the way I played,” he says. “And that’s actually what I was thinking about at that time.” He lost to the older, legendary Agassi in what will be remembered as one of the all-time great U.S. Open matches.

The neck injury he suffered when he ran into a net post on court early last year was “the best thing that ever happened to him,” says Blake. It kept him out of pro tennis long enough to spend time with his father during his last agonizing days waiting for the cancer to take him.

Now he draws inspiration from his father’s ordeal when he misses an opponent’s shot or fails to score on one of his own. “If I think of my dad, I realize it’s not that big a deal. And it puts it into better perspective, thinking what he went through — without complaining,” says Blake. “I shouldn’t be complaining about one bad point, one … shot and missed opportunity,” he tells Wallace.

http://www.cbsnews.com/images/2005/11/22/image1065774g.jpg

surfpinky
11-24-2005, 12:04 AM
:]

16681
11-26-2005, 03:45 AM
Great Articles on James :) I look forward to him having a good year in 2006 ;)

Deboogle!.
11-28-2005, 03:46 AM
James was awesome on 60 Minutes :D

16681
11-28-2005, 04:18 AM
James was awesome on 60 Minutes :D
Yes he was and we even got to see alittle bit of Andy on there :)

cobalt60
11-28-2005, 07:24 PM
:( I missed it. I did read tennis fool's review on the general message board though ;)

Deboogle!.
11-28-2005, 07:35 PM
I'm sure that was a great accurate representation of what happened in thse 11 minutes or so;)

Deboogle!.
11-29-2005, 02:54 AM
Well now everyone can watch for themselves :)

http://www.jamesblaketennis.com/jb%20pages/news.htm

ataptc
11-29-2005, 04:08 AM
Anyone can put a media file of it up here for us non-US fans?

Deboogle!.
11-29-2005, 04:10 AM
there's one at the link in my previous post (that's why I posted it) :D

ataptc
11-29-2005, 03:01 PM
Silly me. I must have missed your previous post! Thanks for posting it! :D

Deboogle!.
11-29-2005, 03:06 PM
hehe sure:) Enjoy!! it was a really nice feature :D

16681
11-29-2005, 03:23 PM
You know the only thing that bothered me about that interview on 60 Minutes was that it was stated that James lost alot of money in endorsements because he shaved his hair off. I don't see what difference that makes?
He is still good looking and plays good tennis. And now I only look for his tennis playing to get even better so he shouldn't lose endorsements :confused:

tangerine_dream
11-29-2005, 07:55 PM
The Blake haters in GM suck. :o

Deboogle!.
11-29-2005, 08:07 PM
The Blake haters in GM need a new freaking hobby :o

16681
11-29-2005, 10:08 PM
I never go into GM. And I don't know why anyone would hate James :confused: He is nice looking, has a great personality, is smart, and plays good tennis. What more could you want ;)

Deboogle!.
11-29-2005, 10:42 PM
Well I agree with you, but if you think he's ugly, not a nice person, and a crappy tennis player, I guess you'd hate him ;)

renee_chin
11-30-2005, 12:01 AM
There are 2 groups of 'haters' in GM, as far as James is concerned:

1- the pure breed of James haters
2- the Roddick-haters-turned-James-lover

People who belongs to either group are largely categorized as people who are disrespectful to the lovely James :)

Deboogle!.
11-30-2005, 01:16 AM
:haha: Too good, Renee

There's also a small group of a third kind, I think: the James-haters-who-are-haters-because-they-are-Roddick-haters-and-James-is-friends-with-Roddick

;)

cobalt60
11-30-2005, 01:22 AM
Strange thing about that thread is now we have folks posting their views about social and civil rights etc. Hmmmm. And bringing up all sorts of other tennis players. I really am old and out of touch with reality.

renee_chin
11-30-2005, 01:37 AM
GM folks are 'fascinating' in their own way...

Lol! Deb - never thought of the 3rd kind... :lol:

Deboogle!.
11-30-2005, 01:48 AM
....out of touch with reality.ummmmmmmmmmmm I don't think it's you;)

cobalt60
11-30-2005, 01:52 AM
Thanks Deb! :)

tangerine_dream
11-30-2005, 02:18 AM
:haha: Too good, Renee

There's also a small group of a third kind, I think: the James-haters-who-are-haters-because-they-are-Roddick-haters-and-James-is-friends-with-Roddick

;)

:haha:

Deboogle!.
11-30-2005, 02:28 AM
Don't thank me, Sue, I just speak the truth :p

16681
11-30-2005, 02:59 AM
I'm glad I stay out of GM because I don't see any reason to "hate" any tennis player. Maybe people like some players better than other players. And maybe some tennis players are better than other tennis players. But none of that is a reason to actually "hate" any player IMO. I mean do these people even know James?

cobalt60
11-30-2005, 02:35 PM
I'm glad I stay out of GM because I don't see any reason to "hate" any tennis player. Maybe people like some players better than other players. And maybe some tennis players are better than other tennis players. But none of that is a reason to actually "hate" any player IMO. I mean do these people even know James?
If I could rep you I would :worship:

Deboogle!.
11-30-2005, 03:15 PM
yeah, GM is one of the most hateful things I've ever seen. The things they say about other people, most of whom they've never met (and those they have, they still don't KNOW).... it's disgusting. Even some of the stuff people have said to ME and only because I LIKE a player they hate... I mean, it's gross. Literally, one person said that they wouldn't respect me or anything I say because I like Andy. I mean, you cannot be serious.

There are absolutely players I don't like but not one of them, but I don't dislike them enough, nor am I the type of person who would get enjoyment out of obsessing over disliking them, I mean, it's sick. Probably 95% of the Andy-related threads on GM are started by people who hate him.

Regarding James, I know some people don't think his nice guy thing is real. They think he's actually a jerk and is just acting or something. I mean, I think James is brilliant and all but I don't think he's a good enough actor to be superdupernice and seem genuine about it like 99% of the time.

Some of these people are ridiculously judgmental, too. They see a guy once and assume by that encounter whether he's nice or not.. I mean, people are moody, it's our nature, you're going to see people when they're not always having a good day. It doesn't mean they're not good people. For example, there was one particular person on GM who said she hated Andy b/c of one particular encounter right after he lost one particular match. Gilbert would later write that that match in particular upset Andy much more than usual - so of course he was in a horrific mood .

I mean, I just don't have enough time to hate. I'm too busy, and life's too short. Any energy I'd spend on talking about hating someone, I'd rather spent supporting all my faves that much more. To each his own, I guess, but Mae, you're better off not going to GM, trust me.

cobalt60
11-30-2005, 03:53 PM
The funny thing about all of this is that one would assume that we all at least enjoy tennis!

Deboogle!.
11-30-2005, 04:25 PM
:shrug: you'd think!

cobalt60
11-30-2005, 05:55 PM
:shrug: you'd think!
:) Yep. Now the only time I can't deal with a player is when he appears to be moody ALL THE TIME:lol:

tangerine_dream
11-30-2005, 06:35 PM
I have to spread the love around a bit before I can rep you again Deb. Well said. :worship:

I still don't get the Blake hate. He's one of the nicest guys on tour with a clean record but some idiots will still find a way to trash him. Unless you're JesusFed who is perfect and can do no wrong (even when you DO say or do something wrong) nobody gets a pass in GM.

Literally, one person said that they wouldn't respect me or anything I say because I like Andy. I mean, you cannot be serious.
People who have the mindset of a 12 year old are not to be taken too seriously. ;)

Probably 95% of the Andy-related threads on GM are started by people who hate him.
Absolutely. The only threads I start about Andy are score/results threads but if I want to discuss his game or anything like that, then I'd say that his forum here is the only place to have an adult conversation about it without idiots slinging mud at him or starting false rumors about him, like Tennis Fool or tennischick do all the time.

Regarding James, I know some people don't think his nice guy thing is real. They think he's actually a jerk and is just acting or something.
That cracks me up. Why is James' good guy act "fake" but Roger's act is not? He was just as tempermental as a junior as James was. Again, it's all double standards in GM. I've heard and read absolutely nothing negative about James in the past few years so why anyone would think he's faking is paranoid and stupid.

Some of these people are ridiculously judgmental, too. They see a guy once and assume by that encounter whether he's nice or not.. I mean, people are moody, it's our nature, you're going to see people when they're not always having a good day. It doesn't mean they're not good people. For example, there was one particular person on GM who said she hated Andy b/c of one particular encounter right after he lost one particular match. Gilbert would later write that that match in particular upset Andy much more than usual - so of course he was in a horrific mood .
Oh my, god forbid a human should display human tendencies and react like a normal human being :eek: These people are athletes who make their living winning matches, they are not Hollywood celebrities who's sole job is to smile vapidly at movie premieres and talk about the latest shoe trends on the red carpet.

Deboogle!.
11-30-2005, 07:56 PM
Agree completely with everything you said, tangy. :) And it's why I rarely give them the satisfaction of making me waste my time on them anymore :lol:

16681
11-30-2005, 09:23 PM
To Cobalt60, Deb, and Tangy (I hope you don't mind me calling you that) these posts have been some of the best I have ever seen on this Forum! I agree with all of you completely! But I can't Rep any of you!!!!! This "spread the love around" thing has a great disadvantage to it. I think if you come across some great posts you should be able to Rep those people no matter how many times or when you last gave them a Rep :worship: :worship: :worship: And believe me I will never go into GM!

AgassiDomination
11-30-2005, 11:07 PM
yeah, GM is one of the most hateful things I've ever seen. The things they say about other people, most of whom they've never met (and those they have, they still don't KNOW).... it's disgusting. Even some of the stuff people have said to ME and only because I LIKE a player they hate... I mean, it's gross. Literally, one person said that they wouldn't respect me or anything I say because I like Andy. I mean, you cannot be serious.

There are absolutely players I don't like but not one of them, but I don't dislike them enough, nor am I the type of person who would get enjoyment out of obsessing over disliking them, I mean, it's sick. Probably 95% of the Andy-related threads on GM are started by people who hate him.

Regarding James, I know some people don't think his nice guy thing is real. They think he's actually a jerk and is just acting or something. I mean, I think James is brilliant and all but I don't think he's a good enough actor to be superdupernice and seem genuine about it like 99% of the time.

Some of these people are ridiculously judgmental, too. They see a guy once and assume by that encounter whether he's nice or not.. I mean, people are moody, it's our nature, you're going to see people when they're not always having a good day. It doesn't mean they're not good people. For example, there was one particular person on GM who said she hated Andy b/c of one particular encounter right after he lost one particular match. Gilbert would later write that that match in particular upset Andy much more than usual - so of course he was in a horrific mood .

I mean, I just don't have enough time to hate. I'm too busy, and life's too short. Any energy I'd spend on talking about hating someone, I'd rather spent supporting all my faves that much more. To each his own, I guess, but Mae, you're better off not going to GM, trust me.

:kiss: :bowdown:

You are so right! I like an intelligent girl :aplot: :inlove:

sol
11-30-2005, 11:21 PM
yeah, GM is one of the most hateful things I've ever seen. The things they say about other people, most of whom they've never met (and those they have, they still don't KNOW).... it's disgusting. Even some of the stuff people have said to ME and only because I LIKE a player they hate... I mean, it's gross. Literally, one person said that they wouldn't respect me or anything I say because I like Andy. I mean, you cannot be serious.

There are absolutely players I don't like but not one of them, but I don't dislike them enough, nor am I the type of person who would get enjoyment out of obsessing over disliking them, I mean, it's sick. Probably 95% of the Andy-related threads on GM are started by people who hate him.

Regarding James, I know some people don't think his nice guy thing is real. They think he's actually a jerk and is just acting or something. I mean, I think James is brilliant and all but I don't think he's a good enough actor to be superdupernice and seem genuine about it like 99% of the time.

Some of these people are ridiculously judgmental, too. They see a guy once and assume by that encounter whether he's nice or not.. I mean, people are moody, it's our nature, you're going to see people when they're not always having a good day. It doesn't mean they're not good people. For example, there was one particular person on GM who said she hated Andy b/c of one particular encounter right after he lost one particular match. Gilbert would later write that that match in particular upset Andy much more than usual - so of course he was in a horrific mood .

I mean, I just don't have enough time to hate. I'm too busy, and life's too short. Any energy I'd spend on talking about hating someone, I'd rather spent supporting all my faves that much more. To each his own, I guess, but Mae, you're better off not going to GM, trust me.

:worship::worship::worship:

MensTennisForums.com Message You have given out too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.




and also for Tangy :worship::worship::worship:

cobalt60
12-01-2005, 12:23 AM
FYI- I went for dinner with some office mates tonight and one of the ladies asked me "who was that handsome player on 60 minutes? He came across so intelligent,well spoken and sincere. And some story huh? " After I told her a bit more she even went so far as to think about watching him play tennis next year when they show a match on tv. My job is to let her know when he is playing. :)

Deboogle!.
12-01-2005, 01:08 AM
:kiss: :bowdown:

You are so right! I like an intelligent girl :aplot: :inlove:awww :blushes:

your av omg :haha:

See, Sue, that's what it's all about. bringing new people to tennis!!! If James even brings just your friend to tennis, then it's awesome. But chances are good he brought many more to it, too. And some of these GM people say they love tennis so much and complain that it gets so little attention in the US, but then hate the players who are doing the best job of getting what attention there is - can't have it both ways lol. I mean, I don't love Roger but I think it's great when he goes on shows like Regis or Letterman or whatever, it's good for the sport.

Ultimately, some people might just need something better to do with their time ;)

16681
12-01-2005, 03:13 AM
I don't know what is wrong with the people in GM, but James was wonderful on 60 Minutes. He is a credit to tennis and a great representative of the U.S. And I think he will bring more people to tennis. I hope he gets off to a good start in 2006 and I hope his fans keep the "J Block"
going :)

MissFairy
12-01-2005, 08:59 AM
FYI- I went for dinner with some office mates tonight and one of the ladies asked me "who was that handsome player on 60 minutes? He came across so intelligent,well spoken and sincere. And some story huh? " After I told her a bit more she even went so far as to think about watching him play tennis next year when they show a match on tv. My job is to let her know when he is playing. :)
(:

He does one piece and gets a new fan. Fake my butt. Well, Sue, be sure to keep up with his schedule ;)

sol
12-01-2005, 12:11 PM
I don't know what is wrong with the people in GM, but James was wonderful on 60 Minutes. He is a credit to tennis and a great representative of the U.S. And I think he will bring more people to tennis. I hope he gets off to a good start in 2006 and I hope his fans keep the "J Block"
going :)

I didn't see this show (not available in my country) but the people in GM doesn’t have anything better to do these days.

cobalt60
12-01-2005, 01:49 PM
(:

He does one piece and gets a new fan. Fake my butt. Well, Sue, be sure to keep up with his schedule ;)
Absolutely as she seemed really interested. And trust me she is not a tennis fan- ice hockey is more her style-had a son who played minor league hockey.
So we will see what goes. And I am still trying to get one of the other cancer docs to go with me to a tournie next year. She almost came with me to Cinci but backed out at the last minute because of work issues. She is not a tennis fan at the moment but was willing to give it a try so.....

MissFairy
12-01-2005, 02:21 PM
I think if you managed to take her some time soon, she'd be persuaded. I took a friend to Wimbledon this year who realy didn't have any sort of tennis interest at all. Football was more his sport, and he only agreed to go after i promised he'd see one womens match (for the skirts reason solely) and by the end of the day, he was enthusing about points and cheering like crazy. He even watched the whole tournament, and some of the rest of the season.

And, he likes Blake too :lol:

16681
12-01-2005, 11:54 PM
I like both hockey and tennis so I'm sure your friend can also. Besides you get to see more of the bodies in tennis than in hockey :cool:

Deboogle!.
12-05-2005, 02:59 PM
This is from the thing in Boise the other night :)
----------------------
James Blake gives more than he receives

By Trevor Horn
Sports Editor
December 05, 2005

There are those professional athletes who take it all for granted. Then there is James Blake.

A 25-year-old top-25 tennis player who has graced the cover of Gentleman's Quarterly magazine, and was named the world’s sexist athlete by People magazine.

But that’s not who the real James Blake is. Blake is a kind, gentle person more concerned with helping others than promoting himself.

He is the definition of a role model.

“I’ve always taken the job as a role model very seriously. For me, I want kids to see a positive way to go about things, and any time you face challenges, you try to overcome them,” Blake said.

That is what the Yonkers, N.Y., native has done. He has overcome adversity larger than one person should encounter. At the age of 13, Blake was diagnosed with severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine), something that forced him to wear a back brace 18 hours a day.

But that wasn’t it for Blake.

Two years ago while practicing in Rome, he suffered a fractured vertebra. That injury somehow only kept him out of competition for just a few months. Then tragedy struck.

“It only took me two months to get back from the neck injury,” Blake said. “But right after I came back was when my father passed away, and then I was stricken with a virus that was stress related – related to the death of my father. That took about six months longer with shingles, and that was a pretty painful experience to go through that.”

This adversity is what brings Blake closer to his fans.

“I think that helps with kids relating to me because everyone has problems. Everyone has tough family situations or injuries. No one is going to be on top of the world from the time they are born to the time they die. I think it just makes it more realistic that we are human,” Blake said.

He, along with Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Bob and Mike Bryan and Belarusian teenager Viktoria Azarenka were in Boise Saturday as part of Tamarack Resort’s Rock-n-Racquet event at Taco Bell Arena. The event is an annual fundraiser designed to benefit the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation.

Helping out with charity is nothing new to Blake.

“I was a part of my own event that I put on (last week) in Virginia to help benefit cancer research and help out where my father was treated.” He also donates 100 dollars per tour win to the Harlem Junior Tennis Program, the place where he learned to play tennis.

He also gives another 100 dollars per win to Shriners Hospital.

Here is a man who has won at every level. He was the top collegiate player at Harvard University as a sophomore. He has won three career titles as a professional, including the Stockholm Open in October.

But the wins on the tour are not his driving factor; it’s events like Rock-n-Racquet that he loves.

“These things are, in my opinion, more important than the match play in Wimbledon and the US Open and things like that because they are for really unselfish reasons. They are for other people to help create better lives for others.

“The matches you win,” Blake said, “they are to give you the voice to be able to that, to out you in the limelight so you can really use this time wisely to help others.”

But without the call from a friend, Blake would not have come to Boise.

“To be honest, the first reason I am here was when I heard Andre Agassi was involved. If he asked me to do something, I’m going to do it. It’s just what friends do, and I try to be as good a friend to him as he has been to me,” Blake said.

Agassi and Blake also had some unfinished business to do on the court. The two met for the first time since the quarterfinals Saturday at Taco Bell Arena. In a much more laid-back atmosphere, Blake defeated Agassi.

But before those two went at it Saturday night, Blake made the day of an 11-year-old boy from Boise earlier that afternoon. Blake was part of a tennis clinic at the Boise Racquet and Swim Club with some of the other participants. Blake was the first to give a young tennis player in the audience a chance to play with a professional. Starting by himself, then being handicapped by over a half dozen Boise State cheerleaders holding on to his left hand, Blake narrowly beat Matt, the youngster, but not before giving the young man the time of his life.

This is James Blake. This is the man who was helped as a child to recover from scoliosis as a teenager. This is the son, who broke his neck, lost his father and was partially paralyzed, only to return to top form in the tennis world.

“We are not just people ... you see on TV. We are human beings. We go home and we have troubles, as well,” Blake said.

But he is stronger than those troubles that have been brought before him.

http://media.arbiteronline.com/vimages/shared/vnews/stories/4393b3a2bb2f7-80-1.jpg

http://media.arbiteronline.com/vimages/shared/vnews/stories/4393b3a2bb2f7-45-2.jpg

16681
12-05-2005, 06:34 PM
Deb we can always count on you to post those wonderful articles about James! Thanks so much :)

surfpinky
12-06-2005, 04:51 PM
:D

Deboogle!.
12-09-2005, 04:49 AM
Great news for James :)
------------------------------------
Blake, once spurned by Dunlop, signs with Prince
By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com

It doesn't pay to doubt James Blake.

Dunlop has learned that lesson.

The racket maker signed him when he turned pro in 1999 and extended their deal with him again in 2002. But when Blake fell out of the top 100 last year, Dunlop executives exercised their option to dump him so that they wouldn't have to pay him top dollar.

By the time he won the Pilot Pen in August, reached the quarterfinals in the U.S. Open in September and won the Stockholm Open in October of this season, it was too late to get him back. Every company in the racket business wanted to pay to have their product in Blake's hands.

ESPN.com has learned that the battle has been won by Prince, which will add the 25-year-old to their stable of endorsers that includes highly-ranked players including Maria Sharapova, Nikolai Davidenko and Guillermo Coria. Terms of the multi-year deal were not announced.

"Prince did an unbelievable job in presenting to James, from a technical and marketing standpoint," said Blake's agent Carlos Fleming.

Prince, which has an industry leading 40 percent of the market for tennis rackets that sell for over $200, was clearly looking for a top American man. Andy Roddick and Robby Ginepri play with Babolat while Taylor Dent uses Head. Prince's highest ranked player before signing Blake was journeyman Paul Goldstein, who is currently ranked 67th in the world.

Six years ago, Blake was considered one of the most promising stars in the game. He left Harvard after his sophomore year, turned pro and signed deals with the likes of Nike, Dunlop and American Express. He not only had the game, he had the charisma and those dreadlocks that rekindled memories of Yannick Noah.

But things changed.

In December 2003, he shaved his hair. The following year, he broke his neck and contracted Zoster, a virus that affected his sight and temporarily paralyzed one side of his face. His father then died of cancer.

Just eight months ago, his ranking had slipped to 210, which forced him to play in challenger tournaments. He won two of them in consecutive weeks in May and slowly climbed back to the national stage, culminating in a five-set loss to Andre Agassi, who advanced to the U.S. Open semifinals with the win.

Fleming said he believes that his client's marketing potential "is greater today than it has ever been."

"When he originally signed deals at the beginning of his career, it was based on potential," Fleming said. "Now, he is actually doing."

Despite James' struggles, Nike stood by him. This year, they re-signed him to a four-year shoe and apparel deal.

Blake has never been associated with Prince before. He played with Wilson during his college career.

16681
12-09-2005, 05:17 AM
Thanks Deb. You always post such good articles on James :) I'm glad he has a good deal now. I just hate it when a company drops a player just because the player has had a hard time. After all that James has had happen to him no wonder his tennis suffered, but now I'm looking for him to really move up in 2006 :)

Fee
12-09-2005, 06:38 AM
Love that Jan-Mike and James will be supplied by the same company (even more than I love the silly mistakes in that article). Hope they do a photo shoot together soon...

Deboogle!.
12-09-2005, 03:23 PM
Love that Jan-Mike and James will be supplied by the same company (even more than I love the silly mistakes in that article). Hope they do a photo shoot together soon...LOL, what do you expect from an ESPN article ;)

Anyway, I'm glad for James, and it's also nice to hear that Nike stuck with him and re-signed him :D

16681
12-11-2005, 02:59 AM
LOL, what do you expect from an ESPN article ;)

Anyway, I'm glad for James, and it's also nice to hear that Nike stuck with him and re-signed him :D
Yes Nike did the right thing so I'm glad I wear their shoes :) I just can't play tennis :sad:

Deboogle!.
12-11-2005, 03:00 PM
News from the charity event in West Virginia that James and Jeff Morrison did :)
====================
Local juniors get tips from tennis pros

By DAVID WALSH
The Herald-Dispatch

December 11, 2005

BARBOURSVILLE -- A long day of tennis for James Blake, Jeff Morrison, Carly Gullickson and Julie Ditty began Saturday morning when more than 100 juniors joined them for a clinic at the Huntington Tennis Club.

Marshall tennis coaches Laurie and John Mercer helped run the clinic and were joined by some of their players.

During one session, Evan White, 11 of Russell, got paired with Blake, who finished 2005 with a top-25 ATP ranking, during a doubles session. "To hit with him was something else," he admitted. "That's like top of the world. It was good to have him. He could cover my back."

Jessica Margolis, a junior at Capital High School, traded shots with Blake and Morrison during the 90-minute session.

"I wanted to hit good shots so I could keep hitting longer," she said. "It was pretty amazing."

Ross Evans, who attends Cammack Middle School, broke a string on his racket on a shot, headed outside to get a replacement and it was one of Blake's rackets. He did remember to return it.

"It was fun. I was a little nervous at first," he said. "His racket was a little heavier, but it felt good."

After the clinic, players and instructors posed for pictures. The four each told the juniors one interesting fact about their tennis careers, then took part in a question-and-answer session.

"It was exciting for the kids," Laurie Mercer said. "This is all they've been talking about. It's nice these pros take the time out and do this. It can inspire the younger kids."

Morrison and Blake said they recalled the days when they were young and listening to instructors at clinics.

"A couple of kids hit the ball really well," Morrison said. "I remember doing this with the WVU (West Virginia) team here. It was exciting."

"We didn't have too many pros," Blake said of his clinic days. "My dad was a volunteer and tough on me. Can this spark interest? I hope so. The main thing is to have fun."

Deboogle!.
12-11-2005, 03:01 PM
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."

Juanquis.Angel
12-11-2005, 03:18 PM
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!

Deboogle!.
12-11-2005, 03:25 PM
aw :) Glad you had fun!

Fee
12-11-2005, 05:55 PM
Thanks for the photos Deb. I see James is already playing with a blacked out 'Prince' frame.

Deboogle!.
12-11-2005, 06:08 PM
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 :D

surfpinky
12-11-2005, 06:17 PM
I was wondering, what racquet did he use for the us open? I know it had no logo, but, I was just wondering. [:

Fee
12-11-2005, 06:24 PM
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.

16681
12-11-2005, 06:32 PM
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 :sad: 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 :cool:

surfpinky
12-11-2005, 06:33 PM
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.
[:

cobalt60
12-11-2005, 11:24 PM
Sounds like it was fun and a charity event for a Hospice- thumbs up!

16681
12-12-2005, 04:16 AM
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.

Fee
12-12-2005, 05:11 AM
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.

16681
12-12-2005, 05:59 AM
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 :)

surfpinky
12-14-2005, 08:44 PM
from the october 2005 tennislife issue, "mom's the word" [:

16681
12-16-2005, 12:07 AM
:) Its seems like everyone is getting into "Mom's the Word". A story was done with that as a headline at AR.com.

Deboogle!.
12-16-2005, 01:14 AM
That article at AR.com was taken from this magazine - just a few months ago. Maybe "Mom's the Word" is a regular or semi-regular column in Tennis Life

Anyway, Prince officially announced James's deal today :)
====================
Blake Signs as Newest Member of Team Prince and Inks Long-Term Endorsement
Deal to Develop and Launch New Racquet

BORDENTOWN, N.J., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Prince Tennis announced today
that James Blake, whose personal and professional comeback in 2005 gripped the
tennis world, has joined Prince's Touring Professional Team with a global,
multi-faceted seven-year deal. The partnership involves Blake's collaboration
with Prince's research and development experts to develop a racquet featuring
O Technology that Blake will use on tour. This new racquet will launch in
2006 as part of Prince's best selling line of O3 Racquets.
When asked about Blake, Prince Sports' CEO, George Napier, said, "We are
privileged and proud that James chose Prince to be his brand of equipment. He
embodies the values our Team believes in and lives every day -- integrity,
respect, persistence, passion, and fearlessness. These characteristics were
evident as his hero's journey unfolded over the past year or so."
Blake was characteristically articulate when asked why he chose Prince
from the many endorsement opportunities offered to him. "Everyone I met at
Prince made me feel welcome. Relationships are important to me and this one
just feels right. Also, the deal we developed is more than just a racquet
endorsement. Prince is tapping my knowledge to help with product design, as
well as some cool marketing initiatives focused on junior development. They
are also enthusiastically supporting various charitable organizations that are
important to me. And the equipment, O Technology is special and something I
believe can help raise my game. The newest O3 we're going to launch later this
year will be really sweet."
Napier continued, "I've been fortunate to get to know many professional
athletes over the past 25 years in the sporting goods business, and this guy
is, without a doubt, a remarkable person, in addition to his 'way past
ordinary' athletic talents. James is going to be a huge part of our family
and brand."

About James Blake
This past U.S. Open marked Blake's fifth tournament appearance. In a
series of memorable matches, he defied the critics and advanced to the
quarterfinal round of the Open. His progress was even more amazing when you
consider that just over a year ago, Blake wasn't sure he'd ever play tennis
again. On May 6th of 2004, Blake broke his neck while practicing at a
tournament in Rome. In May, he developed shingles, and in July lost his
father to cancer. He came to the US Open ranked No. 49 and staged a
remarkable comeback, defeating 2nd seed Rafael Nadal to achieve his best Grand
Slam effort and reach the quarterfinals. He was later defeated in the
quarterfinals by Andre Agassi in a fifth-set tiebreak.
Blake's signature stroke is his down-the-line winners from nearly
impossible positions achieved by his "monster forehand." He is also known for
his extreme agility and masterful ability to cover the court.

Deboogle!.
12-16-2005, 01:21 AM
Also, here is his provisional 2006 schedule :D
http://www.jamesblaketennis.com/jb%20pages/2006_results_schedule.htm

16681
12-17-2005, 02:50 AM
Deb I don't know how you can come up with all the good articles on so many of the players? I'm glad James is getting a good deal plus he gets to develope his own racket :cool:

Deboogle!.
12-17-2005, 03:05 AM
It's really quite easy ;)

16681
12-17-2005, 03:19 AM
It's really quite easy ;)
It must be for you because usually when there is an article
the post has your name on it :)

Fee
12-17-2005, 03:25 AM
well you can always set up google alerts... I'm too lazy so I just come here where I know other people will post the articles :lol:

Start here Mae: www.janmiketennis.com/links.html (I'll be updating this page in a few weeks)

Deboogle!.
12-17-2005, 03:41 AM
Jeez Fee, way to give away all the secrets :o:p

Fee
12-17-2005, 03:45 AM
Hey, I didn't know that you had bookmarked my links page! :p

Deboogle!.
12-17-2005, 03:46 AM
Actually I'd never seen it before


:bolt:

16681
12-18-2005, 02:43 AM
well you can always set up google alerts... I'm too lazy so I just come here where I know other people will post the articles :lol:

Start here Mae: www.janmiketennis.com/links.html (I'll be updating this page in a few weeks)
Thanks for the link Fee. And here I thought maybe Deb had a staff of researchers working for her? LOL I don't think there are any secrets here on the MTF :p

Fee
12-18-2005, 03:39 AM
No, Deb doesn't have a staff of researchers. Just a wicked set of tennis related bookmarks and Google (I guess she doesn't use my links page after all).

16681
12-18-2005, 03:47 AM
I think I'll just stick to the idea of Deb having researchers work for her. It's more fun that way :)

Deboogle!.
12-28-2005, 10:51 PM
:D

Grand outlook
BY MICHAEL OBERNAUER
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

James Blake, you'd have to say, is one of those supreme optimists, an obsessively positive person. After all, how many people can find the silver lining in a broken neck?

"When I broke my neck, I thought it would give me a great opportunity to spend some time at home with my father," Blake said yesterday.

He was referring to the injury he suffered in May 2004, when the tennis player fractured vertebrae in his neck by slipping head-first into a net post - merely the first in a series of professional setbacks and personal tragedy. The injury gave him just two months with his father, Tom, who died of cancer in July. Then, soon after, Blake awoke one morning to find the left side of his face paralyzed, a result (temporary, it turned out) of a case of shingles. It was enough to make anyone feel all empty. Somehow, Blake's glass remained half full.

"The good part was, it made me hungrier," Blake said.

The No. 25 player in the world was in midtown Manhattan yesterday to talk - and rally - with a group of youngsters from the Harlem Junior Tennis Program. Blake - who was born in Yonkers and is one of HJTP's favorite sons - returns regularly to the program that gave him his earliest start in tennis. But this year, three weeks before the start of the Australian Open, something has been returned to him: a palpable excitement about what lies ahead.

"I'm very encouraged that I played so well at the end of the year - I know I can play at that level," said Blake, who was ranked as low as 210th in April before his win in New Haven, runnerup finish in Washington and captivating run to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. "I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to get that back after the injury last year, and the sickness. To know I can get back to that level has given me a great deal of confidence."

"His demeanor changed a lot ... and what happened off the court had a huge impact on that," said Patrick McEnroe, the American Davis Cup captain who was on hand yesterday at Manhattan Plaza to trade groundstrokes with the kids. "It gave him a perspective of, 'Look, things are going to go wrong at times.' ... He's playing with much more of a calmness about him."

Blake turns 27 tomorrow, then leaves on Thursday for his Aussie Open tuneup in Adelaide. He's never been ranked higher than 22nd in his career, so he won't be among the favorites when the year's first Grand Slam opens on Jan. 16. Still - as Blake would insist on having it - the outlook once again is bright.

"He's got some real momentum now," McEnroe said. "Now it's just a question of how good he can be."

Said Blake: "I also know if I keep this roll going that I do have this ability, and I can keep playing this well. Then there's nothing I'd be surprised at."

16681
12-29-2005, 01:14 AM
Thanks Deb another great article posted about James :) I honestly don't see how James has stayed so positive with all he has had happen to him, but I'm glad he has been able to continue to be positive ;) And I think even better things are going to start coming his way in 2006 :cool:

Deboogle!.
12-29-2005, 01:17 AM
Because he's truly special :yeah:

cobalt60
12-29-2005, 01:22 AM
Because he's truly special :yeah:
It is tough to lose a parent to cancer when so young and not come out a better individual in all of this. And I am thinking that he was indeed special before all of this but all of what happened last year just made him realize what life,love and tennis are all about. At least that is what comes across from his interviews as well as the Sixty Minutes show. I think that is why the woman I work with was so touched by that interview. She mentioned today that I had to remind her about how he is doing once the season starts again.

Deboogle!.
12-29-2005, 01:28 AM
Absolutely, Sue :D Can't agree more with your post :bowdown:

cobalt60
12-29-2005, 01:30 AM
Oh yeah and the fact that he is so damn good looking doesn't hurt. ;)

16681
12-29-2005, 01:39 AM
Oh yeah and the fact that he is so damn good looking doesn't hurt. ;)
Oh cobalt60 we can always count on you to get right to the important point :)

cobalt60
12-29-2005, 01:43 AM
Oh cobalt60 we can always count on you to get right to the important point :)
Hey Mae! :hug: Did you have a good Xmas? The name is Sue btw and I was quoting the nurse I work with :lol:
However I did not disagree with her;)

16681
12-29-2005, 01:52 AM
I had a very nice Christmas and I'm looking forward to a Happy New Year :) And I'm also in agreement with the nurse you work with :cool: You know some people when bad things happen to them they come out bitter, but James has chosen to come out better. And it was his choice how he decided to accept what all had happened to him. And I'm glad he made the right choice ;)

Golfnduck
12-29-2005, 03:08 PM
I hope James has a great 2006 and plays great at AO.

16681
12-29-2005, 06:03 PM
I am looking forward to seeing James' ranking rise in 2006 :)

idolwatcher1
12-31-2005, 02:30 AM
Go James!! :bounce: I look forward to seeing him play at the AO! :)

tangerine_dream
12-31-2005, 06:43 PM
Here's an article on James that was in last month's Tennis Week magazine. Enjoy! :D

16681
12-31-2005, 11:39 PM
Thanks Tangy for the James' article. James has had so much happen to him and has come out of everything so well the articles about him are just real "feel good" articles. They are just a joy to read :)

Deboogle!.
02-03-2006, 01:31 AM
I just saw James is the play of the week at the ATP Site!

http://www.atptennis.com/en/mercedesbenz/

Deboogle!.
02-17-2006, 05:34 PM
news about James's new racquet with Prince :)
=============
Blake Working With Prince On New Racquet Design
By Tennis Week
02/17/2006

A familiar face belonging to James Blake may make it to store shelves near you this year.
The U.S. Open quarterfinalist, who began playing with Prince racquets in January after signing a seven-year endorsement deal with the company in December, is working with Prince designing a Blake-inspired racquet that could be released later this year.

"They are working with me and we're working together, and I'm extremely excited about it because it's kind of the first time I've had a real opportunity to work with the designers, with the people who kind of tailor make them for me," Blake told Tennis Week in a recent interview. "I really do hope, and in a lot of the tests, Tom Ross who I work with at Prince that does the racquets, has told me that he's made these models for me and we're getting closer to the one that's going to be on the shelves and stuff. He's kind of had a few other people trying them, and they all seem to like it. It's exciting to me to know that people are liking what I like in terms of a racquet."

The 20th-ranked Blake started the year winning the Sydney title — his third tournament title in a six-month span and his first title playing with a Prince racquet. Blake, who played most of his career with a Dunlop 300G before signing with Prince, said designers are continuing to refine the racquet that he will eventually endorse.

"Once they come to the conclusion of what's best for going on the shelves and what's best for me to be using out there, I might even have some creative design input, which would be fun, and something I never really expected, for me to be helping to design a racquet," Blake said. "I think that's going to be a great thing for Prince and definitely a great thing for me. I think they're planning on doing a — I don't know if they're going to call it a James Blake model — but I think I'll be kind of the spokesperson for that racquet, and that will be something exciting for me.

Currently, Blake is playing with an all-black experimental frame he said is not available in stores.

alelysafina
03-08-2006, 12:07 AM
James was on the Late Late show with Craig Ferguson (sp?) Last night... This morning. He looked great and he was really funny and witty.

Craig congratulated him on his win, and then tried to bring up the Hewitt Us Open fiasco, but James was having non of it, he said that it was water under the bridge and that they had moved foward. They talked about his injuries and how he was playing. All in all it was pretty good, a little too short, but good :)

*M*
03-12-2006, 07:03 PM
James was on the Late Late show with Craig Ferguson (sp?) Last night... This morning. He looked great and he was really funny and witty.

Craig congratulated him on his win, and then tried to bring up the Hewitt Us Open fiasco, but James was having non of it, he said that it was water under the bridge and that they had moved foward. They talked about his injuries and how he was playing. All in all it was pretty good, a little too short, but good :)For anyone interested in seeing it:

http://www4.uploadready.com/v/5286837/Blake_CraigFerguson2006.wmv.html

mishar
03-19-2006, 03:25 AM
They never posted this on the website but I found James' interview after beating Igor

J. BLAKE/I. Andreev
6-1, 6-4

JAMES BLAKE

THE MODERATOR: James is now in the top 10 for the first time in his career with this win, No. 10.

Q. Did you find his forehand difficult to read?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, his forehand is I think one of the best on tour. It's definitely -- I think he creates some of the best racquet head speed out there outside of maybe Nadal and Federer, when he really wants to torque it. I think his racquet head speed is unbelievable.

It created a few miss-hits for him that were ugly, but it also creates some unbelievable winners and a lot of trouble. Even if he doesn't hit a winner, he puts a lot of pressure on you. It's almost like defending a kick serve off his forehand sometimes.

It's very difficult, tough to read. He can hit it anywhere. He can hit it so heavy and so high that it's definitely a weapon that's going to be tough for everyone to contend with for many years, I think.

Q. You're a long way from Tunica, Mississippi. That was about a year ago.

JAMES BLAKE: Not quite a year ago, I was in Tunica, Mississippi, almost losing in the second round there. It's crazy how quickly things can change. Patrick reminded me this morning two years ago I was in the quarterfinals here. I remember back to that match. It seems like a lifetime ago. It seems so long. Those two years, so much happened.

Tunica, Mississippi, last year great to start my comeback there a little bit. I think I'll be in Rome this year and hopefully enjoying myself a little more than in Tunica.

I mean, just little things change. You keep improving. You keep working hard. Things start going your way. You get a lot of confidence. Here I am in the semis here instead of the semis in Tunica.

Q. Who beat you in Tunica?

JAMES BLAKE: I won the tournament. I almost lost in the second round to Golmard. I believe he was up a set and a break or a break in the third set. I know I had to break to get back in it. Played pretty well. The end of the match, I think I won it four or five in the third.

Q. What was the name?

JAMES BLAKE: Jerome Golmard. He's been top 30 in the world. He wasn't at all intimidated by me or anything. Just playing well, serving well.

Q. Historically a lot of players have had setbacks such as yours and they came back to play even better. Seems similar to what happened with Arthur Ashe.

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it's always an honor to be put in the same sentence with Arthur. With all due respect to him, a tennis loss or anything I've ever endured on the tennis court is very pale in comparison to everything that happened to me in 2004. I don't consider that much of a downtime. I consider that turmoil in your career, not turmoil in your life as much.

It's been amazing I've come back. I think the biggest difference is the mental aspect, where I've been calmer. I realize that there's more life than tennis. It doesn't change the fact that I'm still competitive. I don't think that's ever going to change. I want to win every match. I want to win every point. But I also have realized this is a finite career. It won't last forever. I want to make the best of every chance I get, every match, every time I step on the court, remember every time I'm out there on center court and serving for a match or receiving to stay in a match or anything.

You know, this is what I missed so much when I was having a downtime, when I was on the couch, when I couldn't really walk without being dizzy or anything. It's a lot of fun to be back.

Q. It's interesting you should mention being calmer. Paradorn has been talking about his meditation, being calm between points. You're probably not meditating, but the calmness, how important is that?

JAMES BLAKE: I think tennis is a very individual sport. I don't think you see Rafael Nadal ever being calm. You see him, his feet are always moving. Something's moving. He's getting fired up. That's just him. It works for him.

For me, I think I'd probably burn too much energy and get tired if I was doing all he was doing.

It's very individual. For me being a little calmer, a little more relaxed, it keeps me more focused as opposed to worrying about everything I'm doing, thinking about the last point. I think that's the biggest thing.

Even though Rafael is different, he's moving all the time, but I think he puts points that he plays badly out of his mind very quickly. That's I think the most important. I'm sure Paradorn is doing a good job of that now being in the semifinals. I'm doing a better job. You play a bad point, you shouldn't let that affect the next point. It snow balls, it can be a little bit of trouble.

Mentally you need to stay in every point, whether you're down a set and a break, whether you're up a set and a break. You can't let anything that's happened affect what you're going to do in the future, how you're going to play that point and that game.

I think being calm has given me that time to focus. If I feel a thought, a negative thought creep into my mind, take your time, be calm about it. It's not -- you got all day out there. You don't have a shot clock. You can go out and play your game. If you start winning about 55% of the points, almost always you're going to end up winning the match. You just got to try to focus on that.

Q. You talked about Igor's forehand being a big weapon. I think it's your forehand we need to talk about. I think you have the biggest forehand in the game. When you were hitting, I noticed you hit a lot flatter and harder at him than Andy Roddick. Do you think that took away time from him, which made it harder for him to play his game?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I definitely think a lot of the guys, especially the guys that have more success on clay, Spaniards, he's obviously Russian, but I think he grew up playing with a lot of Spaniards and spent time training in Spain. A lot of those guys like having time.

Definitely for me, taking time away from those guys is important. I'd rather get them -- like you said, my forehand is my weapon, and if I can go kind of baseline to baseline, forehand to forehand with someone, I like my chances. If he's six feet behind the baseline, he's pushing me six feet behind the baseline, I don't like my chances much. Mine is trying to get through the court quicker. It's tough that from that far back. For him, he's trying to get it up, get me out of my strike zone. I definitely try to keep taking time away from him. I think that gives me an advantage or I try to. If it's not working, I need to change it. Luckily today it was working. I was taking time away from him.

I don't think Andy should try to change his game to do that. Andy has one of the best forehands as well. His is a little bit more loopy, a little more topspin, just a little heavier than mine. But mine, you know, today when things were going well, it maybe can create more winners. It's flatter, going through the court, I'm taking it early. On other days, Andy's is going to be much better. That's kind of just the way it is.

When I'm playing well, everyone seems to think things are going to continue that way forever. I'm realistic enough to know I could go a few matches, lose a few in a row, and people are saying, Why aren't you looping your forehand and getting in it, as opposed to you miss a few. Hopefully now people see I can play this level of tennis. It's my best chance of winning more matches over the long-term. That's just the way I try to think of it, is the percentages.

If I lose one match because I played it the way I need to play it, but then I win a tournament that way, I can deal with that as opposed to just winning one match I'm supposed to and then not being able to really hurt these guys that are so talented like Igor.

Q. Could you take a second to reflect on reaching the top 10.

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it's pretty crazy. I was told about it this morning. Probably shouldn't have been. I told Patrick, you're not supposed to do that. It's like telling a guy that's throwing a no-hitter, you can't talk to him during the game.

I heard about it. The first thing that came to my mind is now I get to take my shirt off at Saddle Brook. I made a deal with Kevin O'Connor who runs the tennis program there, I saw Sampras come and practice there, Rios come and practice. They'd be practicing with their shirt off. It gets pretty hot in Tampa. Then myself or Mardy Fish go try to practice. No, no, no, you're not allowed. Other administrators come over and say you got to keep your shirt on. How come they can? If you get to top 10 in the world, then you're allowed to take your shirt off.

First practice back in Tampa, my shirt will be off. I'll be working on my tan.

Q. That's your motivation?

JAMES BLAKE: That's a big motivation, yeah. I get to take my shirt off at Saddle Brook.

No, I mean, other than that, it's really just a number. It means I'm playing great tennis. It's an accomplishment I'll look back on when I'm done with my career and say it's another thing no one can take away from me. Right now I need to just keep trying to get better and keep trying to win matches. Not worry as much. I generally don't worry about those rankings.

Now, since it is a significant number obviously to say that I'm there is great. I think, you know, last year at this time, as much as now, I can maybe officially say I know what top 10 level tennis is. I think I was playing top 10 level tennis at the US Open, around that time. I can stay top 10 and possibly not be playing top 10 level of tennis. I don't want to do that. I just want to keep getting better, play this level, continue to improve.

I'm not as worried about the ranking or if I'm going to get to top five or any other more significant points. I don't think there's any more incentives like that out there. There's no -- I don't get to take my shorts off when I get to top five or anything. No other big incentives.

Q. Patrick McEnroe keeps referring to Roddick as the No. 1 guy on the Davis Cup team. Your results vis-a-vis Roddick's would seem to suggest you should be the top guy. How do you feel about that?

JAMES BLAKE: I think you better check the results again. What's his record against me? I think he's about 8-0 against me. I'm very happy to defer to him as the No. 1. We've called him our Mariano Rivera a few times. He's a closer. When we got him in a deciding points, he's never lost for us, I don't think. I'm very happy to have him be the one to carry that pressure because he's done it so well. He's more accustomed to it. He's done it for about three years. I'm just here to kind of carry a little piece of that load for him. He obviously didn't have as good a result as he would have liked here. Hopefully I'm trying to pick up where he left off.

There have been three years of him doing that for the rest of us. I don't feel like six months of results are going to make me the No. 1 player in America. Andy has proven himself so many times that I don't feel like a couple of results here or there are going to make me the No. 1, especially since I've never beaten him in an actual ATP tournament.

I definitely think he's the No. 1. I'm proud to have him as the No. 1. I'm just hoping to be the No. 2 on the team. I love being a part of that team. Whatever role I can play, I'm happy to be there. I'm definitely, like I said, very proud of Andy as our No. 1. I hope Patrick continues referring to him as our No. 1 because that's the way I feel as well.

mishar
03-19-2006, 03:28 AM
James is very classy and gentlemanly towards Andy, as always, but I wonder if he thinks about surpassing Andy.. I don't think James really believes in himself as a top player. Maybe that will change.

goodwoman
03-19-2006, 02:02 PM
From James' interview:



I heard about it. The first thing that came to my mind is now I get to take my shirt off at Saddle Brook. I made a deal with Kevin O'Connor who runs the tennis program there, I saw Sampras come and practice there, Rios come and practice. They'd be practicing with their shirt off. It gets pretty hot in Tampa. Then myself or Mardy Fish go try to practice. No, no, no, you're not allowed. Other administrators come over and say you got to keep your shirt on. How come they can? If you get to top 10 in the world, then you're allowed to take your shirt off.

First practice back in Tampa, my shirt will be off. I'll be working on my tan.

Q. That's your motivation?

JAMES BLAKE: That's a big motivation, yeah. I get to take my shirt off at Saddle Brook.
I'm not as worried about the ranking or if I'm going to get to top five or any other more significant points. I don't think there's any more incentives like that out there. There's no -- I don't get to take my shorts off when I get to top five or anything. No other big incentives.
______________________________________________

Awwww, c'mon James. We'll have to work on Saddle Brook. That would be a big incentive for me to see if you reach the top 5!! :)

And yeah, I don't think top ten has sunk in yet for him. That's a lot of pressure, like it or not. He's not ready in any way to even THINK he could be DC number one over Andy. In time, IF it should happen, he'll handle it. But not now.

First things first. He has to beat Federer today.

:fiery: C'MON, JAMES, YOU CAN DO IT!! :fiery:

tangerine_dream
03-23-2006, 05:13 PM
:banana:

ATP Comeback Player of the Year, James Blake and WTA Comeback Player of the Year, Kim Clijsters of Belgium, pose with their awards backstage at the Stars for Stars, A Celebration in Tennis Excellence event at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 21, 2006 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

ATP Comeback Player of the Year, James Blake poses with his award backstage at the Stars for Stars, A Celebration in Tennis Excellence event at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 21, 2006 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

surfpinky
03-23-2006, 05:16 PM
oooo :banana: big nice pictures [:! thanks!

tangerine_dream
03-23-2006, 05:59 PM
James is the Mercedes-Benz Play of the Week :dance:

http://www.atptennis.com/en/mercedesbenz/

Also, Peter Bodo writes about James in his blog entry. Lots of comments, most of it junk (check out the ignorant comments from Fanoftennis again :cuckoo: ) but some good ones in there too. He's very popular this week, James is. :D

Tennis World blog entry
http://66.232.148.140/blogs/tennisworld/entry.asp?ENTRY_ID=842

James Blake. Who Would've Thunk It?
Posted 3/20/2006 @ 10:42 PM

In retrospect, we could have figured out when James Blake returned to the tour last summer with that Slick Watts (Seattle Supersonics) dome, complete with the whack white terry cloth headband. The signal Blake was sending – consciously or not – is now clear: I’m no pretty boy, east coast Ivy League softie, nor some dying-to-be-fly hip-hop wannabe. I am old school, baby.

And in tennis, old school means day-in, day-out tough; walk the walk tough, win consistently tough and – this is the big one, folks – scare the daylights out of the Big Dogs tough.

James Blake. Who would’ve thunk it?

By now, you all know that Blake beat raging Rafael Nadal in the semis of the Pacific Life Open. He got off to a good start the next day against Roger Federer before the World No. 1 dialed in his game and ended up playing one of his best matches of the year (details here) - he thereby became the first player to win the Palm Springs/Indian Wells event three times in a row. I think the run Blake had in the California desert represents a quantum leap, and he said one thing in its aftermath that almost leaped off the transcript when I read it:

”I’ve said it for a little while, seems like I say things and then it takes some results for people to actually believe them. I said I want to feel like I can contend for those kind of (important) titles and stuff, even though I’ve never been past the quarters. Now I feel like hopefully proven that I can be a contender for some of these kind of titles, at least on hard courts, and hopefully I can continue to do that.”

Translation: I’ve been saying I’m for real for quite a while; now do you believe me?

I think Blake nailed it here, and I’ll be the first to step up and say I almost felt like he made that comment for my benefit. Oh, it’s not that I’ve been critical of him in print – in fact, I’ve worked on a few stories with James in the past, and always walked away feeling good about my job and what I was doing. But the very things that make Blake so appealing – his charisma, good manners, and compliant nature can subtly prejudice you against him. This guy is too nice to be a big winner, the logic goes. Or, James is too smart and decent to survive at the highest level of a game dominated by driven, ill-educated, self-absorbed, idiot savants. Federer changed that paradigm some, but that’s only happened recently.

In some ways, skepticism about Blake’s long-term staying power wasn’t entirely unfounded. There’s the whole thing about Blake’s respectable but less than overpowering junior record – the reputations of the players who dominate the game these days usually precede them: Long before Marat Safin broke out on the tour, the cognoscenti were talking about him. Rafael Nadal won an ATP match before he turned 16. Federer won the Orange Bowl – handily – at age 16 (beating Guillermo Coria). And so on.

Then there’s that Harvard thing. I’m no more awed by the Harvard University affiliation than any other pedigree, but the idea that someone who attended an Ivy League University for even one year can make it on the pro tour really is far-fetched. No matter how you cut it, Harvard screams entitlement, and the only entitlement that works for you in tennis is a tennis-based one: a degree from the Nick Bollettieri school of Forehands, victory in the junior Wimbledon at age 11. Tennis players who emerge from the Ivies are even rarer than NFL or NBA stars who went that route. A top pro out of the Ivy Leagues? No way. A college tennis factory, a la Stanford or Illinois, maybe – but Harvard?

And finally, who can forget how easily Blake leaped to the forefront of what the Aussies call the SNAG (Sensitive New Age Male) pack? This is a guy who signed with IMG models and was all over GQ and People magazine before he got past the third round of a Grand Slam event. If you’re cynical about Maria Sharapova and bitterly resent her having gotten too much, too soon, how do you feel about Blake? He certainly attracted a lot of the kind of attention that will never visit, oh, Nikolay Davydenko, or David Nalbandian. It was entirely justifiable, if ultimately insupportable, to ponder Blake’s future with a healthy measure of skepticism.

Looking at the technical side, Blake’s game is not exactly coin-of-the-realm on today’s tour. Twice in his post-match presser, Nadal pointedly acknowledged that Blake played “inside the court,” and pegged him as playing Top 5 tennis (In fact, read the entire Nadal transcript of you want to see the definition of a gracious loser). Blake’s own analysis was that the win hinged on his much improved backhand combined with his general strategy. The money quote from his presser:

”. . . It came down to a couple big points here and there, and having to make some gets like he does to everyone else, too, maybe frustrated him a little bit that way.

But then as soon as I got my chances, I knew he's the type of guy that you have to kind of jump on that first chance.

You can't wait for two and three and four opportunities in a point, you got to take that first chance to get on the offensive. If you let him get on the offensive, big trouble. He plays defense so well. If you let him get on offense, you're in big trouble. . .If you're running from eight feet behind the baseline, I think the only guy that could defend against that is him possibly. It's pretty tricky to do. I needed to take my first opportunities.

It's kind of good when you have that clear mentality in your head. I think that helped in bringing out the best in me, is that you know you have to come through on that first opportunity. You can't get complacent. You can't just rest and kind of lay back and wait. You got to go after it.

When you have just kind of a singular focus, sometimes you play your best”.

Translation: I can do things that the Lleyton Hewitts and Guillermo Corias and even Marcos Baghdatis’s of this word cannot. I can take the game directly to Nadal.

It’s clear now that it was critical for Blake to continue to build upon his great run of last summer. The fact that he’s done that, despite the natural year-end break and fresh start for 2006, is a strong statement. He’s the real deal alright, and all he needs now is a good nickname derived form those skinny pins of his: Chicken Legs, as one comment poster at a previous blog entry suggested? Big Bird, because of the obvious resemblance? Crazy Legs, out of respect for Blake and in homage to former NFL star Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch?

Something like that, something less GQ and more old school. Just like James Blake.

Tennis.com's Steve Tignor chimes in with his own backhanded comments about James' run last week:

James Blake has unique talents—and limitations
Blake was the story of the week from an American point of view. After years of whiplash-inducing streakiness, he ‘s turning into the reliable American, while Andy Roddick has slipped into a strategic morass where every move he makes is exactly the wrong one.

Blake can do things that no one else can, and he’s never less than entertaining. His running forehand is as dangerous, if less consistent, than Pete Sampras’ was, and his ability to wrist a crosscourt winner at full stretch is unprecedented. Blake’s also one of the few players who is equally lethal to either corner when he sets up for a forehand. But his recent success has come because of an improved backhand, and, more importantly, a smoother service motion. On Sunday, though, he reached his limit. Federer can do everything Blake can, but he’s not trapped by his explosiveness the way Blake often is. The American remains beholden to the spectacular forehand winner, which he tries to hit from pretty much any position on the court.

You can tell Blake is getting comfortable with success because he’s mastering the art of star speak, in which a player smiles and reveals absolutely nothing—other than how hard he’s working, and how proud he is of his work, and how he knows he’s put in the work. But maybe Blake has always had this skill. No less an authority on tennis stardom than Serena Williams once said of Blake that she should take speaking lessons from him because “he always knows just what to say.” A backhanded compliment, perhaps?

ESPN's resident Fedtard Bonnie DeSimone had some things to say about James (and Martina):

Don't call it a comeback ... anymore
By Bonnie DeSimone
Special to ESPN.com

As members of the massive combined caravan of the men's and women's tours reapply sunscreen during the quick turnaround between Indian Wells and Miami, it's worth considering whether to drop the word "comeback" from future references to James Blake. That time might be swiftly approaching for Martina Hingis, as well.

Neither won at the Pacific Life Open, but heading into this week's NASDAQ-100, both are playing as if they hadn't missed a beat -- or a recent season, or two, or three. What might have appeared to be early-season adrenaline seems to be something with more staying power.

Newly minted No. 9 Blake started strongly against No. 1 Roger Federer in the Pacific Life final but bowed in straight sets and was shut out in the third. Nonetheless, Blake broke into the top 10 for the first time in his career and is second in 2006 prize earnings ($417,720) only to Federer ($1.66 million).

The dough and the upper-crust ranking apparently haven't gone to Blake's head. He jokingly told reporters after beating No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals at Indian Wells that the perk he most wanted was the ability to practice shirtless at the Saddle Brook tennis center in Tampa where only top-10 players were accorded the privilege.

"I don't get to take my shorts off when I get to top five or anything," he said. "No other big incentives."

Indian Wells marked Blake's third final of the season. He won titles in Sydney and Las Vegas earlier this year, the latter following a mini-slump in which he'd been ousted in the first round of back-to-back tournaments.

Blake's solid first quarter may make Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe 's next selection easier and harder -- easier because he has a hot singles player and harder because it makes No. 10 Andre Agassi the odd man out.

Agassi had made it clear he was available for the April 7-9 quarterfinal tie on grass against Chile in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (for the uninitiated, a "tie" is the tennis term for a Davis Cup round). There was a time when all Agassi had to do was raise his hand to book his trip, but Blake has earned his passage and No. 4 Andy Roddick, despite his recent floundering, is as good a bet as anyone on grass (he was 11-1 last year on the surface).

Hingis' next action will take place at a promotional event prior to her first match in Miami, when she'll drive what the NASDAQ-100's marketing folks are describing as "a gas-powered, street-worthy IndyCar Series" vehicle under the tutelage of two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves. (He is to receive tennis tips in return.)

That's rather apt as Hingis, hands firmly on the steering wheel, is methodically lapping more and more of the women's field with each event. She has reached at least the quarterfinal of all but one of the seven tournaments she has entered this season, the only exception being a first-round loss to current No. 3 Justine Henin-Hardenne in Sydney.

Hingis' quarterfinal defeat of No. 5 Lindsay Davenport was as important a victory as she's had since her comeba... er, re-entry on the scene, even if Davenport did reveal afterwards that she was in pain from a bulging disc. Hingis pushed eventual tournament winner and No. 4 Maria Sharapova in their semifinal match that was, cliché-police forgive us, closer than the 6-3, 6-3 result indicated.

"That's still the deficit I have not having played for three years, not having the stamina," Hingis told reporters. "In a semifinals match, you have to go out there and give it all, not just like for a certain amount of time. I didn't start off like that. Maybe if I had, it would be a different story."

The next questioner inquired about the 18-year-old Sharapova's power. Like the scrappy point guard forever interrogated about how to score over the towering center, Hingis reacted with some weariness. "That's not intimidating anymore,'' she said. "All the players always do the same thing, so you're kind of used to that. She just played really smart today."

Now at No. 26 on the charts and rising fast, Hingis' gas-powered, street-worthy tear through the rankings inevitably raises the question of whether it reflects more about her or about the current state of women's tennis. The Magic 8-Ball would surely answer: Ask again later.

So far, Hingis has done about what you might expect for a fit, motivated, sage 25-year-old player following a long layoff: handled the lower-ranked players and had her hands full against the top 10, where she is 2-6 compared to a 20-7 record overall.

The Miami field will be missing at least two power players -- Davenport, who had planned to play but withdrew citing the back injury, and Serena Williams, who has tumbled to No. 61 and no longer feels the need to cite anything in particular. Jennifer Capriati also is delaying her return to the tour as she continues to rehab a shoulder injury.

Quote of the Week: From Sharapova, inspired by a heckler who hollered out that she looked tired in the match against Hingis: "That kind of pumped me up a little bit. I hit two winners in a row. I looked back at them, and I'm like, 'Tired, my butt.' So don't mess with a truck. You're going to become a pancake."

We Take It Back: Remember all the angry declarations from the Shanghai organizers of the ATP year-end championships last year following the pullout of five top players? Something calmed the ruffled waters, because Shanghai just extended its commitment from three to four years, though 2008. Chinese authorities are promoting a sports theme that year because of the Summer Olympic Games that will take place in Beijing.

And also predictably, some in the media seem keen to crown James the "New Top American" while the funeral procession continues for a slumping Andy Roddick....as if there weren't enough room in the rankings for both players to do well enough to represent America. :rolleyes:

From Fox News:

5. Can James Blake do some damage in Miami?

Yes, but it's hard to envision him winning the tournament. The 26-year-old American is off to a great start this year, with a record of 19-5 and two titles. After his runner-up finish in Indian Wells on Sunday, Blake's ranking rose to a career best ninth in the world.

He has added patience and resolve to his physical weaponry, which no one ever challenged. So now he's a threat to beat anyone in the world, as he has proven in taking out Nadal in their last two matches. But Blake choked when presented with an opportunity early against Federer last weekend, and it remains unclear whether he's mentally ready to win a big event.

7. What's happening to Andy Roddick?

The 23-year-old American seems to be suffering from a bout of self doubt. He's still ranked No. 4 in the world, but he hasn't reached the final of any tournaments this year and has — at least in his case — a lackluster record of 11-5. The technical flaws in his game have been well chronicled — a shaky volley and a tendency to stand too far behind the baseline. But he had these same flaws when he won the U.S. Open in 2003 and held the No. 1 ranking. The six straight losses he has suffered to Federer seem to have gotten inside Roddick's head, and he may have been too quick to dump Brad Gilbert as his coach in 2004.

And now for the "James is the REAL American star, Andy Sucks"-types articles:

Is James Blake America's new top dog?

By Scott Riley, Tennis Editor
Sports Network

With all due respect to Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi, James Blake appears to be laying his claim to the American men's tennis throne.

It's Blake who's already garnered two titles on the ATP this season and is fresh off a final appearance at the first Masters Series event of the year, the Pacific Life Open, where, unfortunately, he lost to the great Roger Federer in straight sets at Indian Wells.

But by reaching the final in the California desert, Blake became the first African-American man since Arthur Ashe to crack the men's top 10, which now features a trio of Americans for the first time since 2000.

The amicable Blake has been playing superb tennis since the middle of last year and has been rewarded with a career-high No. 9 spot in the world rankings, just ahead of the former No. 1 Agassi and only five spots behind the former top-ranked Roddick, who, like Agassi, has yet to reach a final in 2006.

The 26-year-old Blake is off to a 19-5 start this year and has appeared in finals in three of his seven tournaments, including victories in Sydney and Las Vegas. He may have lost to Federer at Indian Wells, but opened plenty of eyes with a huge semifinal victory over Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal at the prestigious Pac Life event. As a matter of fact, he straight-setted the reigning Roland Garros champion Nadal, who was riding a hot nine-match winning streak, including a stunning title match victory over Federer in Dubai earlier this month.

FYI, Blake also beat Nadal (in the 3rd round) at last year's U.S. Open and is 2-0 versus the excitable lefty.

Blake is an eight-year pro who turned his career around last year with the help of a couple titles and a trip into the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, where he blew a two-sets-to-love lead over Agassi before ultimately dropping a five-set epic at Flushing Meadows. It marked his best-ever showing at a Grand Slam tourney.

This year, the resurgent Blake has beaten a former world No. 1, in Lleyton Hewitt, and, of course, the aspiring No. 1 Nadal, who, by all accounts, appears to be the top threat to the amazing Federer's throne. The Yonkers, New York native stopped the two-time major titlist Hewitt in the Vegas finale three weeks ago, marking his first victory against the fiery Aussie in seven tries.

Sure, you can sit here and say that Blake has yet to do anything at the majors (has never reached a Grand Slam semi) and he's a dismal 1-12 combined against Roddick and Agassi, including 0-8 versus A-Rod, and who could argue with you. But the athletic racquet man is certainly playing the best tennis of any of the Americans right now.

Blake's a solid 41-11 since last August, including four titles and the quality run into the U.S. Open quarters. And his stellar 2005 campaign came on the heels of his nightmarish 2004.

Two years ago, Blake lost his beloved father, Thomas, to cancer; suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck after running into a net post during a practice session in Rome; and fell ill with Zoster, a condition that affected his hearing, his vision and paralyzed him on one side of his face.

He was ranked as low as 210th in the world in April of last year.

Prior to joining the ATP, Blake played two years of tennis at Harvard, where he finished as the No. 1 collegiate player in the country in his sophomore year. He possesses great speed, is a quality returner of serve and is blessed with a monster forehand. The knock on him in the past had everything to do with the mental aspect of the game. Dare I say he had a tendency to choke.

But Blake does have as much talent as just about anyone in the game, he just needs to carry confidence onto the court and maintain that mental strength throughout his big matches, which is exactly what he's been doing in recent months.

With Roddick struggling in the early part of this season and the aging Agassi barely playing any tennis at all, it would appear as though Blake might have the inside track as the highest-ranked American this year.

Blake is rich and famous, has his game in top gear and is dating the beautiful Jennifer Scholle. Simply put, life is pretty good for JB right now.

find article at:
http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=tennis-m/news/bcn4010965.htm

Charles Bricker :hearts:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/tennis/sfl-bricker21mar21,0,7618492.column?coll=sfla-sports-tennis
Blake takes aim at U.S. supremacy

Charles Bricker
Sports Columnist
March 21, 2006

Hang the rankings. It's time to say what we all know, that at this moment in the history of the universe James Blake is the No. 1 American player.

We could have had an argument about this before Indian Wells, but to see Blake take down Rafael Nadal a second time in a row while Andy Roddick was being beaten earlier by Igor Andreev settles it.

Of course, all things are changeable, and Roddick could get his limping game squared away at the Nasdaq-100 Open, which begins Wednesday, while Blake falters early.

They might even play each other, though that could only happen in a semifinal, and Blake would have to get through Roger Federer in the quarters to reach the final four while Roddick could be looking at Marat Safin or Lleyton Hewitt in the round of 16 ... if he gets that far.

The past two years have said a lot about both players. Blake took his personal breakthrough at the U.S. Open, where he reached the quarters and was up two sets on Andre Agassi before losing and refused to let up.

Where Robby Ginepri, who reached the semis at the Open, has retreated considerably the first three months of this year, Blake has gone from No. 25 to No. 9 this week.

This is not the women's tour, where Martina Hingis can start out without a point and rise to No. 26 going into the Nasdaq. The jump from 25 to 9 is considerable.

From the time Blake turned pro in 1999 until he was injured so severely in 2004, he had two things to overcome. He needed to find the mental strength to know he was capable of being a top-10 player and he needed to punch up a second serve that was good enough to be top-100 but not good enough to beat the elite on the ATP Tour. He's done both, though from time to time that second serve still seems more guided than walloped.

Roddick, meanwhile, has been brilliant at Wimbledon but disappointing in other major events, and his declining play won't be excused here. But there is a bit of a foolish feeding frenzy going on by people eager to bury him.

How many times have you been told in the past week that Roddick has now lost to four players outside the top 50 in newspaper stories designed to make you think he's being beaten by a bunch of bums.

Two of those losses were to Marcos Baghdatis (No. 54 when he beat Roddick at the Australian Open) and Andy Murray (No. 60 when he took Roddick down at San Jose).

Baghdatis, 20, and Murray, 18, are hardly mediocre players. They were outside the top 50 because they're both quickly on the way to top 20 and perhaps even top 10. You have to pass through 50 at some point, right?

Today, Baghdatis is No. 26 and Murray No. 41. You'll have a difficult time finding any player who doesn't think both of these young men are supremely talented.

Roddick is No. 4 while Blake is No. 9, but that's not so important. What is important is that Blake is now our leading player and slipping to No. 2 might just give Roddick some additional motivation.

Second serves

Sunrise post-mortem: Dmitry Tursunov, who won the $100,000 BMW Championships, got a 14-spot bump out of winning the title and improved his ranking to a career-best No. 36. If I were promoting this tournament for next year, I'd want to point out in the brochure that Tursunov came within three spots of getting a seeding into the Nasdaq, and earning Wednesday and Thursday off. ...

The tournament was not so good, however, for Rainer Schuettler, who was upset in the first round, then contracted the flu, then had to retire with the illness from his first-round qualifying match here Monday. ...

Fernando Gonzales, the Chilean who reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year, isn't happy to be playing Davis Cup against the U.S. on grass, but he says, "You can do well if you get good preparation." And he and countryman Nicolas Massu are staying in South Florida after the Nasdaq to work on the grass court on nearby Fisher Island before heading to Rancho Mirage, Calif., for the April 7-9 tie. Playing on grass with Roddick and Blake isn't even close to a guarantee for the United States, and don't forget these Chileans won the Olympics doubles. That was on a hardcourt, but so what. It's doubles, where a great number of the balls are volleyed.

Charles Bricker can be reached at cbricker@sun-sentinel.com and his tennis blog read at sun-sentinel.com/sports.

tangerine_dream
03-23-2006, 10:21 PM
Blake overload! :banana:

http://www.insidetennis.com/it_img/0306_blake_head.jpg

By Matthew Cronin

Everybody loves James Blake – fans, media, and other players. The American is smart, gracious and has a tremendous back-story. He's athletic, charming, good-looking and owns an all-court game that keeps fans parked in their seats.

But Blake wants to be more than just a good guy. He wants to be a truly elite player – on his terms. U.S. tennis officials would love to see that, too, because with Andre Agassi now a part-time player and Andy Roddick struggling, the nation needs another solid performer who can help the U.S. Davis Cup team to its first title in a decade and also go deep at the Grand Slams.

At 25, Blake appears to be coming of age. Since August, he's won four tournaments (Washington, New Haven, Stockholm and Sydney), upset Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open and nearly knocked off Andre Agassi in a five-set classic in the quarters. Sure, he flamed against Tommy Robredo at the Aussie Open, but he just cracked the top 20 for the first time and scored two wins for the U.S. Davis Cup team over Romania.

"James has taken his game to another level," U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe said. "He has an excellent chance to make a significant run this year. His game is ready to go up a level or two."

It was the New York-born, Connecticut-raised Blake's spectacular 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (6) loss to Agassi at the NTC that really brought him to the world's attention as huge talented performer You could not possibly script any better what happened in front of 20,000 delirious fans after 1 a.m. on Thursday morning for Agassi, but the final chapter could have been penned more lovingly for Blake.

At 5-5 in the breaker, Blake missed a forehand winner by a hair. Then on Agassi's first match point, Blake hammered a forehand winner. Then at 6-6, Agassi went to his now beloved drop shot and pass routine and scored. On the last point of the match off a second serve, Agassi turned his sore body around, hit a forehand as hard as he could and watched it blow a hole in two lines.

Blake became almost-famous in a match that will be replayed forever during rain delays (maybe supplanting Connors-Krickstein and Sampras-Agassi, or at least being run side by side with them).

"Its one thing to be up two sets to love, but that's what Andre is great at," Blake told IT. "If he had played to not let me win, I would have won. He took it to me legitimately in the third and the fourth. The fifth was a dogfight. I know I served for it, but he took it to me in that game. The only thing I regret is the 6-6 point when he hit the drop shot and I went to his backhand and I should have made him beat me with his forehand or put him on the run more. We played an exo in Idaho last winter and they replayed the point on the big screen and I was thinking, ÔI won it on that shot, no on the next shot – three times really, and then he won the point. I did think what if I could have beaten Robby and then played Roger and you never know what's going to happen on a given day. I was saying to one of my friends – when are one of those matches going to go my way?' But he said, one of those matches? That wasn't just one of those matches. That was a great, great match. That picked me up. I was so into the fact that I lost, that I forgot I was in one of the greatest matches ever."

Blake went from almost famous to pretty famous, pretty quickly. When he got back home to Florida, one of his best friends, fellow pro Mardy Fish, clued him in.

" He said dude, you are huge now. You're on Letterman and everything. I didn't know that, because when I heard yelling, which I rarely do, it was my friends in the J-Block, and I don't think I'm super popular just because my friends since I've been 12 are cheering for me. I wasn't thinking of the 20,000 people screaming, just the 40 people in my suite."

It could get much louder for Blake if he fulfills his potential, which according to his pal Andy Roddick, is super elite yellow ball.

"James best tennis is ahead of him," Roddick said. "The way he moves and strikes the ball and how good of an athlete he is, on paper, he's a lot better than most guys."

“People can be much more dangerous when you give them a second chance. You injure yourself, and you come back even stronger...It takes a lot of hard work. I don’t feel like I’ve hit a plateau quite yet.”
Blake isn't into the chatter about how good he's become, how great he can be, or how shaky he once was. It's all about process and playing as well as you can in the moment. He's not a public goal setter so having "top-five, top-five" chanted at him has little effect.

"I've never set goals like that because if I were to get to top five and haven't worked as hard and rested on those good results and just gotten a few good draws where I've played guys that aren't playing that well or injured, it would be a little empty to me. My goal is to just keep improving. Obviously I've improved quite a bit in the last year, and your ranking ends up showing that, but my end goal isn't the ranking; my end goal is to keep getting better. Top five is possible, but I don't set goals like I'm going to be a success or I'm not going to be a success by making No. 5 in the world."

But that's how much of the tennis world sees it – if you are not in the super-elite mix, you are not on the radar screen. But Blake has a different perspective on his career, which dates back to Ô04, when he had about as bad a year as one could ever have. In May that year, he ran into a net post in Rome and suffered fractured vertebrae in his neck. Then in the summer, he contracted zoster, a condition affecting hearing and vision and causing temporary paralysis on one side of his face. Right around that time, his father, Thomas, died at age 57 of cancer. James played three matches during the last five months of Ô94.

Blake knows all about dealing with illness, as at age 13, he was diagnosed with severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine), which forced him to wear a back brace 18 hours a day. But dealing with a neck injury, a severe virus and his dad's death all within a couple of month's time took its toll on him. "There was a question as to whether I could ever come back. My thoughts were just on getting better," Blake said. " I couldn't move half my face and I was just happy to be able to smile and walk around again. With tennis, I felt lucky to even be able to get back. I didn't even feel comfortable hitting until December."

So when Blake returned full time last year, he was entering the second stage of his career. Before he was injured, he wasn't exactly tearing up the tour, but he was one of the tour's fastest players, had a terrific forehand and is a good athlete around the net. Last year, he significantly improved his two main weaknesses – his serve and his backhand.

"When I was injured, I couldn't do much of anything," he said. "When I was sick, I was really dizzy. I wasn't practicing. I got to the point where I could hit a little, but I felt extremely un-athletic as my balance was still messed up and my vision was pretty blurred. But that's the time when you can work on things you don't normally get a chance to work when on tour. When you have that much time, it's a chance to do something really positive. That was my chance to work on defense, do a ton a running even if it's not the most fun thing . I worked on my serve. And I'm hitting my backhand now. When you have blurred vision, you got to be pretty cautious with your backhand. Once I felt comfortable with it. I was like okay, why can't I swing out on it? Now it's a matter of that confidence I feel I can take a swing at it and it ended up being better. The more aggressive I am with it, I end up making less mistakes because I have a simple mindset. I don't think, maybe I should just roll this one, maybe I should push it. If I get a short one, I'm going to hit it. I end up playing a lot better. For many years, guys have attacked my backhand, but these days, they are a little more cautious."

There are those analysts, such as John McEnroe, who don't believe that Blake will ever be a top five player because he has never shown the consistency to be able to produce a high level week in, week out. He's very flashy, and many flashy players have fried in the pan.

"It was great to see him make that [U.S. Open] run," Johnny Macsaid. "He's someone who has proven his athletic ability. He believes in himself more. His story has allowed him to play with more of a sense of calm. He's very dangerous. But it's difficult to say he could go all the way and win something [big]. I could see him challenge, around, say, 10. I'm not sure that he's got the consistency to go all the way."

But Blake still sees room for improvement and if he continues his learning curve at the supersonic rate that he showed over the past seven months, he should crack the top 10 by April. And then the sky is the limit.

"Now I've been given a second chance to do it," Blake said. "People can be much more dangerous when you give them a second chance. You injure yourself, and you come back even stronger. People become better every year. You need to stay ahead of that, to get four, five times better. I've been able to do that, and that's something I'm proud of. It takes a lot of hard work. I don't feel like I've hit a plateau quite yet."

tangerine_dream
03-29-2006, 04:24 PM
James in the mailbag this week. A thousand :bowdown: to Jon Wertheim for putting this person in his/her place. James Blake is black. Yeah, and? He's also half-white. So what? I'd hate to think that Blake has attracted "fans" who are ONLY interested in his skin color (much like what the Williams sisters did). Haven't we as a society already moved on from this kind of b.s.? /end rant

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Blake only the second African-American male tennis player in HISTORY (all caps there for the added effect!) to crack the top 10? Mal Washington made it to No. 11, but I feel there's a big gap between saying 10 and 11. Why do you think more hasn't been more made of this in the media about this HISTORIC (more added effect) event? I understand race and difference should ideally be downplayed, but geez! This is huge! I told my sister she needs to get my 7-year-old tennis-playing nephew on the James Blake bandwagon as someone to look up to that looks like him in the game.
-- Van Sias, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Good question. But maybe this is ultimately a sign of progress. It's not as though Blake's achievement went unheralded. We learned that it was a career high ranking. We learned that it represented the first time in six years that three Americans inhabited the top 10. Many of you rightfully remarked that irrespective of rankings, Blake was playing he best tennis of any American. It's just that this was never framed in terms of race. I would submit that we didn't see past it; we just saw beyond it. And while your nephew ought to get on the James Blake bandwagon, so should the kids who don't happen to look like him.

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2006/writers/jon_wertheim/03/29/mailbag/p1_blake_0329.jpg

PaulieM
03-29-2006, 06:23 PM
James in the mailbag this week. A thousand :bowdown: to Jon Wertheim for putting this person in his/her place. James Blake is black. Yeah, and? He's also half-white. So what? I'd hate to think that Blake has attracted "fans" who are ONLY interested in his skin color (much like what the Williams sisters did). Haven't we as a society already moved on from this kind of b.s.? /end rant

well i would disagree that the williams' sisters attracted fans that were only interested in their skin color but that's besides the point. as for james, try looking at it from the other side; perhaps this person's point is that with all the negative things affecting the african american community it's great for young black kids to have people like james as role models that they can relate to, and sometimes the only way to get such positive information out is to have specific achievements by african americans heralded. but everyone reads things differently depending on their background etc. so it's fair for you to see it as "society having moved on." anyway i'm done "getting all political," it's great to see all the articles about james. :)

mishar
03-30-2006, 03:29 AM
I agree with Paulie. I don't think it's insignificant what James's background is. People root for people of the same nation, or the same state -- so why not the same ethnic background?

tangerine_dream
04-18-2006, 04:38 PM
A lousy DC showing and already they've got the violins playing. :o

Notebook: Burnt-out Blake struggling with inconsistency

By Adam H. Beasley
CBS SportsLine.com Staff Writer

These days, losing to Roger Federer is an unfortunate -- but inevitable -- side effect of picking up a tennis racquet.

Federer has dropped exactly one ATP match this season, a three-setter to Rafael Nadal in the Dubai final.

Other than that, he's 28-0.

Two of those victories have come at James Blake's expense.

Tough luck for Blake, but considering the run Federer is on, it's understandable. What is troublesome is the way Blake has responded since falling to Federer in Miami a few weeks back.

Since then, Blake has dropped three more matches in a row. It's his longest winless streak since losing four straight last summer.

Blake fell to Chile's Fernando Gonzalez and Paul Capdeville in the Davis Cup quarterfinals, and then bowed out to Antony Dupuis in the first round of Clay Court Championships in Houston last week.

Blake utterly melted down in the Davis Cup, blowing a two-set lead to Gonzalez on the first day. On Sunday, Capdeville took him out in straight sets.

If Andy Roddick hadn't won both of his matches, the U.S. would have been out of the event early again.

Haven't heard of Dupuis? That's because he has spent 2006 banging away at events in places like Belgrade and Sarajevo. Dupuis entered the Houston tournament ranked 159th in the world, had not won an ATP match all year, and then lost to Fernando Vincente in Round 2.

Some think Blake overextended himself this spring, competing in 31 matches in 3½ months. He also played on three different surfaces -- hard in Miami, grass in the Davis Cup and clay in Houston -- in four weeks.

"It's tough to (go) from Davis Cup -- the highs and lows -- and come to a different surface," Blake said after losing to Dupuis. "It's part of the job, but I think I'm getting better at it. He served great. That took me out of my rhythm."

If time off is what he needs, he's about to get it.

Blake's next match isn't until the Rome tournament in May. Word is he decided to take a week off from tennis completely after his early exit in Houston.

Blake, who has two tour titles this year and is ranked seventh in the world, still is the sport's best hope for an American rival to Roddick.

But after Roddick's inspired Davis Cup play and Blake's three-week losing streak, it may take a run through Roland Garros -- where Blake has never advanced past the round of 64 -- for that storyline to truly develop.

Deboogle!.
04-18-2006, 04:39 PM
Yea, I already pointed out all the stupidity and illogical stuff in this article in the thread someone started in GM. I can't understand why these people just don't do research before writing stuff. It's just so embarrassing.

Deboogle!.
04-25-2006, 11:14 PM
interesting.
--------------
Blake at stake
posted: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 | Feedback
espn.com

A couple of years ago, I wrote a story about the practice of tennis players painting their rackets to look like current models, even though they were using old ones. I thought the practice was a bit shady given that some of the companies were telling consumers that players were playing with one racket model, but were really playing with another.

Yesterday, the Sports Business Journal reported that James Blake, despite signing with Prince in December, was still using his old Dunlop racket, with a Prince logo on the knob.

So what ethics are involved here?

First, let me say that this type of stuff happens all the time. Tennis players and golfers sign with other companies so they can begin a relationship, but the athletes aren't willing to make an immediate switch because they're not confident with the equipment from the new deal yet.

It's definitely a Catch-22. Athletes have to be able to jump from company to company, but they should not be expected to play right away with their new brand's equipment.

Linda Glassel, vice president of sports marketing for Prince, said there was no attempt to deceive consumers, noting that at Prince's Web site, Blake's racket is listed as experimental. Blake is working toward eventually playing with Prince's new O3 technology, a racket with holes in the frame.

"James is working with us to help develop the best product in tennis," Glassel said. "This has been an ongoing, rigorous development process and it's not unusual in our business that you don't go directly into the new company's technology."

In fact, when Blake changed from Wilson to Dunlop, he did not start using the Dunlop racket until he was comfortable playing with it.

So I understand transitions have to be made. Athletes can't automatically switch right away -- there's too much at stake. And there's too much at stake to share ideas with companies without signing with them first.

However there is an ethical question with Prince promoting Blake. It's OK for Prince to let consumers know Blake is working with them, but they have gone too far putting the "P" on the racket knob, and "Prince" on the frame. It's misleading to the people who see it.

I also think that Prince should only have Blake on the company's Web site if they explain the relationship. Yes, they have the word "experimental," but I think the consumer deserves to know more about how they are working together.

They can obviously remove all of that when he legitimately puts a Prince racket in his hands sometime in the next couple of months. Blake is ranked eighth in the world, and with Andy Roddick's slide is the most marketable American tennis player, but I think it's the right thing to do.

Lastly, while Blake knows what he is doing, I don't believe he is deliberately trying to deceit consumers. Out of all the athletes I've dealt with, Blake is one of the most keen, savvy and real professionals in any game.

16681
04-26-2006, 04:42 AM
:lol: Why do James and Andy need to become American rivals? There is room for both of them to play tennis in the U.S. without becoming "rivals". I would rather see them take on the world's other players than each other. But then again I hate to see two Americans playing against each other.

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 05:25 AM
They're not rivals, except in the media. They're good friends. Sure they want to beat each other and all that, but it's gonna be a media thing much more than anything actually between the two of them, i'm pretty confident of that.

Anyway I posted the article b/c I thought the business aspect of his racquet situation was interesting. I wonder when he'll start playing with the Prince racquet, and I agree with Darren Rovell the author, that actually putting the Prince logos on the racquet seems like it's taking the deception a bit too far.

aceit
04-26-2006, 05:03 PM
Hmmmmm I always wondered why he didn't have the big ol P on his strings.

I wonder when he'll try to make the change. Like I said in the Mardy forum, I saw him and his stringer yesterday stringing his racquets with different strings and tensions, and it seemed to be the same racquet.

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 05:06 PM
It seems like the Prince stuff is still in development.... my guess is he wouldn't switch for real until he has a period of time off to practice with it (which of course he has right now but i don't think it's ready yet) .... maybe after Wimbledon or something like that, but I don't think the Prince racquet exists yet so yeah. I dunno.

Question, was he practicing on red or green clay?

Thanks for your 'reports' :p

aceit
04-26-2006, 05:14 PM
green...which is good for me because there's no red clay on the side of the resort that I play :p i know i'm greedy :o

hehe i wish i had better stuff to report, but i don't...mainly because i'm playing when he is. but i heard today he wanted to stop early to go play golf (but he didn't)

16681
04-26-2006, 05:27 PM
They're not rivals, except in the media. They're good friends. Sure they want to beat each other and all that, but it's gonna be a media thing much more than anything actually between the two of them, i'm pretty confident of that.

Anyway I posted the article b/c I thought the business aspect of his racquet situation was interesting. I wonder when he'll start playing with the Prince racquet, and I agree with Darren Rovell the author, that actually putting the Prince logos on the racquet seems like it's taking the deception a bit too far.
Oh I know James and Andy are really friends. But I don't understand why even the media would want them to be American rivals? Back in the days when the world didn't have as many high quality players that it does now I can see why American rivals were needed, but not now. And I agree with you and Rovell the author that actually putting the Prince logos on the racquet goes too far. I thought most players when they were making a racket change just taped over the other company's name?

Deboogle!.
04-26-2006, 06:54 PM
green...which is good for me because there's no red clay on the side of the resort that I play :p i know i'm greedy :o

hehe i wish i had better stuff to report, but i don't...mainly because i'm playing when he is. but i heard today he wanted to stop early to go play golf (but he didn't)lol that's okay. he wanted to stop early to play golf? James James James, practicing on green clay and playing golf instead are not how you're gonna improve on clay :o I was curious about the color of the clay for James's sake, not yours :lol:

aceit
04-27-2006, 05:29 PM
Well I heard a story yesterday about why he wants to play golf here *cough* gorgeous golf cart driving women *cough* :p

Maybe he was playing on the red clay today because he wasn't here this morning like he's been for the past few days.

Deboogle!.
04-27-2006, 05:48 PM
:haha: Wouldn't surprise me :p

wait, so there is red clay at saddlebrook and James has been practicing on green? THAT IS BRILLIANT, JAMES!

Alan
04-30-2006, 12:00 PM
:D

Deboogle!.
05-02-2006, 08:59 PM
James did an ESPN Chat today :D
------------------
SportsNation Buzzmaster: (4:05 PM ET ) James is in the building! He'll be here shortly!

Jane (Texas): James, how come the Americans won't play a lot on European clay - you guys would do better if you played more over there!

SportsNation James Blake: (4:19 PM ET ) Well, I'd say it's because we haven't had a lot of success over on European clay. We need a break to get ready for the clay court season. Hopefully this year we'll all get a lot better.

Jacksonville, FL: How do you feel playign at Harvard helped you on tour?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:20 PM ET ) I think it helped me just being in a college environment. It helped me being comfortable with my brother. It helped me by being on tour with a structure and being away from home.

Jesse (Kansas City): What is your strategy to beat Roger F.?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:21 PM ET ) Basically just try to play perfectly. You have to be playing your best tennis and hope he's not having his best day as well.

Roger (Ann Arbor, MI): James, if you could only have one of the following, what would it be and why: Australian, French, Wimbledon, US Open, Davis Cup Championship for USA?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:22 PM ET ) I'd say the Davis Cup because it's shared with the team. It's a personal accomplishment but it's also for the fans and the team. It's nice to have a team win in an individual sport.

Kelvin (Columbus GA): What's your favorite breakfast cereal?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:22 PM ET ) I would say Cinnamon Life.

Chip (Litchfield, CT): Has your training practices changed as a result of your injury?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:23 PM ET ) No, it changed when I was getting back into shape. Because I was getting back into shape after not playing for a while. Now I'm getting back into shape and hopefully being one of the hardest workers on tour.

AJ Boston, Massachusetts: Congratulations on your sucess this year James! When do you think your experimental racket will go public?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:24 PM ET ) I'm hoping this summer. I'm working with Prince with developing a racket from the gournd up. It's interesting to work with them. I want the consumer to get the best product possible.

Joshua Rey (Miami, FL): How are you feeling about returning to Rome for the first time since suffering your injury there in 2004?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:25 PM ET ) I think it should be interesting. It should be some memories of some tough times. I feel like now the smoke has cleared. It's a great city and I feel like I will have some more success than the last time I was here.

Nadia: Who is your favourite opponet to play against?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:26 PM ET ) My favorite opponent was Todd Martin. He's retired now, but he was able to change his game depending on how the match was going. He hit the ball cleanly and gave you a lot of rhythm.

Maria: What do you think about the large majority of tennis fans not getting the chance to see Davis Cup this year because it was shown on Tennis Channel?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:27 PM ET ) I wish it was more exposed, because Davis Cup has an unbelievable atmosphere. I think the fans have a tough time following it because it's spread out all over the year.

Joe (Long Island, NY): James, I'm a HUGE fan! I know your one of the fastest players in the game and I know you have the endurance of a race horse. Do you feel there is any part of your game that needs polishing before the French Open and Wimbledon?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:29 PM ET ) Before the French, I need to make sure I'm able to slide into balls. Hopefully I'll have enough time to practice in Rome and Hamburg. For Wimbledon, time is taken away so you need to be attacking. I need to make sure my volley is effective.

Rose (CA): Hi James, How do you prepare differently to play on clay than for other surfaces?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:30 PM ET ) I think mentally I prepare knowing that it could be a lot of ups and downs in the match and a long match. I need to compete as long as I need to and to be ready for the match as possible.

A. Reyes (Houston, Texas): James, do you shine your dome in a Shine-O Ball-O machine a la The Simpsons? It's so shiny, I'd swear I've predicted the future with it once or twice! Good luck on "the dirt" and keep up the great tennis!

SportsNation James Blake: (4:31 PM ET ) I don't do that, but I appreciate the Simpsons reference, because that's my favorite show on TV. It's au natural.

jeff newton, Ontario, canada: How are you the only player to beat rafael Nadal? What is your secret?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:32 PM ET ) Play him on American hard courts. I think our games match up well for me. I have the ability to finish off points. I can finish off the points before he can use his counterpunch.

Jesse (Kansas City): Hi James, any plans for marriage soon?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:32 PM ET ) No, not even close to marriage right now.

Dora: Your brother's a great sport. Did you know that ESPN was going to mike him during one of your matches?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:33 PM ET ) Yes, I did know that. I thought it was a good choice, because my coach is extremely quiet in the box. I thought they'd get better sound bites from my brother.

Fumus Albany, NY: Who would win in an arm wrestling contest you or Nadal?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:33 PM ET ) Well, I'd hope with the right hand me, and with the left hand him.

Littleton, Colorado: What kind of physical training regimen to go through on a weekly basis when you're preparing for an upcoming event?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:34 PM ET ) Probably 2-3 hours a day on the court and then about 40 to an hour of sprints and agility drills and then about 45 minutes in the weight room on a normal day.

Abid (Fredericton, NB Canada): How did it feel playing that classic match against Andre in New York?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:35 PM ET ) It was difficult as a competitor to lose, but I think overall it was good for the sport of tennis. It was a great memory for the two weeks in New York.

Mark: Vancouver, Canada: Of the next three majors, which one is your favorite to play in?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:36 PM ET ) U.S. Open is always my favorite because it's close to home. I've always been a fan of it. I get a chance to see a lot of my friends and they can watch me.

TD (USA): James do you ever plan on growing your beautiful hair out again? Your dreds were awesome!

SportsNation James Blake: (4:36 PM ET ) I don't plan on it right now. I've gotten too used to having no hair and it's extremely easy.

Kelvin: Being a tennis player is there anything guilty pleasure you must or try to give up?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:37 PM ET ) I guess being on the road all the time, you don't get to watch all your shows. People get hooked on their Lost or 24.

Eli (Deal): If you could play a diffrent sport what would it be?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:38 PM ET ) I would say golf, because they get paid exorbetent amounts of money and they don't have to be in great shape. Their careers last forever. Plus the really cool clothes.

Fumus Albany, NY: Roger maybe the number 1 player in the world but...who's better looking? You or Fedex?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:39 PM ET ) I think that's up to the fans to decide.

Darryl (UK): James, I've just remembered to ask: what are your ambitions for this year and beyond? What are the goals you have set out for yourself?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:40 PM ET ) I don't set goals like that, ranking goals. I just try to set a very simple goal every year. I just want to improve as much as I can. So far I've been doing that on tour and hopefully I can continue to.

Kat: You're a dashing young man! Do you get lots modeling offers? (I know the WTA women do, but how about the ATP guys?)

SportsNation James Blake: (4:41 PM ET ) I have had a few modeling offers. I've signed with IMG models. But I don't have much time to go into that. I spend more time on my forehands than my looks.

Harris: Boston: Do you wish you finished out your time at Harvard or do you feel happy with your decison coming out early?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:41 PM ET ) I'm very happy with my decision. I can go back at any time. I can only play this level of tennis for a short amount of time. I can learn for the rest of my life. I plan on going back an finishing my degree.

Harris: Boston: What is the one shot that you have hit that you will always remember?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:42 PM ET ) I made a diving volley against Safin on a set point in a tiebreaker that I'll never forget. It was a full outstretched dive.

Blake (Denver): Hey James, what are some realistic goals for you and the Americans for the French? Would you be satisfied making it to the fourth round considering most of the U.S. men are lucky to win just one match usually?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:43 PM ET ) I think it depends on the draw. There are some great clay court players that could be lurking in the draw. Andy and I are playing well right now. Hopefully we can all have some success this year.

Robert Ofenloch (Andover, NH): Is there any place you would like to play a tournament in which isn't already on the ATP calendar?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:44 PM ET ) I would say Tampa, Fla. I'm bit of a homebody. I really like being home. There's already one in New Haven, Ct near my home in Fairfield, One in Tampa would be ideal for me.

Blake (Denver): Hey James, what would be the ideal length of the tennis season?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:45 PM ET ) I think if it ended in Sept. right after the U.S. Open, that would be ideal, to give us a real offseason of three months.

Paul NY: James when will we see you playing with your new prince racket? Has it been a hard adjustment for you to try a new stick in practice?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:46 PM ET ) I'm hopeful that you'll see me playing with the new racket this summer. It's been difficult to adjust, but it's been exciting in working with Prince in designing my new racket.

Melissa (LA): Hey James, do you and Mardy have any plans to play doubles together more regularly?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:47 PM ET ) Yeah, we both enjoy playing together. But Mardy right now has to get his ranking back up after his wrist injury. Once that happens, I think we're going to play doubles whenever we get a chance.

FT, Washington, DC: James, I noticed you are slated to play in Newport--is that so your local fans in Conn can check you out?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:48 PM ET ) Yeah, I've enjoyed playing that tournament at the hall of fame, there's a lot of history. This year, I'm not sure if I can get there, due to my schedule. I feel like I should try to play the tournaments in New England when I get a chance.

Kelvin (Columbus GA): Any future goals after tennis?

SportsNation James Blake: (4:48 PM ET ) Well, I would like to finish my degree at Harvard. Then, I'm not sure. I don't know if I want to stay in tennis or get out in the business world.

SportsNation James Blake: (4:49 PM ET ) Thanks to all my fans. I appreciate all the support. Come out and support the ATP.

cobalt60
05-03-2006, 12:15 AM
I so like this guy; so refreshing. And his honesty ;) Oh yeah he wants to finish his degree. :woohoo: Hope he does so, since not many do.

Deboogle!.
05-03-2006, 12:19 AM
Yeah, he's said many times he hopes to go back and finish. Hope he does it, that'd be very cool :D

Several of those are my questions, I use different names and locations ;)

cobalt60
05-03-2006, 12:58 AM
Yeah, he's said many times he hopes to go back and finish. Hope he does it, that'd be very cool :D

Several of those are my questions, I use different names and locations ;)
OMG Q was right you are a badass :haha: Good for you!! :woohoo:

Deboogle!.
05-03-2006, 01:00 AM
:sad: I am not a badass :(

cobalt60
05-03-2006, 01:11 AM
Oh I meant that in the nicest way you :( I thought it was funny that you got so many questions in. Sort of like stuffing the ballot box. I can't win for losing:ras: I still like James though :)

Deboogle!.
05-03-2006, 01:28 AM
:rolls: I know I'm just playing with you

Hey some people who used the same name got multiple questions in, too! I think i only got 3 :p

cobalt60
05-03-2006, 01:37 AM
:dog: Woof woof.

Seriously you know what endeared me to him more recently? The davis cup where he called those in the know on the carpet. I am so used to folks pussy footing around stuff that his response was so full of integrity. So lacking in many professions. And what is even funnier to me is that some folks were mad at him for saying anything. WTF. He was a bad sport? :confused:
Ok I need to get me to bed.

surfpinky
05-03-2006, 04:20 PM
GO JAMES!!! [:!!
________

JAMES BLAKE HONORED


May 3, 2006
Blake's High School Names Courts in His Honor

© ATP
http://www.atptennis.com/shared/photos/other/blake_courts.jpg
James BlakeThe four hard courts on the north side of the Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, Conn. were renamed 'The James Blake Courts' in a ceremony on Monday prior to one of the Mustangs' home matches.

Blake, who earned All-State honors three times before graduating in 1997, was joined by his mother Betty and brother Thomas at the ceremony. Thomas, James' older brother, also played tennis at FHS.

During the ceremony, the town's mayor declared May 1 "James Blake Day." Last year the World No. 7 was given a key to the city.

School officials praised James for his on and off court achievements during the ceremony.

"As big as an honor as this is for James, it's an even bigger honor for us," said James Lee, the Chairman of the Board of Education. "Not because of what he's done in tennis, but for the person he is."

Dr. Ann Clarke, Superintendent of Schools, heaped similar praise on Blake. "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. That is James Blake," Clarke said. "You become great when you give back, and I cannot think of a person who exemplifies that more."
© ATP
http://www.atptennis.com/shared/photos/other/blake_courts2.jpg
James Blake signs autographs for high school studentsThe crowd of more than 200 students roared when James himself came to the podium. "This is really where I grew up, on these courts," he said. "I see my first grade teacher here today, and I can't believe it. I can't believe how big a deal this is and how many people still care about me."

Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament Director Anne Worcester attended and offered members of the FHS community tickets to her August event in the nearby neighborhood.

Deboogle!.
05-03-2006, 04:25 PM
aw James!

heeeehee his face in the first pic :lol:

Deboogle!.
05-03-2006, 11:04 PM
CHATTIN' WITH JAMES BLAKE
By Keith Hawkins and Matt Wilansky, ESPN.com

James Blake, the ranked No. 7 in the world, made his way to ESPN earlier this week and sat down to answer a few questions about his game, countryman Andre Agassi, and what it takes to beat Roger Federer.

Q: What have you learned from your five-set loss to Andre Agassi in last year's U.S. Open?

James Blake: Last year's U.S. Open has helped me grow and motivated me to now be known more for my wins than such an epic loss. It was a fun match to be a part of -- and I've been a part of a few important losses in my day -- but I like to think it motivated me to start practicing harder so I would know the feeling on the other side. … To win a Grand Slam, expecially the U.S. Open, would be my ideal situation. I've always been a fan of that tournament and it would mean a lot to hold up the trophy.

Q: How long will Andre Agassi play?

JB: I think we all would have guessed (he would have retired) years before this -- especially when he took a hiatus in the middle of his career. I don't think a lot of people would have guessed he would still be playing at 36 years old. I wouldn't put anything past him now because of the way he has kept himself in shape. I hope he plays for years to come, but I know it's becoming more difficult with the wear and tear his body is taking.

Q: Can you put into perspective what Agassi has meant to the game?

JB: On the court, he's one of the greatest ever, that's not going to be argued. He's one of the few players who has won the career Grand Slam, which shows how versatile he is. But off the court he's meant even more in terms of giving back to his community in Las Vegas and to the kids who have benefitted from his school. He's helped me out in my career, he's helped a lot of the younger players and I know he has done a lot of work with Andy Roddick. He's really a champion, on and off the court in terms of his ability to put other people first -- which is something not a lot people can do.

Q: Which part of your game do you need to improve upon the most?

JB: My ability to turn defense into offense. I've learned how to play better defense, but being able to stay in the point and eventually take the offensive is the next step. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal do this really well.

Q: In the final at Indian Wells, you were up two breaks against Roger Federer in the first set and lost. What would you have done differently?

JB: Hold on to that lead [Laughs]. I got a little ahead of myself and started thinking about winning the set. From that, I learned to keep fighting and to not think about the result until the set is over. I should have known he was going to keep fighting. He's No. 1 in the world for a reason and he doesn't ever stop trying, even when down two breaks.

Q: Does Roger Federer have a weakness?

JB: I wouldn't say there is a weakness, but I think he has a weaker side. His backhand is not as dangerous as his forehand, and any time a player has a side that can't hurt as much, I try to attack it and make them beat me from that side. Roger's backhand is still very good, but not as lethal as his forehand. Attack the backand if you can, then if you feel comfortable, move forward and take the net away from him.

Deboogle!.
05-04-2006, 04:18 PM
James played an exhibition with Johnny Mac last night! Here are a couple articles from the local paper
-------------------
McEnroe, Blake help put tennis on area map
2006-05-04

The address was 2639 Topside Road, Louisville, Tenn.

Or as it unfolded Wednesday night, the center of the their universe. Current ATP star James Blake battled the erstwhile face of tennis, John McEnroe, in an exhibition that oozed with starpower wattage normally reserved for The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5AE.

Blake won, 6-4, 6-2. As did everyone involved with Blount Memorial Hospital's Healthy Returns for Education program, which got Lenny Simpson involved and hosted the event at his state-of-the-art Centre Court Racquet Club.

``I think people really got behind it. It was nice,'' said McEnroe, who won seven Grand Slam single championships -- three of them at Wimbledon. ``My parents were always sort of pushing and talking to me about education, knowing that I loved sports, but just in case it didn't work out. Because for most people, it doesn't.

``I was one of the lucky few, so a good starting point is education.''

Half of the proceeds raised from the $75-a-ticket, 1,000-seat event were earmarked for the science and health curriculum in Blount County's various school systems. The remainder goes to the Blount Memorial Foundation -- a program that provides scholarships for Blount County students entering health professions, with ``a particular focus on hard-to-fill positions.''

``All the match wins enable us to do something like that, and for the kids to know who we are, to maybe listen to what we have to say,'' said Blake, who flies to Rome today to begin preparing for the French Open later this month. ``Because education is stressed, and luckily John and I have had a little bit of education and a whole lot of tennis education.

``We tried to help them with everything we've learned. The biggest part of getting wins on the court is that you get to have a voice off the court and try to make a positive difference.''

Simpson thinks the event will splash this area's tennis scene like an arrest-free summer for Tennessee football and generate a long-term ripple effect.

``I think this was one of those crossroads events that really could now (take) tennis in this area, which has probably been growing steadily and consistently, but I think after this event, with these two guys here, and people seeing it, you have people who don't play tennis who now might start playing tennis because of this,'' said the charismatic Simpson, a former tennis pro who could surely win an election on write-in ballots. ``It only takes one thing like this. I think it has boosted tennis in this area tremendously, and in East Tennessee as far as that's concerned.''

McEnroe believes the country needs tennis, needs sports in general. After unleashing a few of his profanity-laced tirades at match officials -- would the evening have been complete without them? -- he casually sipped a Molson and waxed about the future of tennis -- and the country's health.

``Sports is important, even if you don't end up being a professional athlete as far as I'm concerned,'' said the 1999 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee. ``You've got to get out there -- we all are getting so fat in America -- and work out. So that's a key element of it. (Education and exercise) are both key elements of it.''

Both stars conducted a free clinic with area youths before the exhibition. By the time the evening unfolded, it was impossible to deduce whether children or adults were more awestruck. A charity auction before the match fetched $1,400 for a pair of Blake's used tennis shoes. McEnroe's racquet reeled in $2,200.

All in support of education. In bolstering tennis. In affirmation of youth.

``The effect that clinic had on these kids -- they'll never forget that,'' Simpson said. ``They'll never forget hitting with John McEnroe and James Blake.''

Because for one night, a pair of tennis' brightest stars transformed East Tennessee into Wimbledon.

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Patrons witness legends of today, tomorrow
2006-05-04

The whippersnapper was the first one to reach the court.

James Blake did exactly what a young, attractive, twenty-something would do in that situation. He jogged through the entrance, paused slightly to cheese and then hurried off to his assigned bench.

The codger, however, knew exactly what to do.

John McEnroe was greeted like a war hero by a crowd of 1,000-plus eager patrons, all waiting for a moment they would now share at every holiday and business meeting. McEnroe almost looked methodical as he strolled casually through the masses before reaching the stage.

There he finally gave the peeps what they all wanted to see -- two arms extended, thumbs pointed to the heavens.

For some it was $75 to catch a glimpse of McEnroe's fabled personality. For others sitting comfortably in prime box seating, the totals must have been ridiculously higher.

Healthy Returns for Education brought together a melting pot to view a rare exhibition match between two of the game's biggest names. Blake brought everything for the lay tennis fan -- good personality, a million-dollar smile and recent stretch of headlines.

McEnroe, on the other hand, is a name that transcends the sport. And following suit, most of those in attendance at the Centre Court Racquet Club Wednesday night found his name as the most popular dog in the fight.

Eventually, it may not be the name they all remember.

James Blake is just like every other 26-year-old -- well, except for the No. 7 world-ranking, modeling contract and millions of millions of dollars.

Life has been a steady ascent for Blake since 2004. He, above most, deserved higher fortunes.

In that year, the former top-ranked collegiate player broke his neck in a freak accident in Rome, lost his father and contracted a disease that temporarily took away most of his vision, hearing and feeling on the side of this face.

On Wednesday, he was whipping one of the game's legends. Blake won the exhibition 6-4, 6-2. Beauty went before age, and the hare stole one from the tortoise.

``I was playing as hard as I possibly could,'' said McEnroe, now 47 but also a three-time singles and five-time doubles champion at Wimbledon.

``But I'm not used to that pace. The pace is unbelievable and his feet are just phenomenal.

``He's one of the fastest guys on the (ATP) tour.''

Speed isn't Blake's biggest asset, however. For a player that has gone from being the biggest fish in the pond (college) to not even being in the pond at all, life now has new meaning, and the ceiling could never be higher.

``For me to have planned on any of it (the hardships) three years ago would have been crazy,'' Blake said. ``So now I'm ready for the unexpected. Injuries can happen. Positive things can happen. I try to enjoy it and make the best of any situation that can come my way.''

Wednesday that situation was helping raise money for scholarships in a part of the country he's barely seen beyond the lines of its tennis courts.

``I'm actually undefeated in Knoxville now,'' Blake said. ``I guess I should come here more.''

No one corrected Blake when he said it. He probably didn't even realize that he was in a different city and county, and that quality fishing rested just 100 yards away from Centre Court's parking lot.

After the handshakes and autographs, Blake would be off again from East Tennessee to a quick layover in New York, and then back to site of his lowest professional moment.

He'll be preparing for the French Open over the next week in Rome.

``The last time I was in Rome I was lying in a hospital bed,'' Blake said. ``It was not so much fun, but I'm going to go back there with a smile on my face.

``Different hotel, different practice court, for sure. I don't think I'll be back on that practice court where I put a little dent in that net post.''

During his short day in Louisville, Blake left a much more pleasant impression. This one on his opponent, a person who should know talent when he sees it.

``He's peaking now and this is the best he's ever played,'' McEnroe said. ``He's got a great chance to do something special. There's a lot of good competition out there right now, but he's as good as any of them.''

Blake walked away with a similar feeling of appreciation.

``Now I get to tell my grandkids I beat John McEnroe,'' he said. ``I won't bring up the ages.''

If he keeps getting better, Blake might not have to.

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All-stars face off in exhibition match
2006-05-04
by Kelly Franklin

Daily Times Correspondent

It took just five minutes for John McEnroe to have his first dispute with the umpires once the tennis legend squared off with James Blake Wednesday night.

But much more went on before and after McEnroe's first outburst in his exhibition match capping the ``Healthy Returns for Education Tennis Challenge'' event at Centre Court Racquet Club.

4:45 p.m. -- Wes McNeillie, a seventh-grader at Maryville Middle, is a bit disappointed during the first few minutes of the youth clinic, receiving instructions from Centre Court pros and local high school coaches.

Then McEnroe and Blake, the world's No. 7 ranked player, step out into the bright sunshine and join the 80-plus youngsters, exchanging a few shots and tips with most of them.

After returning three clean shots in a row to McEnroe, with the pro's shots becoming crisper with each volley, McNeillie's mood is upbeat.

``I was really nervous, and it was really challenging when he hit it back (harder each time),'' said McNeillie. ``He's really gonna make anyone work for it.''

5:40 p.m. -- The stars finish their brief appearance with some general tips about tennis, attitude and hard work.

``Footwork is key,'' McEnroe says. ``Racquet preparation, watching the ball -- these are basics. But if you don't get to a ball nothing else matters. You've got to get it into your head when young to get in position, and that means footwork.''

Both remind the students about school work. Blake, who studied at Harvard, says, ``(McEnroe) went to Stanford, so we both put the books first. Have fun, but hit the books hard.''

6:10 p.m. -- The two players take a short break -- the bathrooms in Centre Court having been converted into massage rooms, to keep them loose for their later exhibition.

Adrian Czarnowski, an exchange student now on the William Blount tennis team, is a little disappointed since he and some others didn't get a chance to hit with the stars.

When asked his favorite tennis player, the Polish student stuck with his European roots, quickly announcing ``(Roger) Federer,'' the No. 1 ranked Swiss phenom.

6:45 p.m. -- A who's who of Blount County VIPs enjoy a reception with fine food, drinks and a chance to have pictures made with the stars.

Dr. Bob Proffitt, one of the top senior tennis players in the state, is able to enjoy his favorite sport after wrapping up his successful race for the Democratic spot in County Commission elections. There are countless area physicians, politicians and socialites in the crowd.

7:15 p.m. -- The reception goes on while Janet Olson and partner are losing the final match of the Ladies doubles competition on the main court.

Olson, also an event silver-level sponsor, is more honed in on her chance to play doubles later with McEnroe.

The 4.0-rated player admits that McEnroe and Illie Nastase, another former ``bad boy of tennis,'' are her favorites. ``I love the bad boys,'' says the spunky Olson.

After the main game, Olson and McEnroe team up for a victory over Blake and another auction winner, with Olson finishing off the match with a strong rally against Blake for the winning point.

7:50 p.m. -- The stands are full as master of ceremonies Hallerin Hilton Hill auctions off a few more items to benefit local educational institutions. Later, during the match, Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes -- a primary sponsor along with the Blount Memorial Hospital Foundation and Centre Court -- announces to the sell-out crowd that net proceeds have eclipsed $200,000.

8:05 p.m. -- Blake appears to loud applause that grows when the audience sees that his white shirt is trimmed with bright orange piping. Nonetheless, McEnroe's entrance is clearly greeted with heavier enthusiasm. Ticket pricing may be a self-fulfilling guarantee of an older crowd, more aware of Johnny Mac's long career than young Blake's.

8:16 p.m. -- The match begins with a McEnroe ace. Five minutes later in game two, the 47-year old has his first run-in with the umpires.

After a Blake shot close to the line is ruled in, Mac yells to the linesman, ``He's No. 7 in the world and you are going to give him two more inches?''

8:46 p.m. -- McEnroe throws his racket to the ground in disgust ... or to please the crowd, which came expecting such antics ... or both.

He then walks to the sideline and changes into a shirt of the same design as Blake's. The crowd loves it. The players keep a straight face after the match when saying that there was no conspiracy leading to both of them ending up in Big Orange.

9:40 p.m. -- Both men have made some outstanding shots, but the younger Blake's speed and power lead to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

``Now I can tell my grandkids that I beat John McEnroe,'' says the 26-year old rising star. ``I won't mention the ages.''

10:15 p.m. -- After a few final chances for locals to mix with the celebrities, the crowd thins. Blake meets with the press, but McEnroe is miffed about something, and he may not come.

After a few anxious minutes, Mac does appear, looking relaxed in a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt, sipping a cold beer.

He is gracious and calm. His part of the show is over, and he hopes that everyone enjoyed the performance.

Lenny Simpson, host of Centre Court, definitely has.

``How could it not be great? John McEnroe and James Blake here, 80 or so kids in a great clinic, great weather, a big crowd came in...it doesn't get any better than this,'' Simpson gushes.

Deboogle!.
05-04-2006, 04:26 PM
ok one more article, and a pic :)
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Lots of Racquet

Tennis clinic, exhibition by McEnroe, Blake is a big hit in Blount County

By JAMAR HUDSON, hudsonj@knews.com
May 4, 2006

LOUISVILLE - Inside Centre Court Racquet Club Wednesday afternoon, Sonya Emert stood in a position that was very familiar to her.

A six-year tennis player, Emert had thought she'd experienced plenty on the court. But this day was different. Her opponent was James Blake, the No. 7 player in the world.

Emert stood confident, but the serves came a little quicker than any she had faced before, the rallies had a little more zip. Blake understandably took it easy on her, but for Emert, the experience was one she won't forget.

"It was awesome, nothing (I've experienced) has come close to this," the Louisville resident said. "The serves just came by so quickly I couldn't react."

Emert won an auction for the opportunity to play against Blake. After the session, Emert said Blake gave her some tips on how she can improve her game.

"He was such a sweet guy and very generous," Emert said.

Approximately 1,000 people where on hand throughout the day for the inaugural Healthy Returns for Tennis Challenge.

And while the objective was to work on tennis skills and benefit a worthy cause, the highlight was the appearances by Blake and tennis great John McEnroe.

As parents stood with video and digital cameras, the kids had a once-in-a-lifetime experience as Blake and McEnroe took to the court for a short clinic.

The two gave tips and hit practice backhands, forehands and volleys and the kid were able to sharpen their skills with a tennis hall of famer and one of the up and coming stars in the game.

"Bend your knees!"

"Move your feet!"

"Good job," said McEnroe as he hit practice shots to the kids, some of whom seemed nervous and in awe of the seven-time grand slam champion.

For Blake, it's the easiest part of his job.

"All the match wins enable us to do something like that," Blake said. "The biggest part of getting wins on the court is that you get to have a voice off the court."

A fellow lefthander, 13-year-old John Anderson of Knoxville, was one of many youngsters who were able to practice his skills against McEnroe.

An aspiring tennis pro himself, the experience was invaluable for Anderson.

"It was great because I've never hit with a pro before," Anderson said. "(As a left-hander) we both care about out strokes rather than where our shots go.

"It helped because I'll know what to expect in later matches."

Blake and McEnroe stressed that while playing tennis is great, the main focus should be on education.

The day ended with McEnroe and Blake going head-to-head in an exhibition match. Blake defeated McEnroe 6-4, 6-2. The 47-year-old McEnroe had his hands full with the younger, more-athletic Blake.

"It would've been nice to have it a little bit easier," said McEnroe of the match. "I was playing as hard as I could. I'm not used to that pace.

"His speed is just phenomenal."

Centre Court Racquet Club has been in existence for six months. Director Lenny Simpson hopes having an event of this magnitude will be the start of many high profile events to come.

"We had a great week and tournament, this is an event I've wanted to do for a long time. We're very fortunate to have John and James here," Simpson said. "This is a memorable experience those kids we'll cherish for the rest of their lives

"They don't really realize the magnitude of it yet, but they'll remember that forever."

mishar
05-05-2006, 01:53 PM
Oh that's very sweet... I'm glad James didn't lose though :scared: that would have been embarassing!

mishar
05-05-2006, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the articles, Deb!

I'm intrigued by the idea of the celebrities and socialites of Blout County, TN!

tangerine_dream
05-09-2006, 09:42 PM
I've uploaded the James Blake segment of "Men of Tennis" here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OOYKCh7brY

Happy viewing :banana:

Deboogle!.
05-14-2006, 05:39 AM
ouch |:
===========================
On the Courts by Mike Szostak: Blake's withdrawal big disappointment to Newport tennis

01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, May 14, 2006

Here's some bad news for James Blake fans and the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Blake, ranked No. 7 in the world this week, has withdrawn from the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport in July.

"Naturally, we're disappointed," said Mark Stenning, chief executive of the Hall of Fame and the tournament director who gave Blake his first break in the form of a wild card in 1998, when Blake was a Harvard freshman.

Disappointed? I guess.

Blake committed to this tournament in February. He signed a contract. He said that returning to Newport, where he has played seven of the last eight years, is "like coming home . . . a great time for me."

Clearly, now that Blake has cracked the Top 10 of tennis, Newport isn't his home away from home. He apparently got word to Stenning that he has played 31 matches this year, is tired and wants to take some time off after the French Open and Wimbledon.

That's fine. Most of the Top 10 take the week off after Wimbledon before heading to the U.S. for the summer hard court season or to Europe for more play on clay.

But Blake's withdrawal at this time puts Stenning and the tournament in a ticklish situation.

"We used him on all out printed material, our ticket brochures," Stenning said. Those are collector's items now. And fans who bought tickets with the sole intention of seeing Blake are out of luck. No refunds.

Blake would have been the headliner for the July 10-16 tournament. Now Stenning has to scramble a bit. Three-time champion Greg Rusedski has agreed to come back, and Stenning is trying to convince Robby Ginepri to return. Mardy Fish, Jeff Morrison, Paul Goldstein and Vince Spadea are already in the fold.

The interesting thing about Blake and the Hall of Fame is that, except for reaching the semifinals in 2001 and losing to Taylor Dent in the final in 2002, his results on the Newport Casino grass have been uninspiring. He went out in the first round in 1998, 2003 and 2005 and lost in the second round in 1999 and 2004. He did not play in 2000.

Blake's agent, Carlos Fleming of Cleveland-based International Management Group, was traveling and did not return a voicemail seeking an explanation.

Blake must have a big summer to protect his computer points and his ranking. A year ago he reached the final in Washington, won in New Haven, reached the quarterfinal at the U.S. Open and won in Stockholm. Repeating that success will be a daunting challenge, one that will certainly require some rest, as the folks in Newport learned to their dismay a few days ago.

tangerine_dream
05-18-2006, 06:51 PM
James tops ACE magazine's list of Hot Tennis Men this year :woohoo: Andy came in second. :dance:

The full list:

10: Juan Carlos Ferrero
9: Richard Gasquet
8: Rafael Nadal
7: Roger Federer
6: Tommy Haas
5: Andre Agassi
4: Feliciano Lopez
3: Marat Safin
2: Andy Roddick
1: James Blake :banana:

cobalt60
05-23-2006, 04:03 PM
Don't know where to put this tidbit but James has also won the ARAG trophy for fairplay this year. The votes come from the team captains and jounalists.

Fumus
07-06-2006, 05:51 PM
You Debitize me if this was already posted but I thought it was cool!!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/jon_wertheim/07/05/mb/index.html


Can you confirm this: Friend of a friend, etc., etc., went to high school with James Blake. Blake was so good he would give up points so that the other guy wouldn't feel too bad. One day, Blake was running late for prom and still hadn't picked up his tux. Before a match he apologized to the other guy for what he was about to do. Blake won 6-0, 6-0 in 20 minutes.
-- Duane Wright, Washington D.C.
Here's the official response from Blake himself: "Haha, that's pretty funny. It's a little bit of truth and a little bit of myth. I did used to give some guys points just because I was screwing around. And then when I played the kid on the day I had to go to prom, I beat him in 25 minutes. 11 minutes first set and 14 for the second. It was 0 and 0, but I didn't apologize before the match. I apologized after the match. And I apologized to the coach, too, and then got in my car and was out of there in a few minutes."

tangerine_dream
07-07-2006, 03:55 PM
Attention New York City slickers :bounce:

Free Tickets For Blake's NYC Interview On Monday

James Blake is coming to Manhattan on Monday and you can be there to greet him. The Yonkers, N.Y. native will be the featured guest on ESPN's sports talk show "Quite Frankly" with Stephen A. Smith on Monday, July 10.

The show is scheduled to start taping at 7:30 p.m. on Monday (schedule subject to change) at the Hotel Pennsylvania at 15 Penn Plaza across from the world famous Madison Square Garden. Doors open at 6 p.m.

For free ticket reservations to attend the taping of Blake's interview, please call (646) 708-7150 or email Jackea.X.Chan.-nd@espn.com. If you leave a message please be sure to include:

Correct spelling of your first and last name
Your telephone number, including area code
Spell your email address

The free tickets for Blake's appearance on"Quite Frankly" are "extremely limited". If you are selected for free tickets, you will receive a phone call back and a ticket reservation letter via email.

Deboogle!.
07-07-2006, 04:13 PM
gonna go tangy?

anaa
07-09-2006, 04:58 PM
Here`s an article James` mum wrote. Great pictures :hearts:

http://www.insidetennis.com/0706_blake.html

tangerine_dream
07-11-2006, 04:51 PM
We must stop the British from stealing our James away from us and trying to claim him as one of their own!!! :armed:

Another Wimbledon article but it's cute so I'm posting here in the news section. (plus, the photo is hot) :drool:

Why we love tennis pro James Blake
By VICTORIA COREN
Daily Mail
26th June 2006

He's a Harvard graduate, an ex-model and Wimbledon's one to watch. VICTORIA COREN thinks the new tennis player on the block is ace.

No doubt you'll be sighing with relief today, as the football is finally diluted with some lovely tennis action. (One friend texted me: "I am actually giggling with delight.")

Perhaps you are already cranking up your Henmania, but beware! It's not cool to support Tim too vigorously this year.

Heart-throbs, like handbags, must be updated. Like all accessories, your favourite singers, sportsmen or film stars should keep up with the seasons.

A loud burst of Henmania is like a gipsy skirt or a Fendi baguette: something brought out from previous summers, which is starting to look a little tired.

Tim is comfortable, but he isn't daring. We will always be pleased to see him do well, but you need to freshen up the tennis season with a whole new interest. This summer, stylish women should be cheering for James Blake.

Why Blake? First, he's gorgeous. Second, he has an amazing life story. Third, he is practically British.

He grew up in America, but his mother comes from Banbury near Oxford. One British parent is surely enough to make him one of us?

No disrespect to Henman, but this country doesn't turn out the biggest crop of heroes. We'll take what we can get. If we can claim Greg Rusedski as our own, I say we can claim James Blake as well.

If you didn't see him in the final of this year's Stella Artois, his name may be entirely new.

I conducted a poll among my friends, texting them to ask "Who is James Blake?" and not one knew. Guesses included "A singer?", "A poet?" and "A Formula One driver?"

Stylish

One friend, who is congratulating herself on timing her maternity leave for the tennis, replied: "I don't know, I'll have to Google him. Hang on - ooh, hel-lo!'

Hel-lo, indeed. It is a normal first reaction. And this is what makes James Blake such a stylish person to support: if you start now, you will be among the first.

Being fashionable is all about setting the trend. But this is not just about looks. James Blake's life story is inspirational, and very modern. It is all about overcoming tragedy, putting faith in the power of positive thinking and willing yourself to succeed.

Blake, 26, began life with brains and beauty. But a back problem required him to wear a special brace throughout his teenage years.

This did not prevent him from winning a place at Harvard University and later landing a modelling contract - nor from discovering his great skill as a tennis player.

21st-century hero

He decided to commit himself to tennis after hearing the late Arthur Ashe (the legendary black Wimbledon champion who is his hero) speak. Blake soared up the rankings, capturing attention and winning the title Rookie Of The Year.

But disaster struck in May 2004, when he was practising for a tournament in Rome. Racing to return a drop-shot, he slammed into the steel net post and broke his neck. Six weeks into his recuperation, his father died of cancer.

With typical spirit, Blake described the accident as "the luckiest thing that ever happened to me".

He says: "Otherwise I would have been in Europe at that time. It ended up being the last six weeks of my father's life, and I got to spend a lot of time with him."

After recovering from his injury, James went straight back on to the court and made the quarterfinals of the US Open. He dedicated that success to his father.

In March, he became the first black male player since Ashe to reach the Top Ten in the world rankings.

Does this man not have everything required for a 21st-century hero?

He has the toughness and machismo to fight back from disaster to glory. He has the softness and humanity to express love for his parents, to win awards for sportsmanship and to donate a proportion of every prize to a children's hospital.

As if all that weren't enough, he has model looks, a Harvard brain and British blood.

And that's why the fashionable woman, casting around for a new Wimbledon icon, should settle on James Blake.

Be sure to get in first and practise shouting his name. No offence to Tim, but I, for one, hope this will be the year Henman Hill becomes Blake Mountain. :haha:

Tommy_Babyboy
08-10-2006, 10:39 AM
Bad day for both my tennis gods - both fell in 2nd Round in Toronto... :(
James upset by Gasquet
R Gasquet (FRA) d (5)J Blake (USA) 64 63
http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/newsandscores/scores/
It is a pity... very very... no any interest to follow scores...

Tommy_Babyboy
08-15-2006, 05:32 AM
James won his first match vs Santoro
(6)J Blake (USA) d. F Santoro (FRA) 64 64
http://www.cincytennis.com/en/oncourt/results/results_schedule.asp

So then he will play against J C Ferrero...
Another not easy match upcoming...
Draw
http://www.cincytennis.com/en/common/MDS_2006_men.asp

Good luck James!

Tommy_Babyboy
08-23-2006, 09:13 AM
Omg!
This is all over for James in NH already!
R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) d (1)J Blake (USA) 26 76(6) 76(4)

Won first set 6/2 but lost two tough sets on tiebreaks...
Strange... WTH is that R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP)?
:mad:

Tommy_Babyboy
09-02-2006, 05:22 PM
James in third round of USOpen!
He will battle vs OMG Carlos Moya!!!

WOW!! That would a war!!!

tangerine_dream
09-08-2006, 09:33 PM
Have any of you seen James' Evian water ads on the New York Times website? (www.nytimes.com) It's usually on the front page. If you click on it it'll take you to this site which has videos of James on it:

http://www.evian.com/us/jamesblake/

I'm disappointed that we have not seen any TV ads for this. :sad:

WhataQT
09-16-2006, 03:34 AM
The Tennis Week Interview: James Blake

Photo By Susan Mullane By Scoop Malinowski
09/16/2006

James Blake took a break from his Davis Cup preparations to Detox in New York City last night. The two-time U.S. Open quarterfinalist took time out from a week of training on the clay courts of Saddlebrook near his Tampa home to fly up to New York City yesterday and host a jam-packed Evian Detox Spa party staged in midtown Manhattan.

The Yonkers, N.Y. native signed on as Evian brand ambassador prior to the start of the U.S. Open and Evian celebrated Blake's success in reaching his second straight U.S. Open quarterfinal with last night's post Open bash at the Evian Detox Spa which opened up on 521 5th avenue last week. Musical entertainment was provided by DJ Kid Millionaire aka Steve Aoki.

The Evian Detox Spa is a pop-up spa that is only open for the month of September and is offering complimentary spa services to VIPs (the spa treatments include reflexology, massage, and facial, and all treatments incorporate Evian water). Walk-ins are welcome to stop by the spa and they will receive a complimentary Evian massage.

The eighth-ranked Blake might consider indulging in spa treatment for himself before boarding a flight to Moscow to join U.S. Open runner-up Andy Roddick and reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan on the American Davis Cup team that will take on a tough Russian team consisting of former World No. 1 Marat Safin, U.S. Open and Roland Garros semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko, U.S. Open semifinalist and Davis Cup hero Mikhaily Youzhny and Dmitry Tursunov in the Davis Cup semifinals, which start next Friday on the red clay of Olympic Stadium. The winner of the Russia-USA tie will take on either Argentina or Australia in the December 1-3 Davis Cup final.

Blake took a time out from the party to discuss his performance at the Open and his preparations for Davis Cup.

Tennis Week: When you were leaving the U.S. Open grounds, carrying your bags after cleaning out your locker, describe your mind set. You had a great tournament before the loss to Roger.

James Blake: Yeah, at that time I'm still thinking about things that could have been done differently. You know, hopin' I could have taken advantage of those set points I had in the first set, hopin' I could have taken advantage of that break point I had in the fourth set. But I always feel that way kinda right after a loss. That was tough. It usually ends up being a little better — actually I got drug-tested after the match, and then going to press — that actually ends up easing my pain, if you will, a little more. Because I get to put it in perspective a little more with the press. Seems like they tend to make it like the world is ending every time I lose. It helps me to take the pressure off actually when I talk to the press. Then leaving there I was with my buddy, Evan, I was with my coach, with my brother. The best thing for me, the best therapy is around them, is to act like it's not a big deal, that things are gonna be all right. Just talkin' about what's going on in their lives or whatever. So when you're going home or going to the hotel, it's not the only thing on your mind. The best thing for me is to think about what's going on in their lives. And realize the world is gonna go on, the sun's gonna come up tomorrow and everything's gonna be okay. So just being around them and thinking about other things is the best thing for me.

Tennis Week: Do you believe you can beat Federer?

James Blake: I do. A wise man, Todd Martin, told me, If you could win one set, you can win two. So I won one set, I know I can win two. If you win two, you can win three. I know it's possible. I had a chance in the first set too. So he doesn't seem insurmountable. But obviously I have to play a perfect match. He's definitely at a level above everyone else. I can't say that right now I can consistently beat him. But that doesn't mean that I can't on a given day, beat him. Every day I step on the court with him, I feel I can win. Unfortunately so far, every time I've stepped off the court I haven't beaten him. But there's definitely a possibility.

Tennis Week: Have you begun practicing on clay yet?

James Blake: Yeah, since Monday I've been hitting on clay in Saddlebrook.

Tennis Week: Did you learn anything about yourself at the U.S. Open this year? About your game?

James Blake: Yeah, I learned that it's a lot different going in being a wild card as when you go in being the fifth seed. I can still perform well under any situation. And that's something I'm proud of. Obviously, like I said, totally different situation. I still played some of my best tennis — especially against (Tomas) Berdych — and dealing with people expecting you to win is very different than dealing with people who are kind of cheering for the underdog. And it's a great feeling both ways — to know that you have people cheering for you. And this year I'm proud that I got through with those kind of pressures. And it helps having Andy and Andre there to kind of teach me about that kind of stuff. But I learned I can play great tennis in any kind of situation. And I'm happy to be dealing with that kind of pressure.

Tennis Week: Did you hear the quote from Pete Sampras this week, "I haven't ruled out" a Wimbledon comeback?

James Blake: I haven't heard that. Actually I got a message from Pete the other day but he didn't mention anything about that. That would be interesting. That would be something where it would be similar to Andre, where every match people want to tune in — that's one you miss dinner for. You want to see Pete play. And we all miss him as part of the game. We're gonna miss Andre so much. Andre's done more I think than just about anyone for this game in terms of becoming a global superstar, and using that for good. Pete did all his talking with his racquet and having 14 Grand Slams is enough said. He doesn't even need to say anything else outside of that. He's the best player ever, right now, I think until Roger possibly goes past him. But he's got so much talent and ability and he seems like he knows how to play on grass. He'll be able to play on grass, I think, when he's 80 years old. It'll conjure up memories of that year he played when he was getting cortisone shots in his leg and not practicing on the days off. We were all cheering for him then and we'd still be cheering for him.

Tennis Week: When he sent the message, was he motivating you for the trip to Moscow at all?

James Blake: He was actually just telling me something he saw in my match with Roger. He helped me out. He just wanted to kind of throw in his two cents and his two cents is pretty valuable — when it's coming from a 14-time Grand Slam champion.

Tennis Week: Davydenko's playing in Beijing this week. He's playing, then he's gonna go straight to Moscow for the Davis Cup tie after the long run at the U.S. Open — would you be able to do that? Playing that much tennis and still be 100 percent fresh for Moscow?

James Blake: Nope. That's why I'm cheering for him to get to the finals [laughs]. Yeah, I wouldn't consider that as a schedule. My coach would kill me if I thought about doing that.

Tennis Week: Who are some of the famous people you've met from tennis?

James Blake: Oh wow. Well John Mayer I've known since I was in fifth grade. So I don't think of him as being that famous. I got to meet Greg Norman last week. I got to meet Rick Fox, LeBron James. Jerome Bettis. A bunch of athletes, not as many movie star types. Got to meet Jay-Z the other week. That was pretty fun. Joe Frazier — that was a big inspiration.

Tennis Week: And last one, do you think the Mets have a chance this year?

James Blake: I do think the Mets have a chance. The National League I'll admit is looking a little weaker than the American League right now. But all they have to do is win the the four-game series, if they get to the World Series against possibly a stronger team. But I like their chances.

http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=15965&bannerregion=

tangerine_dream
09-19-2006, 08:15 PM
http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2006/writers/elizabeth_newman/09/15/queens.court/p1_blake.jpg

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/elizabeth_newman/09/15/queens.court/index.html
Another King James?
Blake enjoying life as next big American tennis star
by Elizabeth Newman
Friday September 15, 2006

Don't look now, but James Blake is all smiles these days. Who could blame him? He has the looks, game and bank account of a classic champion. He's playing the best tennis of his life, winning a career-best three ATP titles this year, and he's currently ranked No. 8, becoming the first African-American male since Arthur Ashe to crack the men's top 10. In fact, over the past year he has slowly been laying his claim to the American men's tennis throne, and everyone is starting to take notice.

As he stood in the middle of a jam-packed, post-U.S. Open party thrown by Evian on Thursday night, the only care the tennis heartthrob seemed to have was deciding which leggy fashion model he would strike a pose with next. "Smile, James!" a rangy blonde beckoned as she cozied up to Blake for the cameras. And smile he did. Blake spent nearly three hours posing, chatting and networking with a hip crowd of devotees who were hankering to exalt his recent success. Yes, Blake is surely loving life right about now. He's at the top of his game and as a result his popularity and his corporate demand have skyrocketed.

Capitalizing on his surge up the tennis rankings, the 26-year-old signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Evian in July. Normally this would not be news among tennis stars, but for Blake, this is the start of something big -- the beginnings of becoming a superstar. America's other men's tennis star, Andy Roddick, already has endorsement deals with American Express, Rolex and Parlux among others. Yet this is Blake's first non-tennis sponsorship deal since making his debut in the top 10 early this year, and so far Evian is pulling out all the stops to market him as the next big thing.

"He has clearly turned the corner, establishing himself as a top-10 player. In the marketing world, it's given him a new level of credibility as a corporate spokesperson," said Blake's agent, Carlos Fleming.

For the first time in his career, Blake was the top American billed at this year's U.S. Open. On Day 4 of the tournament, ushers passed out James Blake hand fans from Evian to all entrants while Blake paraphernalia sold in record numbers at the concession stands.

"I guess it all started at the Open last year," said James. "That's where I got a lot of exposure with my win over [Rafael] Nadal and the great quarterfinal against [Andre] Agassi and the hype with the J Block and the T-shirts. Fans saw how hard I play and how much of a turnaround I made and they really appreciated."

Fans also got the first glimpse of Blake's personal life, when his then-girlfriend, model Jennifer Scholle, sat in his box at last year's Open. The pairing made news headlines and gossip blogs and got several mentions on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. "That was pretty funny," said Blake. "I heard Tony Kornheiser took a liking to her. Who knew?"

The soiree Thursday night, held at the Evian Detox Spa in New York City, was an eclectic mix of the cosmopolitan party scene, most of whom had never before met the tennis star. High-heeled socialites, fresh from their stint at New York Fashion week, mingled with wannabe actors and suave corporate big wigs, all trying to get a piece of the James Blake pie. One Amazon beauty spilled her pink Evian Martini while trying to make a mad dash for Blake. Another ditched her Evian hand massage -- mid rubdown -- for a quick glimpse of the tennis star's backside as he sauntered through the crowd. One guy, dressed to the nines in a Gucci pinstriped suit, wondered aloud if James would be interested in playing a round of golf at his country club. (No word yet if Blake accepted his offer.) Everyone craved a moment with American tennis' next big thing, and on this night he was more than happy to oblige them.

After the gathering at the spa, Blake and his entourage packed into their black SUV and headed to the after-party at New York hot spot Stereo.

"Oh, my God, I have to go to the after-party!" screamed a blonde admirer. "He's so hot I'm going to try to follow him all night."

Such is life for James Blake these days. He has spent the past few weeks in New York both playing high-caliber tennis and living the high life. Days before his four-set quarterfinal loss to Roger Federer on center court at the Open, Blake and Roddick hit the red carpet for the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall.

"A rock-star night on the town," is how Blake described it.

Following the awards show, the two headed to the 40/40 Club owned by music hip hop mogul Jay-Z to celebrate Beyoncé's birthday and album-release party.

"I'm just enjoying the moment. It's been a crazy ride the last year," Blake mused. "None of this fanfare seemed possible when I started the year out in 2005. Yeah, with the recent success you get pulled in a lot of directions to do different things, but I'm enjoying it."

Believe it or not, being James Blake hasn't always been this sexy. The dashing good looks, the champion's swagger, the weight of American tennis on his shoulders? All an afterthought in 2004 when a series of personal and professional tragedies nearly cost Blake his tennis career. He broke his neck after slamming into a net post during a practice session with fellow American Robby Ginepri. He lost his father, Thomas, to stomach cancer. He contracted a stress-related viral disease that left his vision impaired and half of his face paralyzed.

Now, nearly two years after "the worst year of his life," Blake is the It man in the tennis world and on the verge of being the next big thing in American sports.

Sure, one could argue that Blake has yet to do anything at the majors (has never reached a Grand Slam semi), and he's a dismal 2-12 combined against Roddick and Agassi, including 1-8 versus Roddick. But the scrappy kid from Yonkers, N.Y., has played the best tennis of any of the Americans all year, and it's starting to pay off. Simply put, life is pretty good for kid Blake right about now.

Deboogle!.
10-24-2006, 03:24 AM
So.... James is gonna write a book... :scratch:
------------------
The Book On Blake
By Tennis Week
10/23/2006

James Blake has been busy scripting the most successful season of his career in capturing five tournament titles through the first 10 months of the season and advancing to his second straight U.S. Open quarterfinal where he fell to defending champion Roger Federer in another highly-entertaining evening match.

The former Harvard all American will spend some of his offseason writing his first book for Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins.

Described as "an inspirational story" rather than an autobiography, the book will detail Blake's comeback from adversity during a physically and emotionally debilitating 2004 season in which Blake’s father, Tom, passed away just weeks after the former Harvard all American sustained the most serious injury of his career when he suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck in a frightening collision with the net post on the red clay of Rome and was later stricken with a virus which diminished his sense of sight, taste and hearing and left his face partially paralyzed.

Blake has written for both the ATP's DEUCE magazine and the ATP web site, contributing a well-received blog in January.

KickAssAngel
10-26-2006, 10:40 AM
So.... James is gonna write a book... :scratch:
------------------
The Book On Blake
By Tennis Week
10/23/2006

James Blake has been busy scripting the most successful season of his career in capturing five tournament titles through the first 10 months of the season and advancing to his second straight U.S. Open quarterfinal where he fell to defending champion Roger Federer in another highly-entertaining evening match.

The former Harvard all American will spend some of his offseason writing his first book for Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins.

Described as "an inspirational story" rather than an autobiography, the book will detail Blake's comeback from adversity during a physically and emotionally debilitating 2004 season in which Blake’s father, Tom, passed away just weeks after the former Harvard all American sustained the most serious injury of his career when he suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck in a frightening collision with the net post on the red clay of Rome and was later stricken with a virus which diminished his sense of sight, taste and hearing and left his face partially paralyzed.

Blake has written for both the ATP's DEUCE magazine and the ATP web site, contributing a well-received blog in January.

Wooohoooo can't wait!!

NeverSayDie
10-26-2006, 03:05 PM
Blake is writing a book?!! :eek: I will be first in the queue to buy it :D

ufokart
10-28-2006, 04:07 AM
So.... James is gonna write a book...
------------------
The Book On Blake
By Tennis Week
10/23/2006

James Blake has been busy scripting the most successful season of his career in capturing five tournament titles through the first 10 months of the season and advancing to his second straight U.S. Open quarterfinal where he fell to defending champion Roger Federer in another highly-entertaining evening match.

The former Harvard all American will spend some of his offseason writing his first book for Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins.

Described as "an inspirational story" rather than an autobiography, the book will detail Blake's comeback from adversity during a physically and emotionally debilitating 2004 season in which Blake’s father, Tom, passed away just weeks after the former Harvard all American sustained the most serious injury of his career when he suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck in a frightening collision with the net post on the red clay of Rome and was later stricken with a virus which diminished his sense of sight, taste and hearing and left his face partially paralyzed.

Blake has written for both the ATP's DEUCE magazine and the ATP web site, contributing a well-received blog in January.

Seems interesting :).
Hope he is really writing one and that he can finish it, now that i heard this it would be a dissapointment if i can't read it :lol:

tangerine_dream
11-30-2006, 04:50 PM
I talked about a potential Blake-Roddick mini rivalry on my blog months ago but Peter Bodo gets allllll the credit. Boo. :ras: ;)

http://espn-ak.starwave.com/photo/2006/1128/ten_g_blake_roddick_412.jpg
From Friends to Foes?
James Blake and Andy Roddick have been buddies forever. It's not uncommon for the two Americans to spend quality time together, on and off the court. However, TENNIS.com's Peter Bodo believes a little animosity might just spark this budding rivalry.

Worldwide, Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal will undoubtedly be one of the principal storylines in tennis in 2007, but we're here to say that the tradition of myopic, soccer-hating, what's-tapas (?), apple-pie-grade American self-absorption is not just alive and well, but screaming for attention. To many of us benighted Yanks, another race for glory may be just as riveting: the budding rivalry between Andy Roddick and James Blake.

Who cares if, between them, they own just one Grand Slam title (the one Roddick earned at the U.S. Open in 2003), as opposed to Nadalerer's, oh, 11? You just couldn't script a more compelling storyline for a U.S. audience if you're looking to skim off the attention of folks who actually own the DVD of 61 (the TV movie about the friendship -- and rivalry -- of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris).

Blake and Roddick have been buddies forever (in tennis, that's roughly 10 years), and the cement that firmed it up was their mutual support for the U.S. Davis Cup effort. There's nothing like a shared sense of mission to foster camaraderie, especially in underdog units. And these days, the old overdogs (U.S. and Australia) have little to crow about beyond the team spirit and solidarity they feel.

Blake pretty much put it into perspective in the course of his run to his title at the RCA Championships this summer: "Andy and I wanted to prove that U.S. tennis is back now," he said. "We're on our surface now and we want to do well going into the U.S. Open and hopefully for the rest of the year."

Ah, anybody remember Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, or even Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, using the royal "we" in the heyday of their rivalry? In fact, Blake made that comment just weeks after he had derailed defending champ Andy Roddick in the semifinals at Queens -- where Roddick was hoping to win his fourth title in a row. After Blake waxed Roddick in his own house (on grass), the two players huddled in the locker room after the match and pored over the stat sheet. In the same situation, McEnroe would have surreptitiously put broken glass in Jimbo's loafers.

As it turned out, Blake was prescient. Both he and Roddick finished the year strong. Blake rose to another level as a player by the end of the year, as he finished runner-up to Roger Federer at the ATP Championships; Roddick found his game again under the tutelage of -- yep, Connors.

Heading into 2007, the roles of hunter and hunted are pretty clearly defined. Although Blake vaulted to No. 4 in the world on the strength of his year-end championships result, Roddick is the Big Dog: a former world No. 1, former Grand Slam titleholder (and multiple runner-up), and still a strong No. 6 despite his well-chronicled hardships this year.

Before 2006, Roddick had won all six of his matches with Blake, losing just one set (in their first meeting: Memphis, 2002). But Blake won their last two matches (Queens and Indy), five titles to Andy's one in 2006 and he's now ranked higher. Their won-lost for 2006 has a crazy symmetry: Blake (59-25) won 10 more matches than Andy (49-20), but he also had five more losses. The upshot: Blake's winning percentage was 70.23, Roddick's 71.01.

So the table is set. The wild card may be Jimbo, Roddick's coach and once the Dark Prince of Rivalry. Would he be better off if Jimbo found a way to inject Andy with a little of his own, former, trademark animosity -- the kind of hate he got on for rivals, whether they were countrymen or Swedes or Czechs? Or do we prefer the feel-good option, in which two pals find themselves locked in mortal combat for the bragging rights to the nation?

Whichever way the story develops, it will be a subplot that could take over the storyline in the event that Federer falters, and Nadal fails to unlock the mysteries of hard and fast courts.

tangerine_dream
11-30-2006, 08:40 PM
Steve Tignor chimes in on his thoughts about James' prospects for 2007 :wavey:

Why Blake's latest loss will help him in '07
by: Stephen Tignor , TENNIS.com
posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The first time I saw James Blake, he was getting blitzed. On a tennis court, that is. It was the opening round of the 1999 U.S. Open, and there was a lot of "next American hope" buzz surrounding the skinny kid from Harvard. But it died down in a hurry that afternoon at Flushing Meadows, as Blake was run ragged by journeyman Chris "Country" Woodruff, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. It looked like Blake was another solid college player who wasn't physical enough to hang with the big boys.

The last time I saw James Blake was three days ago, and he was getting blitzed again. But it wasn't Country Woodruff on the other side of the net, and it wasn't a first-round match. It was Roger Federer who was running Blake ragged in the final of the ATP's year-end championships, the Masters Cup. The tournament takes the world's top eight players and pits them in a week of round-robin play; the winner walks away with the biggest paycheck in the sport, $1.5 mil. Blake, who had never been close to making it into the event before (he finished 2005 ranked No. 24), slid through at No. 8, then played two of the best matches of his life to beat Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian and become the surprise finalist.

It's official: A month before his 27th birthday, James Blake has proved he can hang with the big boys. So why didn't he look like he believed it on Sunday? Federer came out on fire, and Blake had no response other than a hung head and a lot of misfired ground strokes. Always the gentleman, Blake had this to say about the man who tuned him up: "I'm honored to be considered one of his colleagues. It's so great watching him play." Honest words, but not those of someone who believed he was going to win.

No matter how high Blake climbs, there will be doubts about his killer instinct. Yes, he's a nice guy from Connecticut, so level-headed he forgave Lleyton Hewitt's racially tinged remarks during their 2001 U.S. Open match because they were uttered "in the heat of battle." But killer instinct isn't the point with Blake. If anything, his career shows that it may be an overrated quality in athletes. With Blake, what counts is self-belief, something he's struggled with from the beginning.

At first, Blake wasn't sure he could be a pro. Who goes to Harvard if their goal in life is to win Wimbledon? When he first made the top 25 in 2003, he didn't take the next step and "learn how to stay on top," he said. After his well-chronicled troubles of 2004, Blake came back even stronger and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. But when he got there, he gave away a two-set lead and lost a classic to his idol, Andre Agassi.

This time, Blake learned how to stay on top and, more important, to believe that that's where he belongs. In 2006, he crossed a mental hurdle by beating Andy Roddick for the first time in nine tries and becoming the top-ranked American.

He may also have become the latest bloomer in tennis history. At 27, Bjorn Borg was retired and John McEnroe's major titles were in the rearview mirror. Blake's ridiculous athleticism -- he can simply do things on a court no one else can do -- seems to be overriding the aging process so far. Will it last long enough for Blake to pass the final frontier in 2007 and win a Grand Slam? He's proved us, and himself, wrong so many times before that you have to like his chances. This loss to Federer, like his loss to Agassi at the Open last year, may actually help. After his long career climb, he now sees what the mountaintop looks like, and that it's not as far away as he thought.

sk8ten
12-12-2006, 06:41 PM
James Blake's website has pictures and video of James and Andre Agassi from the charity match and behind the scenes pics too.

http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennis...annerregi on=

http://www.jamesblaketennis.com/jb%2...themliveII.htm

tangerine_dream
12-17-2006, 08:18 PM
Lots of articles to post :D

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16243409/site/newsweek/
Fast Chat: James Blake
Newsweek
Dec. 25, 2006 - Jan. 1, 2007

Continuing a remarkable turnaround, James Blake had the best year in American tennis, winning five titles to become No. 1 in the U.S. (and No. 4 in the world). He spoke with Nick Summers.

Compare this year with 2004, when you broke your neck and your father died.
I'm not sure this year would've been possible without that year. I don't know if I would've appreciated it as much; maybe I would've thought it was something I was entitled to, not even thinking about how my career could have ended at any point.

Has your friendship with Andy Roddick changed since you took over as No. 1?
Not at all. We were friends in '04, when my ranking dropped to whatever it did, and we'd be friends if his ever did that, too.

What's it like playing 92-5 Roger Federer?
It's pretty frustrating. But you try to appreciate it for what it is: he has a good chance at being the best ever. You don't have to hang your head too low, if you're maybe losing to the greatest player to ever pick up a racquet.

Is U.S. tennis in a crisis, with so many top European players?
Every sport is more globalized. In the NBA, the MVP is Canadian. It's tougher for any one country to dominate. We have two guys in the top 10, so to expect a lot more is possibly unfair.

http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/other/12/15/15golden.html
Blake one of main lifelines for U.S. tennis
Blake, Fish to play in Austin today.
Friday, December 15, 2006

American tennis is not dead. Yes, John McEnroe's in the television booth. Jimmy Connors is coaching the other A-Rod. Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Michael Chang are all rich and retired.

And Switzerland's Roger Federer is beating everybody.

But here's a question: How many Americans are ranked among the world's top 10 singles players? If you answered one — as in No. 6 Andy Roddick — you are wrong.

Austin's Roddick isn't even the highest-ranked American. That distinction belongs to No. 4 James Blake, who will play his doubles partner Mardy Fish tonight in the featured match of the All American Tennis Shootout at the Austin Convention Center.

Blake also will pair with his brother Thomas to play the world's top doubles team, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

Over the past two years, Blake has overcome a bout with shingles, a broken neck that came after he ran into a net post and the death of his dad. After a bout with paralysis that came as a result of his shingles, Blake re-entered the ATP top 50 in 2005 and climbed from 210 to No. 49 in the world by year's end.

"I just thought of accomplishing small goals while I was struggling,'' he said. "Going from 210 to No. 4 was like climbing Mount Everest. Before you know it, I hit my peak. I'm hopefully not there yet, but if it ends at No. 4 then so be it.

Along the way, he's been named one of People Magazine's sexiest athletes, and he also was featured among its "50 Most Beautiful People in the World."

His career-high five singles titles are an indication that Blake (who will turn 27 on Dec. 28) can make a realistic run at Federer in time, but he hasn't figured out the world's No. 1 yet.

Federer was a Swiss Can't Miss in 2006 with a 92-5 record and wins in three of the four majors, including a third straight U.S. Open title.

While Federer has had some problems with world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, he has a 6-0 record against Blake and a 12-1 mark against Roddick, who squandered three match points in a loss to Federer at the Masters Cup in Shanghai, China, last month.

"It's tough to be jealous of him but we're all envious because tennis players all want to be the best they can be,'' Fish said of Federer. "Besides, Roger is a nice, great guy and a great ambassador for our sport. And he kicks everybody's (tail)."

Federer's dominance does not means that American tennis has faltered.

Bjorn Borg was on top of the game before McEnroe and Connors combined to foil his repeated attempts to win the one major that eluded him — the U.S. Open. Sampras and Agassi eventually caught up to Boris Becker.

These Americans may never catch Federer, who may retire as the best to ever play the game. He has already won nine grand slam singles titles at the tender age of 25 and is two wins away from tying Rod Laver and Borg for third place all-time. Sampras won an all-time best 14, a number that Federer could reach in the next two or three years, assuming he remains healthy and motivated.

Federer's pace has been staggering, so don't fault the Americans for being merely good instead of awesome.

"American tennis is doing great,'' Blake said. "Roger is obviously an all-time great, but that's like comparing Charles Barkley and Karl Malone to Michael Jordan. Having two guys in the top six with how deep our sport has become is a big deal. And when you add in the world's top doubles team (the Bryan brothers), that shows you that we're still right there."

Fish, Blake's part-time doubles partner, was on the cusp of a top 10 entrance after earning a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Fish was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team and posted a No. 25 world ranking before a pair of wrist surgeries put him on the shelf last year.

His ranking suffered as a result, dropping to 347th. Fish had a solid 2006, with a 22-18 record and his third career singles title, which he won in Houston. His goal is to become the third American ranked in the top 10.

"Americans got spoiled with McEnroe and Connors,'' said Fish, currently ranked 47th. "I think it will all even out in the end. How can you complain with two top-10 players and the best doubles team? That's hard to believe."

The rankings are solid. But American tennis fans are like boxing fans who say the sport is dead because there are no American heavyweight champions holding world title belts. Tennis fans want grand slam champions. No excuses.

From 1995-2000, Sampras and Agassi combined to win 11 of the 24 Grand Slam singles titles. That figure has basically been cut in half over the past six years as Americans have won only six slams (Sampras and Agassi accounted for five of those before retiring).

The USA is 0-12 in men's singles slams since Roddick beat Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero in the 2003 U.S. Open final. It's also been 11 years since the United States has won a Davis Cup.

"We're getting there,'' Blake said. "It will just take a little time and patience."

http://www.sportingo.com/tennis/the-comeback-kid:-how-james-blake-reclimbed-the-tennis-mountain/1001,1157
The Comeback Kid: How James Blake reclimbed the tennis mountain
Ilana Berger
Wed, Dec 13, 2006

No athlete in recent times has had to overcome as much adversity as James Blake. Just when he thought taking on Andre Agassi and Roger Federer was hard, he had to defeat a new opponent in the shape of a broken neck and paralysis.

While Roger Federer won nearly everything there was to win, one player won over the hearts of hundreds of thousands of tennis fans around the world.

American James Blake had a superb Masters Cup tournament and it was only the genius of Federer which brought him down.

American tennis fans have been looking for a new hero since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi wound down their careers. The glorious era of US men's tennis that included Sampras, Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courier and even Todd Martin has become a distant memory.

While Andy Roddick seemed the natural choice to take over as America's number one player, he has had some good results but has let himself down with his inconsistency. His inability to wrap up important matches, the fact that he bases his game mainly on a powerful serve but not much else, was never going to be enough.

And then came Blake. The potential, everybody knew, was always there. A dream of an athlete, an intelligent guy and an intriguing character who graduated from Harvard University. A player who before becoming a professional gained experience in college tennis at its highest level. It was only a matter of time before he stepped up to the next level and took his place among the best .

During the end-of year Masters Cup tournament in Beijing, Blake showed the tennis world and especially himself what he has inside him - and left everyone wanting more.

The year 2007 is going to be an important one in his career. Ending the year at No.6 in the world brings a lot of joy and reward – but no doubt a huge amount of pressure that he will have to learn to play with.

For Blake, the possibility of becoming the best American tennis player and one of the best in the world must be a dream-come-true scenario.
Not many black players have left a mark in the men's game over the years and Blake, a big fan of the late Arthur Ashe - one of the most respectable and honoured tennis players in the history of the game - has talked again and again about his dream of following in his footsteps.

What makes Blake's story even more interesting is the tough road he has had to travel, especially in the last three years, in which he has been through a series of tragedies. Two years ago, Blake's career almost ended when he ran for a ball in practice in Italy, hit his neck on the net post - and broke his back. Returning home for six weeks of recovery, he spent most of his time looking after his father, who later died of cancer.

The shock of his own accident and his father's death triggered a viral infection in Blake that affected his hearing and sight, as well as paralysing half his face. No one really gave him a chance of recovering except Blake himself. He stayed optimistic and worked his way through recovery all the way up to world No.6, after finishing 2005 with a ranking of only 24.

Blake has endured so much tragedy, pain and heartache that playing a tough tennis match is nothing in comparison. He approaches matches in this vein, which is why it is so much fun to watch him play.

Blake is an exceptional men's tennis player. He deserves to be right up there with the best of them for a long time.

2moretogo
12-31-2006, 04:10 AM
Where is James starting his 2007 campaign?

MrJ
12-31-2006, 11:03 AM
His first tournament is Sydney, a week before the Aussie Open. He is also the defending champion there!! :wavey:

2moretogo
12-31-2006, 04:45 PM
Thanks for the info! I didn't see a 2007 cheering thread, so I didn't know what was going on. Go James!

Eden
01-05-2007, 08:48 PM
:wavey:


James Blake can he win the Australian Open

Manisha Maligaspe

The powerful American made a mighty comeback in 2006 with five ATP titles and a career-high ranking of number four. His first Australian Open title beckons.

Right now, no one can steal the spotlight from James Blake, not even King Roger [Federer]. After a horrid 2004 which saw him go through numerous setbacks including a broken neck, a severe case of shingles and the unfortunate death of his father, Blake made a fierce comeback in 2005. Fans around the world witnessed a memorable US Open quarter-final against Andre Agassi, a match which some aficionados labelled the finest ever witnessed at the tournament. Winning two ATP titles that year started what was to be a remarkable turnaround for the New York native.
After winning five ATP titles in 2006, including victories over Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick, Blake wrapped up the year in style by qualifying for a place in the prestigious Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, a tournament only reserved for the world's top eight players. Proving without a doubt that he is definitely a class player, he went all the way, only to be beaten in the final by the genius that is Federer. Despite the outcome, Blake ended the year on a high. His optimism and sheer perseverance in getting there, despite all that he endured, made it a beautiful comeback story.
What would make it even more beautiful would be a Grand Slam. The Australian Open, just days away, is a perfect place to start. Despite early exits from the tournament on previous attempts, Blake's successful run in 2006 will no doubt provide him with the motivation and impetus he needs to go all the way. His exceptionally powerful forehand is considered one of the best in the game and has seen many an opponent succumb.
His powerful serve and speed leave many opponents and fans simultaneously baffled and awestruck, while his backhand shows the result of being worked on. Blake has both the tennis prowess and mental strength to win a major as well as pose a serious challenge to King Roger's dynasty.
His performance in 2006 exemplified what he is capable of, so 2007 should be even brighter for James Blake. It will therefore come as no surprise this Australian summer if the charismatic champion adds the one thing missing in his trophy case.

Source: http://www.sportingo.com/tennis/james-blake-can-he-win-the-australian-open/1001,1506

MrJ
01-06-2007, 09:29 AM
:wavey:



Source: http://www.sportingo.com/tennis/james-blake-can-he-win-the-australian-open/1001,1506

Thanks for the article, even though its highly unlikely unless Fed gets injured or upset early!! :)

tangerine_dream
01-31-2007, 06:17 PM
:banana:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/jon_wertheim/01/31/blake.qa/index.html

In James we trust
Blake dishes on comeback, Federer, state of the game
Wednesday January 31, 2007
Jon Wertheim, SI.com

Overcoming a broken back and the death of his dad in 2004 helped make Blake a tougher opponent. He's currently ranked No. 4.

A new feature here at the tennis page: We'll do a monthly interview with a figure in the sport. We'll kick it off with James Blake.

SI.com: Your story -- what your endured in 2004, how you came back and entered the top five -- has been told to death. But with a few years to reflect, what's your take?

Blake: I guess I'm still surprised it happened so quickly, that I got back. But when I did come back, I sort of figured I was doing so as a better player. I had learned a lot in that time and experience and perspective counts for a lot. But luck figures in too. I stayed away from injuries.

I mean that '05 U.S. Open, I was a wild card. I could have played Roger Federer in the first round. Then, I play Andre Agassi in such an important match. Either of us could have woken up with a little flu bug or a little off and it doesn't live up the hype. It just so happened that we played well. That's just one example. After all this, I definitely believe things happen for a reason.

SI.com: Are you religious?

Blake: I grew up catholic, but lapsed. I have my own beliefs. I'm not sure all the traditions are nearly as important as the morals. I feel like if you're a good person Sunday to Sunday it doesn't matter that much if you're at mass for an hour once a week. I was an altar boy growing up. I saw people who were in church all the time but weren't necessarily living good lives. It's not a free pass if you go to church. The way you live your life means more than saying prayers at a certain time on Sunday.

SI.com: Has your success changed has any impact on your racial identity?

Blake: It's definitely something I think about. It's funny because it's always "first African-American to do this or that" or "first African-American since Arthur Ashe." It's great to mentioned in the same sentence as him but I -- my mom especially -- gets antsy. "Why can't I just be American? Haven't I achieved enough on you own to just be James Blake: American?"

Part of me is African-American but it's not the only part. My mom was like, it was one thing when you were first coming up and there was novelty or whatever, but she feels, "You've done enough to warrant just being called an American." I tell people over and over, "I grew up in Connecticut," but it always ends up as "Harlem to Harvard, Harlem to Harvard."

I love Harlem, I love the Harlem Junior Tennis Program, but I grew up here and I'm not going to deny it to make a better story. To me, the story should be about the No. 4 guy in the world, and not where I'm from. Or not from.

SI.com: Is it a weird time in men's tennis?

Blake: Yeah. Even when Pete Sampras dominated, he wasn't consistently winning three slams like Roger. It's strange because people outside tennis don't always get it. They say, "You're No. 4? Only a few spots and you'll be No. 1." I don't think you understand they guy ahead of me. What he's doing is just incredible. It's like the years of frustration for the other teams when MichaelJordan was in the NBA.

SI.com: What do you do?

Blake: When someone's dominating, it can change on one match. Look at Björn Borg and John McEnroe, who were so dominant and faltered so quickly -- not that Roger will have the same kind of vices. But you never know. RafaelNadal had his number of a little while. Maybe Federer loses some confidence and comes back to the pack. But it's nothing where the rest of us can make a few adjustments and we're right there. This is tough to say as a competitor but, honestly, he's head and shoulders above the field right now.

SI.com: You guys all like him. Does it make it hard to get up for the matches?

Blake: No. There are a ton of nice guys on tour and I still want to beat the crap out of them. But a lot of times the number one player is easy to cut down. He's too arrogant, he's too cold, too robotic. But Roger, you can't really cut him down. If I'm out of the tournament, a lot times, he's the guy I'm cheering for.

SI.com: There's never enough time to make big changes to your game, but any pet projects?

Blake: You're right, there isn't time. Just hit a million backhands, work on my defense. It's funny because a couple of the guys who have been suspended for drugs have come back better. How could that be? They haven't had match experience. Well, they've had three months off to let their body rest and then complete rework themselves, and they had time to work on things. It's a little unfair that they get punished but they get better. I mean, Juan Ignacio Chela, Guillermo Coria, now Guillermo Canas is tearing it up. They do better when they're back than when they were suspended. They had the luxury of time and the rest of us don't.

SI.com: Are you with me on this, though? Overall, it's a pretty clean sport. Not 100 percent clean, but still clean.

Blake: I think it's the cleanest. I mean I got woken up at 9 a.m. on my birthday last December to get tested. The ITF tested me in Tampa twice out-of-competition. Guy came at 6:30 in the morning. Guy woke me up and said he was with USADA, they can come anytime after 6:30. At 6:33, I'm peeing. I guess it's great they're testing, though. People that are doing it will get caught.

SI.com: Pete or Roger?

Blake: Roger.

SI.com: Is it close?

Blake: On grass, close. On clay, no.

SI.com: How are you going to describe your dad to your kids?

Blake: A great man. It's going to be tough to put it into words. He's someone who taught discipline but was fair. Someone showed me how to be a great dad. I guess it's up to me to execute.

SI.com: Best advice you've ever been given?

Blake: For tennis? Have a short memory.

SI.com: What about not for tennis?

Blake: Have a long memory.

cobalt60
01-31-2007, 08:34 PM
Fun article. Thanks Tangy. Wonder if he will ever say something I don't like or can't relate to in some way :lol:

goodwoman
01-31-2007, 10:45 PM
That was a really good article. James has matured so much, it's great to see. He seemed very relaxed with his responses. I agree with him: Pete or Roger? Roger. I liked everything he said! He just seems really sincere. I know some people criticize him that he's not sincere, but I don't see that at all.

tangerine_dream
02-15-2007, 02:26 AM
:cool:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/16685923.htm
After slow rise, among world's best
JAMES BLAKE'S PLAY RIGHT UP THE LINE
By Darren Sabedra
Mercury News
Feb 13, 2007

James Blake's ascent to the top 10 of the world tennis rankings, and the No. 2 seed at this week's SAP Open, was anything but conventional.

He wore a back brace as a teenager to cure a curvature in his spine.

He fractured his neck in 2004 after colliding with a net post.

He then had to overcome zoster, a medical condition that affected his vision and hearing and caused temporary paralysis on one side of his face.

After all that, cracking the top 10 should have been a breeze.

Only it wasn't.

Blake, who will play Igor Kunitsyn of Russia in an opening-round match Wednesday night at HP Pavilion, made a gradual climb, finally breaking through 11 months ago. When he did, the former Harvard student became the first African-American since the late Arthur Ashe, in January 1980, to be ranked among the top 10. Ashe is one of Blake's heroes and the reason Blake's father took an interest in tennis.

Blake, 27, has called the comparisons to Ashe "mind-boggling.'' But it's not just Ashe whom he is compared to now. Blake ended 2006 as America's top-ranked player, winning five ATP Tour events, fewer than only Roger Federer.

Blake has yet to win the San Jose tournament, but he has made an impression.

"Of all the players, Blake is the most enjoyable to work with,'' said Bill Rapp, the SAP Open's tournament director. "How I would describe that is, he's approachable. He's very real. I'm quite taken with him. I have three sons of my own, and I would say if he was my son, I would be extremely proud of him.'' :worship:

Blake has had a good start to the new year. He captured a title in Sydney, Australia, reached a final in Delray Beach, Fla., and has won 11 of 14 matches overall.

But his fourth-round loss to Fernando Gonzalez at the Australian Open, coupled with Andy Roddick's semifinal run there, dropped Blake behind Roddick among Americans and to No. 6 in the world. He had been ranked fourth.

Still, no doubt because of everything he has gone through, Blake said he was honored to have held the distinction at all.

"It did make me reflect on if I thought that was ever possible, how hard I've worked to get that, how much I appreciate it,'' he said.

Now, Blake aims to get the ranking back. To do that, he'll have to again go through his friend Roddick. Blake is 2-6 against him but has won the two most recent encounters -- last year at Queens Club in London and then in Indianapolis.

"I hope it does go (back and forth),'' Blake said. "The fact that I have won the last two gives it a little more validity to have called it a rivalry.''

Because he and Roddick are friends, Blake uses the word "rivalry'' non-contentiously. He sees it as a win-win for both as they deal with the pressure of being compared with the previous generation of American stars -- Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier.

"There doesn't have to be one person that's bearing the brunt of all the pressure in the post-Sampras, Agassi, Courier era,'' Blake said. "That's why we get along so great. We know we're doing this together. It's a lot of fun to have such a great guy and classy guy to go about my business with.'' :cool:

Roddick has been just as complimentary about Blake. He told "60 Minutes'' in November 2005 that "James could be one of the top 10 players in the world, no question.'' Roddick also has said, "Everyone on tour has a mutual friend in James.'' :banana:

Some have wondered if Blake is too nice for his own good. How can you beat players like world No. 1 Federer if you're so darned friendly?

"There's a ton of nice guys on tour,'' Blake told Sports Illustrated, "and I still want to beat the crap out of them.'' :lol:

He'll get another chance this week.

Eden
04-03-2007, 05:33 PM
TENNIS JERRY MAGEE

Blake or bleak?

To knock off Spain, America's No. 2 player needs to quickly cure his game's ills
April 3, 2007

James Blake was “The Next Big Thing” by proclamation of the magazines with the slick paper. They weren't tennis magazines. Blake was being admired because he could wear clothes, attended Harvard and had a certain style to him.
In tennis, however, they don't pass out points for looking smashing when you are pictured among the ads for men's fragrances. Blake may have qualified as one of “the beautiful people,” but a reference to “next” still applies to him. As in next success. When is it going to come?
Perhaps this weekend, when Blake is to represent the United States in Winston-Salem, N.C., in a quarterfinal Davis Cup tie against Spain. Rafael Nadal has chosen to pass this one. Something about his feet. But even with the strongman from Mallorca having eliminated himself, the U.S. would seem to need Blake playing as he can because it has no certainty Andy Roddick can compete.
Roddick strained a hamstring last week in Miami.
An MRI done on Roddick was negative, according to U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe.
“The good news at least is that it is not torn, but it is a hamstring, so that is kind of tricky,” McEnroe said. “The word from Andy is that he is going to do everything he can to play. Of course, that is great news to my ears, the captain's ears. The problem is that it is not the sort of injury you can sort of play through. It will either heal quickly and he will be able to practice for a few days and be able to go, or it won't and we obviously would have to go to Plan B.”
Plan Blake, who would become the host country's No. 1 guy if Roddick is unable to make it to the starting line. Blake says he is ready to step into the breach. What has to be questioned is whether his game is ready. It has been missing. Blake has been experiencing a malaise in which he not only has been losing, he has been losing to players widely separated from him in the rankings.
At best on an indoor hardcourt in North Carolina, the U.S. is going to have this batting order in the singles:
Roddick, who has not won a tournament this season and could be treading carefully because of his hamstring problem.
And Blake, who in his last five tournament appearances, beginning with an event at Delray Beach, Fla., in early February, has failed against players ranked Nos. 31, 103, 99, 46 and 64. The names, in the same order, are Xavier Malisse, Ivo Karlovic, Evgeny Korolev, Julien Benneteau and Florent Serra.
Not included is Blake's effort in a first-round Davis Cup tie against the Czech Republic. Blake also lost in it, but creditably, in four sets to Tomas Berdych, one of the world's most promising players.
Blake has been searching for reasons for his failures.
“In looking back,” he said in a conference call with tennis writers, “I think I may have stretched myself a little thin with my schedule at the beginning of the year, playing so many matches and doing a lot of media things. In general, a lot of engagements.”
To right himself, Blake has this formula: “Work hard and rest.” Fine, but isn't it difficult to do those things simultaneously?
Blake concedes that without Roddick, the U.S. faces a trying assignment against the Spaniards in remaining in contention for a tennis prize this country has not claimed since 1995.
“If we have him, we like our chances,” Blake said. “If we don't have him, we're lucky enough to live in a country that has exceptional depth.”
Uh, let's play a let on that one. The U.S. has three men ranked in the top 35, Roddick, No. 3; Blake, No. 9; and Mardy Fish, No. 22. Spain has five players in this group, Nadal, No. 2; Tommy Robredo, No. 6; David Ferrer, No. 16; Carlos Moya, No. 34; and Fernando Verdasco, No. 35. In this tie, it is the Europeans who have the advantage of depth, not the U.S.
McEnroe considers Blake a confidence player. When he has it, he has the serve, the ground strokes and the mobility to compete with anybody, including Nadal. He is 3-0 against Rafa. The problem there for Blake is that Nadal is not going to be in Winston-Salem. Spain in the singles is expected to align Robredo and Ferrer, both of whom are considerably stronger than the chaps that have been knocking off James.
Said McEnroe of Blake: “He's a guy that I think with a few good, hard days of practice and in the conditions we're going to play in is going to play well in the Davis Cup.”
Blake, meantime, said even before his career fell on hard times, he was steeling himself to be able to live through reversals of the sort he has had.
“Obviously, I haven't had the type of success in the last few weeks I would like to have,” he said, “and it's frustrating. But being realistic, I knew at some point in my career, these things would happen, whether it be lost confidence, lost fitness, whatever.
“Those things are bound to happen after having had so many good results. I'm ready to turn it around, hopefully,”
Last year, when his career was flourishing – his ranking was as high as No. 4 in November 2006 – Blake said he and his coach since he was 12, Brian Barker, discussed how he would deal with a downturn should it develop.
“That's what I'm trying to do now,” Blake said. “I'm still a competitor. I get really down on myself for a little while when I lose, but I have to be educated about it and work hard and figure out what the problems are.”
Blake is 3-2 against Robredo and 1-0 against Ferrer, but the Blake of the moment would seem a man who is searching for answers. The U.S. can only hope he finds them.

Source: http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/20070403-9999-1s3tencol.html

tangerine_dream
05-22-2007, 04:37 PM
From USTA.com:

http://www.tennismonth.com/playing-the-game/block-parties/
What Tennis Means to James Blake pt. 1
Tennis Month: James Blake Interview – Part One
By James Blake and Jason Brown

James Blake is one of the most recognizable athletes in the United States. Born in Yonkers, New York, raised in Fairfield, Connecticut and educated at Harvard University, Blake spent his formative years growing up on the public tennis courts of New England.

A mainstay on the United States Davis Cup Team, Blake famously made a remarkable comeback from a broken neck, a severe bout of shingles, and the loss of his father to play one of the most memorable matches in US Open history on his way toward becoming a Top 10-ranked player.

During an exclusive live Web chat on USTA.com, the 27-year-old answered questions from his fans, discussed the roots of his playing career, the importance of tennis in his life, and the opportunities that the sport has provided.

USTA.com: Why is tennis the sport for a lifetime?

James Blake: I think that tennis is the sport for a lifetime because you can play at many different levels. You can play it forever – my mother is 71-years-old and she still plays. I probably started hitting balls when I was five, and it doesn’t matter how good you are because there’s always people at every different level to play with. It’s also easy enough on your body. A sport like football you can play for only so many years. And you can still have fun with tennis when you’re older, even if you can’t move as well anymore. If you can run, tennis gives you a great workout, and will continue to do so for your entire life.

USTA.com: What does tennis mean to you?

James Blake: The one thing about tennis that I’ve always liked is that it’s an individual sport. You go out there, you do your best, and you’re proud of yourself for what you accomplish. If you don’t accomplish everything that you set out to do, there’s nobody to blame but yourself. It’s that kind of gladiatorial atmosphere that I’ve enjoyed my whole life. I’m sometimes a person that can be isolated and being out there on my own on the tennis court is something that excites me. That’s what first drew me to tennis. Of course having talent for it, that helps, too.

USTA.com: Growing up, was there a local public tennis court that had special meaning to you? Also, was there a specific person(s) that you credit for spiking your interest in playing tennis and motivating you?

James Blake: Yeah. When I first started playing it was on a public court right down the street from my house in Yonkers. It was actually where my parents met so it had a very special meaning to me. My brother, Thomas, and I would hit balls after my mother and father played. Then when we moved to Connecticut, I played a lot on the public courts there as well, including my high school tennis matches.

USTA.com: And it was around that time when you also met your current coach, Brian Barker, right?

James Blake: Yeah, I started working with Brian when I was 12 years old and since then, he’s helped me to become such a better tennis player and an even better person.

USTA.com: Everyone talks about the importance of confidence on the tennis court. Have you taken the confidence that tennis builds within you on and off the court?

James Blake: Tennis was a big deal for me, confidence-wise. All throughout high school, everyone is trying their best to fit in, be normal, and hang out with the crowd that they want to associate with. For me, tennis made a big difference in feeling normal, because I used to wear a back brace in high school which made me feel different from everyone else. Tennis made me feel good about myself. Nowadays, confidence is still really important to me. You’re going to win matches when you’re feeling confident and hitting your shots, especially on those big points.

USTA.com: You’ve always been known as a guy who gives back to the community. What are some of the charities that you’ve been involved with?

James Blake: The Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children is one that I’ve been involved with because that’s where I was a patient when I had scoliosis. Also, the Harlem Junior Tennis Program has been a big part of my life. I basically learned how to play tennis there and my father was a volunteer. I became a volunteer there as well – I’ve been there about six years in a row with my brother. Since then, I’ve also become very involved with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The last two years I’ve done a charity event in Virginia where all of the benefits go towards cancer research.

USTA.com: A lot of fans are interested in your upcoming tournament schedule. Which events are you planning to enter?

James Blake: I’m playing in Rome, Hamburg, and the World Team Championship in Dusseldorf. On the grass, I’m going to play Halle and Wimbledon. And then for the US Open Series, I’ll be playing Indianapolis, Montreal, Cincinnati, and Pilot Pen Tennis in New Haven.

tangerine_dream
07-14-2007, 08:47 PM
James was on Jay Leno last night and I missed it. :sobbing:

He's doing a lot of promotion for his book. This was taken from ESPN's Page 2:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=alipour/070711
Charging the net with James Blake
By Sam Alipour
Special to Page 2
July 11, 2007

No matter how you feel about the current state of American tennis, there's a very good chance that you respect James Blake.

Chances are also high that you'd enjoy hanging out with him, too. Sure, Blake may want to bring along his childhood pal, musician John Mayer, and ATP tour buddy Andy Roddick. And yes, rolling with these men will fill your mind with feelings of inadequacy and set your game back by months, but you'll make do.

These are the odds, because the immensely likable No. 2-ranked American tennis player, known for his speed and potent forehand, is mostly known for his improbable comeback from a broken neck, a paralyzing bout with shingles, and the loss of his hero and father, Thomas, all in 2004. Now, in "Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life" (HarperCollins), Blake shares his tale of heartbreak and triumph, from 2004 through '06, including his epic fifth-set tiebreaker against Andre Agassi at the U.S. Open, a match that put American tennis fans on alert for a young star's second coming.

Blake recently took time to talk about the journey detailed in his book, his not-so-bloody rivalry with Roddick, and the little-known shortcomings of this Harvard grad.

Well, a mere two shortcomings. So yeah, chances are, you'll still want to hang out with him.

SAM ALIPOUR: You're one of the best-liked athletes around. Not that I'm looking, but I've yet to read a single negative thing about you, which got me to thinking: You must have some serious skeletons in your closet. What sucks about James Blake?

JAMES BLAKE: (Laughs) I think my worst habit is I correct people too much. If you're writing an e-mail or even an instant message, you need to bring it. I get that from my mom. She was a newspaper editor, and even at church, she'll be editing the church bulletin.

SAM ALIPOUR: Typical Harvard guy.

JAMES BLAKE: I guess that's also from my Harvard side. Guys will always say, "Oh, sorry, I didn't go to Harvard like you."

SAM ALIPOUR: I guess I should put my editors on alert, huh?

JAMES BLAKE: I promise to lay off you, but watch out for my mom. If you have a grammatical error, you might get an e-mail from her. She's the one who gave me that sickness.

SAM ALIPOUR: Here's another knock on you: You used to have dreadlocks, and now you're bald. Does this pain you, as a formerly dreadlocked macho athlete, more than the typical man?

JAMES BLAKE: (Laughs) Well, not really. I don't really miss the dreads. I get out of the shower, dry my head with a towel, and I'm ready to go. Messing with my hair was fun when I was young, but it's easier now.

SAM ALIPOUR: Why write a book about the worst time in your life?

JAMES BLAKE: The original thought from my publisher was to do a whole autobiography. But my mom and I figured because most fans are only aware of my comeback, we wanted to let them know what inspired me to come back in the first place. I keep to myself a lot, so I'm glad I got a chance in the middle of my career to take stock. Most athletes go through their careers in their little fantasy world, not thinking about real life and how they can be affecting people. I got the chance to appreciate what I've been through.

SAM ALIPOUR: In the process of writing this, which topic proved to be the most painful to cull through?

JAMES BLAKE: The memories of my father were the toughest thing to write about. The times I spent with him toward the end of his life and dealing with life without him. It's still tough for me. He made me the person I am. He taught me how to be a good man, how to put your wife and family before yourself. He taught me the value of education, how important using your brain is in success. We never planned on tennis as my profession. Education was priority one in our household. He also taught me about perseverance: He never missed a day at work, even when he was battling cancer. He taught me about commitment to goals: As soon as he picked up golf, he became obsessed and wanted to get better. But he put his own interests down when we needed him, driving us to tournaments and practices, feeding us buckets of balls. And he was just about the friendliest guy you could ever meet. He knew more about my friends than I did. If someone was at the house, he'd ask them questions -- not to make conversation but because he was genuinely interested.

SAM ALIPOUR: In your mind, what will be the biggest surprise for readers?

JAMES BLAKE: I don't think they know how close I came to not playing tennis again because of shingles. My illness was much scarier and more painful than breaking my neck. I contracted it a week after my father passed. It comes about when you're stressed, and I hadn't been sleeping, staying up just thinking about my dad. Had I not gone to the emergency room and gotten the drugs to make sure the nerve calmed down and didn't actually die, my face would have been paralyzed forever. They didn't know if I would get back my normal vision or normal balance. It was definitely career threatening.

SAM ALIPOUR: Are you a better player now than you were before breaking your neck? Is that even possible?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I definitely think I am. I had the time to work on some weaknesses. I'm a lot better defensively. And I'm in better shape. Otherwise, the biggest difference is in my perspective. I'm not as hard on myself. I'm able to accept wins and losses, the ups and downs of the tournaments, without letting it affect my confidence. Every match is not the end of the world. I've become much more successful because of my attitude on the court.

SAM ALIPOUR: Although you lost your instant classic U.S. Open match with Agassi, can you appreciate its significance?

JAMES BLAKE: Oh yeah. I wish I had won it, but it's still one of my most memorable matches. Fans always want to talk about it. They tell me they stayed up until 1 a.m. watching us, and that it made them want to watch and play tennis again. It helped put tennis back on the radar for a lot of people.

SAM ALIPOUR: Talk to me about your rivalry with Andy Roddick. I don't know if I can call it a rivalry. Can you get this thing going?

JAMES BLAKE: (Laughs) Sorry to say, we're never going to have a heated rivalry. Sure, there are times when we're at each other's throats on the court, but at night, we're having dinner. I won't speak for him, but I'm so proud of him and I think it's great to see the top two Americans so committed to the team thing, the Davis Cup thing. And I'm pretty happy I got the best of him the past two times, but he's got the No. 1 American player spot back from me. He's playing well. We spend so much time together on the court and off; I know I have a friend for life in him.

SAM ALIPOUR: If you weren't childhood pals with John Mayer, would you listen to his music?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I really do enjoy it. When I first heard it, I didn't know it was him, actually. His "Room for Squares" CD is one of my favorite CDs of all time. It helps that I grew up with him, but it's mainly that he's an amazing guitar player and lyricist. He's going to be an icon for years to come.

SAM ALIPOUR: He did kick ass in his Live Earth show. You, John and Andy walk into a bar. Who gets the most attention?

JAMES BLAKE: John, for sure. He's a household name, and his music is such that my mom likes it, I like it, young kids like it and, of course, the screaming teenage girls love it. Just go to one of his shows and check out the screaming girls, and tell me he wouldn't get more attention than Andy and I would.

SAM ALIPOUR: You haven't won a Grand Slam title yet. Are you disappointed with your performance on that level?

JAMES BLAKE: The clay courts haven't been good to me, but they haven't been good to too many Americans. I just want to get better on that surface. At Wimbledon this year, I thought I did a good job until I ran into [Juan Carlos] Ferrero. For about two sets there, he played like a world-beater. Not much I could do except get ready for the hard-court season now.

SAM ALIPOUR: You and Roddick are carrying the torch passed from McEnroe and Connors to Agassi and Sampras. These days, fans are a bit down on the current state of American men's tennis. What are your thoughts on the American game?

JAMES BLAKE: It's getting a bad rap. The sport has become so much more diverse, with so many countries producing great talent. We still have two guys in the top 10, and we're still in the Davis Cup every year. We're doing as great as any other country, but people need to remember it's tough to rack up Grand Slam titles when they're all going to [Roger] Federer. He's becoming the most dominant athlete in the world.

SAM ALIPOUR: That's great, James, but the American sports fan wants blood. Tell me at least one thing you don't like about Andy. He seems like a frat boy to me.

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, but I like frat boys. (Laughs) I was in a frat at Harvard. But here's one: He doesn't answer his phone, and he's pretty bad about calling back sometimes. Oh, and he's also a bit of a slob. I'm pretty bad, but he's worse than me.

tangerine_dream
07-22-2007, 08:39 PM
Does anybody plan on getting this book? :dance:

"Breaking Back" Makes New York Times Bestseller List

James Blake's inspirational biography "Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life" debuted at No. 22 on the New York Times Bestseller List during its first week in circulation.

Acclaim for the book has come from numerous sources including CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell, who wrote, “It's quite simply the best athlete book I've ever read.” People Magazine awarded the book 3 ½ out of 4 stars, and said it is “the rare sports memoir that actually has a heart.” The Washington Post states that Breaking Back is Blake’s, “chronicle of a 2004 season filled with distress, injury, illness and -- ultimately – insight.” The book was also an “Editor’s Pick” in Reader’s Digest for the month of July.

In addition, Blake has appeared on The Tonight Show, Live! With Regis and Kelly, Extra!, ESPN News, ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption and has been featured in such publications as Men’s Health, Essence, ESPN the Magazine, Parade and featured on the cover of Tennis Magazine, regarding the book. He will also appear in the coming weeks on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“This is a tremendous honor to make it on the New York Times bestseller list,” said Blake. “I never imagined that so many people would be interested in my story, but I hope everyone who reads my book can ultimately find some inspiration from what I went through.”

Blake, who is playing this week at the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles, will continue his book tour at US Open Series tournament stops throughout the summer.

Book Signing Dates

Indianapolis, IN
7/23/07: Time, TBD, On-site at Tournament

Montreal, Canada
8/7/07: Time, TBD, On-site at Tournament

Cincinnati, OH
8/13/07: Time, TBD, On-site at Tournament

New Haven, CT
8/20/07: Time, TBD, On-site at Tournament

Jlee
07-23-2007, 01:41 AM
I can't wait to read the book!

I'm in Cincy, but not until Wednesday. Maybe if I hold the book up when people are getting signatures after a practice session or win, he'll still sign it for me. :lol:

tangerine_dream
08-20-2007, 09:52 PM
Well, here's one way James can beat Roger :D

Saturday, August 18, 2007
Something to read about...

Federer, the No.1 player in the world, is the subject of the No. 2 ranked tennis book in the United States, The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection, which is the first U.S.-published book on the five-time Wimbledon champion.

While Federer is No.1 in the world on the courts, it is Blake’s book Breaking Back Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life that has ranked No. 1 in the United States among tennis books this summer.

http://i17.tinypic.com/6aqad8g.jpg

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #441 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books) :banana:

Popular in these categories:
#1 in Books > Sports > Individual Sports > Tennis
#1 in Books > Sports > Racket Sports
#3 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > African-American & Black :worship:


http://i11.tinypic.com/626dzz4.jpg

The Roger Federer Story: Quest for Perfection (Hardcover)
by Rene Stauffer

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #2,545 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

Popular in these categories:
#2 in Books > Sports > Racket Sports
#2 in Books > Sports > Individual Sports > Tennis
#11 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Biographies

cobalt60
08-20-2007, 10:39 PM
I can't wait to read the book!

I'm in Cincy, but not until Wednesday. Maybe if I hold the book up when people are getting signatures after a practice session or win, he'll still sign it for me. :lol:

Did you wait in line at his signing?:)

Jlee
08-21-2007, 02:23 AM
Did you wait in line at his signing?:)

No, I only got there Wednesday night after he'd done the signing. He did sign it after practice though. :D

Did you get him to sign it at the official signing?

cobalt60
10-18-2007, 12:59 AM
No, I only got there Wednesday night after he'd done the signing. He did sign it after practice though. :D

Did you get him to sign it at the official signing?

I did not buy the book. And honestly I don't wait in line for stuff like this;)
James needs his 2007 tennis season to be over me thinks.:p

respecke
10-23-2007, 02:17 AM
hi all
i got the book and had it signed. james is suprisingly small in reall life. it was a great read. oftentimes i had felt like i was listening to james speak the words.

Eden
01-12-2008, 10:23 PM
:wavey:

Stand and deliver

IT IS not surprising that James Blake would be barracking for Barack Obama in the US presidential race.
Blake must identify with the Illinois senator whose candidacy has electrified American politics.
Like Obama, Blake is an African-American and Harvard University alumnus competing in a lily-white field where blacks are notable for their absence.
In addition to their prestigious alma mater - which Blake left, mid-degree, to pursue his tennis career - each of them were products of mixed marriages, of black fathers and white mothers; an English mum in Blake's case, and a Kenyan dad in Obama's.
But perhaps the most striking parallel is the way these gentlemen - and the word was not chosen lightly - conduct themselves in their respective gladiatorial "sports".
They are polite, articulate and have a capacity to eschew conflict and the confrontational norms.
They own what Americans term "crossover appeal" which is another way of saying that white America is comfortable with them.
Both have written books, which peddle uplifting messages, too.
Obama's best-known tome was titled The Audacity of Hope.
Blake's book, ghosted by Andrew Friedman, Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life, reached 15th on the New York Times bestseller list last year.
A fair effort, considering tennis is dwarfed by American football, basketball, baseball and, in much of the country, NASCAR.
"I'm really proud of him," said Blake of his candidate, just before Obama's narrow and unexpected defeat by Hilary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.
"I've read both of his books and I think he's the best candidate in my mind.
He's got 100 per cent of my support.
"He's got a long way to go, but I'm really excited about the amount of support he's gaining, the amount of money he's been able to raise and the fact that he's just getting the support of a lot of high-profile people that I think are going to help.
Oprah Winfrey is about as big, as high profile as you can get.
"Now, Obama can count James Blake in his corner.
Blake argued that Obama's perceived weakness - inexperience - should be a strength.
"Some people that have been in Washington too long end up being jaded, and I feel like they want to continue as usual, as the way they've been done.
I don't think he'll do that; I think the White House and I think Washington in general is ripe for a change.
I think he's the man for it.
"Blake is clearly engaged by politics; it was an arena he might have entered had he not become a tennis professional.
More pertinent, he isn't just a tennis player.
He is, relative to most of his peers, rounded, and when he retires from the game intends to go back to Harvard and finish his degree.
So a Blake interview need not mention his serve or forehand.
Much as he loves the game, he is promiscuous in his interests.
"I've always treated tennis as a game.
I love it... It's my job... it's my career... I love playing.
But I'm also someone that didn't devote my entire childhood to it.
I didn't go to a tennis academy and only have one dream in the world, to be a tennis player.
"My dream was to be a tennis player, but I also realised there were a lot of other things that could make me happy - whether it was working in politics, whether it was in the business world, whether it was being in sports in general, being in sports marketing.
I knew there were a lot of other possibilities.
I know when I was growing up my parents always focused on academics before tennis.
"Blake recognises that, as a black player in a perennially white sport, he is fated to carry the hopes of others.
But where there is a natural - and understandable - desire of sportsmen to avoid the rolemodel's burden, Blake welcomes the opportunity.
"Being African-American in a sport like this, it's defi nitely going to raise eyebrows... I wish that wasn't the case, to be honest, because that would mean it's becoming much more normal.
Serena and Venus have helped out the situation so much more in inspiring so many young girls to play.
"I understand the fact that I'm a role model... And I really cherish that opportunity, because I think some people see it as a burden.
For me, it's giving me a voice.
And any time when the off-season comes around I get to charity events, I get to help kids out... I've been given this voice to do something with.
"Blake values role models because he had one: the late Arthur Ashe, who inspired him when Blake, raised in upstate New York and Connecticut, was in the Harlem Junior Tennis Program as a kid.
No player was afforded greater respect in the game than the thoughtful and courteous Ashe, the only African-American male to win Wimbledon (1975).
Ashe's dignity in the face of AIDS - which he contracted in a blood transfusion - was as inspiring as anything he did on the court.
Blake has not, however, reached Ashe's standing on the court.
As the elder statesman of American tennis writers and commentators, Bud Collins, puts it, Blake is "not a great player.
He's a very good player".
Collins believes Blake, 28, has not disappointed, having "lived up to his ability".
Any consideration of his achievements should be mindful of the obstacles Blake surmounted in 2004, when he broke a vertebra in his neck and suffered from Zoster, an illness that impaired his vision and hearing and left him paralysed on his left side.
Worst of all, his father Thomas died.
These challenges formed the basis of his autobiography.
He is ranked 13 in the world, having peaked at No. 4 in his best season, 2006, when he won five ATP titles.
Last year, he won two titles, and in what he unequivocally ranks as his career highlight, played singles in the US team that won America its first Davis Cup for 12 years.
Blake defeated Russian No. 1 Mikhail Youzhny in four sets in his live rubber.
Blake and his David Cup teammate and American No. 1 Andy Roddick have been resolute in their patriotic support of Davis Cup, which was not embraced so keenly by their more decorated predecessors, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
They represent a generation of American players who have grown up in a sport that plays second fiddle to football et al, are conscious of their responsibilities to tennis and, if less talented than Sampras and Agassi - which is no disgrace - they are less "me" and more "we".
Blake wants to see the Davis Cup schedule reorganised, in part to make it more appealing to Americans.
Blake serves as vice-president on the ATP's player council, which gives him an input into how the game is governed.
At least, in theory it does, since Blake has found the politics of the tour frustrating.
He feels the players have little say.
"I've learned that there are a few people who control a lot more than you would think they do, and the council may not have as much influence as the people think, or in opinion, should have.
"To Australians who follow tennis, Blake first came to attention in a confrontation with Lleyton Hewitt at the 2001 US Open (which Hewitt won) that almost exploded into a racial incident of the kind that has beset cricket in the past week.
Questioning a line call, Hewitt made a comment that allegedly pointed to the fact that the offending offi cial, like his opponent, was black.
While Hewitt denied this was the inference of his comment, an aggressive American media - more alert to such nuances than our press - smelled blood.
Regardless of whether Hewitt was innocent or not, what is beyond dispute is that Blake defused the racial bomb before it blew up in the Australian's face.
He stood his ground on what he heard, but didn't fuel the furore.
His stance, principled and conciliatory, enhanced his reputation within the sport.
"He gets a lot of credit for that," said Collins, adding that Blake "found out a lot of things" in that match, including the need to improve his fitness.
Blake moved on.
"2001 is a long time ago.
That we ended the next day in the locker room.
That's behind us and we get along just fine.
He (Hewitt) seems to be much more mellow and a great guy since having a baby, and I think that changes a lot of people...
Since then, he's been very friendly to me.
He still gives it a c'mon and will be in your face on the court but that's competitive spirit and that's who he is and I always appreciate people being who they are on the court.
"Grand slam results are the gap in the Blake resume.
He has not been past the quarter-finals of any slam.
"I try not to lose any sleep over it," said Blake.
"It's something that affects me and I wish I could do better in the slams and I wish I had done better, but hopefully I have many slams left in me and I hope I have that one or two runs.
I'm clearly not a player like Federer that's going to go out and dominate.
"No, he's not Federer, not even Roddick.
But James Blake stands for more than his results.
While Hewitt denied this was the inference of his comment, an aggressive American media - more alert to such nuances than our press - smelled blood.
Regardless of whether Hewitt was innocent or not, what is beyond dispute is that Blake defused the racial bomb before it blew up in the Australian's face.
He stood his ground on what he heard, but didn't fuel the furore.
His stance, principled and conciliatory, enhanced his reputation within the sport.
"He gets a lot of credit for that," said Collins, adding that Blake "found out a lot of things" in that match, including the need to improve his fitness.
Blake moved on.
"2001 is a long time ago.
That we ended the next day in the locker room.
That's behind us and we get along just fine.
He (Hewitt) seems to be much more mellow and a great guy since having a baby, and I think that changes a lot of people...
Since then, he's been very friendly to me.
He still gives it a c'mon and will be in your face on the court but that's competitive spirit and that's who he is and I always appreciate people being who they are on the court.
"Grand slam results are the gap in the Blake resume.
He has not been past the quarter-finals of any slam.
"I try not to lose any sleep over it," said Blake.
"It's something that affects me and I wish I could do better in the slams and I wish I had done better, but hopefully I have many slams left in me and I hope I have that one or two runs.
I'm clearly not a player like Federer that's going to go out and dominate.
"No, he's not Federer, not even Roddick.
But James Blake stands for more than his results.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/news/commonwealth-games/stand-and-deliver/2008/01/12/1199988646600.html

cobalt60
01-13-2008, 04:56 PM
Thanks Doris. AGAIN a nice read.

Ad Wim
03-12-2008, 07:56 AM
How is his injury doing? Is it completely healed?

Eden
03-21-2008, 12:02 PM
Indian Wells Mailbag: James Blake

James Blake answered your questions for TENNIS.com from the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells this week.

Q. When did you know you would be successful as a pro? Did it come over time or at one specific moment, like after a big win? –Tim Forsyth

A. I didn't realize I had a shot to play at this level until very late in my life. The time I realized it would be a possibility was when I won a futures on my Christmas break of my sophomore year. I realized then that I could possibly make it against these guys that were doing it as a living.

Q. In your recent Davis Cup matches, it seemed like your quick strike, lethal tennis had resurfaced. Do you see yourself playing more of this style, which coincidentally looks a lot like Sampras' brand of tennis? – Andrew Miller

A. I have always tried to play an attacking style. That is the way I must play to be able to compete with the top players in the world. At times it may seem low percentage, but in the long run it is the style of play that gives me the best chance to win the most matches.

Q. What are your plans following your tennis career? Is commentating a possibility? – Dan Bower/ Tyler Purskey

A. I really don't know my plans following my playing career. I think I will get out of tennis in general for two years to finish school. After that I could come back to the game to commentate a little bit or possibly be Davis Cup captain. But I may also find something in those two years that I am just as excited about and stay away from tennis altogether. There are so many things that I haven't had a chance to explore because my main focus has been tennis for so long.

Q. What does it take to beat Roger Federer? Do you think you'll be able to do it one day? – Vincent Landu

A. It takes a near perfect match to beat roger federer. I do think I can do it one day. But it will never be easy and I will have to play some of my best tennis.


Q. Who do you like to watch on the pro tour? – LaChar

A. I like to watch guys like Safin and Moya. They are both very nice guys and I like their styles of play. They are both very committed to playing the style of play that has given them so much success.

Q. I have scoliosis and was wondering if you still have any curvature in your spine or pain after matches? – Kiru

A. My spine is still curved. I believe the last time it was checked it was still 32 degrees. i have pain sometimes, but I think that is normal for the amount of pounding we as athletes put on our bodies.

Q. I'm a soldier in the U.S. Army and because of Iraq deployments I might not get to see tennis for a considerable amount of time, but I try to keep up with the results whenever I can. Do you think the doubles rules changes like no-ad scoring and the match tiebreak will be introduced to singles after people have become accustomed to them? Would you favor or oppose such a move? – Francisco Benitez

A. I don't think the doubles scoring will be introduced into singles tournaments on the tour. I think the tradition is too strong and the top players would all oppose it because the longer the match, the greater the chance for the better player to succeed. so as much as I think it has been effective for doubles, I don't think it will be implemented in singles.

Q. My dad says New Yorkers always help each other out, so I figured, why not ask? What's the most important thing you would tell a player trying to make
his high school tennis team? – Kevin Rodriguez, East Hartford, Connecticut

A. Good luck making your high school team and I'll tell you the same thing my dad always used to tell me. Just work harder than the rest of the people that are trying out.

Q. What do you think needs to be done in order to ensure a good future for American tennis? – Kristen

A. I think the UTA can help younger players and work in harmony with the player's coach. It's difficult to get them all together in such a large country geographically. So they may have to be more trusting of the junior coaches that have helped the talents already get to where they are.

Source: http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=121562