James Down Under [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

James Down Under

12-27-2005, 10:19 PM
According to Chris at JBT.com, James has either left already or is leaving soon for Oz.

Go James! :D

12-27-2005, 11:21 PM
Woohoo James! May this be the start of a great year!

12-28-2005, 01:38 AM
I hope so hard that he's gonna be in the bottom half a the aussie open...he'll rock :bigclap:

12-31-2005, 02:32 PM
OK the Adelaide draw is out, James is the 5th seed(!) and drew Alberto Martin in the first round. He's in Ancic's quarter and Hewitt's half, so tough draw :unsure:

Go James! :bounce:

12-31-2005, 06:41 PM
Woot! Come on James- have a good tournie!

12-31-2005, 06:45 PM
anyway, good luck to first round :angel:

12-31-2005, 07:10 PM
Deb, this thread title is *obscene*. James is down under where? :eek: I demand that you change this to a rated-G title. Think of the children!

12-31-2005, 07:41 PM
Deb, this thread title is *obscene*. James is down under where? :eek: I demand that you change this to a rated-G title. Think of the children!:haha: :haha:

12-31-2005, 08:22 PM
Deb, this thread title is *obscene*. James is down under where? :eek: I demand that you change this to a rated-G title. Think of the children!
Forget the children! This thread is for us ;)

12-31-2005, 11:45 PM
Deb, this thread title is *obscene*. James is down under where? :eek: I demand that you change this to a rated-G title. Think of the children!
Tangy leave it to you to catch that :p I don't think anyone else even noticed it! I know I didn't :) Best of luck to James in the Tournament ;)

01-01-2006, 12:34 AM
I noticed it right away. I thought Deb was speaking of a personal experience.

01-01-2006, 12:57 AM
I noticed it right away. I thought Deb was speaking of a personal experience.
Fee I don't think I'm even going to ask for an explaination of that!

01-01-2006, 01:28 AM
I noticed it right away. I thought Deb was speaking of a personal experience.:rolleyes:

01-01-2006, 01:46 AM
:bigcry: :sad:

01-01-2006, 01:54 AM
I like James.
James is good.
Luck for James.
The good kind, of course.

01-01-2006, 06:02 PM
Audio of James's press conference from Adelaide is here :D


01-02-2006, 07:02 PM
I hope James plays well in Adelaide :yeah:

01-02-2006, 07:34 PM
Good Luck to James :)

01-02-2006, 07:46 PM
James plays Alberto Martin late tonight US time, Tuesday in Australia. Go James! :bounce:

01-02-2006, 08:11 PM
here's an article from the tourney site with a lot of the stuff he said in the pre-tourney press conference in Adelaide, the audio of which is on the ATP site.
Adelaide, January 1 - Fresh off a stellar finish to 2005, American star James Blake says heís ready to start the new season with a bang.

The ever-popular fifth seed is playing the Next Generation Adelaide International for the first time and is primed to make it a memorable occasion. Blake, who built his ranking from 97 at the start of last year to its current mark inside the top 30, says traditionally the early parts of seasons have been successful for him.

"Iím excited to be back in the warm weather," Blake told a full press room this afternoon. "Once I get used to this weather I feel like Iíve got a good chance on Rebound Ace. Iíve always played well on it. Iím looking forward to this first week of the year coming up against some of the best players in the world here.

"I think Iím in pretty good shape. Iíve had a history of starting off pretty well. Iím looking forward to hopefully starting well here and carrying it through to the Australian Open."

Blake missed much of 2004 with injury and illness. In May of that year the American fractured a vertebrae in his neck before an illness later that year seriously affected his hearing and vision. But he says despite the disappointment of being sidelined, it may have had some good affects too.

"The year that I missed when I was out of competition really gave me a whole new motivation for playing, it made me realise how much I do love it," he said. "I think any time you get something taken away from you, you realise how much you miss it."

Blake has been drawn to play Spaniard Alberto Martin in the first round. Should the early part of his week go to plan, a clash with Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals is looming. The two have met on six occasions Ė with Hewitt holding a 6-0 record Ė and rarely has there been a lack of fireworks or emotion. But Blake says there are no hard feelings between the two and he enjoys playing the Aussie.

"Itís fun," he said of their matches. "Iíd like it a lot more if I won more. Itís a fun match up because I think we have slightly different styles Ė Iím trying to attack more, heís one of the best counter punchers in the world. Heís got great returns and Iíve been working on my serve and feel like thatís pretty effective now.

"We have some sort of a history with the fact that we have had a few five setters and some really close matches."

Blake said Hewittís on court emotions are good if they work for him.

"I donít worry about his antics," he said. "His antics are for him to deal with. I worry about my end of the court.

"I think itís better if people show their emotions on the court if thatís who they are. Whatever works for each person. If itís their best tennis I think they should do it."

The American, who touched down in Adelaide yesterday, arrived empty handed Ė except for his racquets. His luggage was lost and it was only today that it was returned. He said it hadnít hampered his preparations, but more so his appearance.

"I did finally get my luggage this morning, thanks for asking. You may not have noticed but I did actually get my razor, I havenít used it yet," he joked. "One night of sleeping in someone elseís pyjamas isnít too bad."

01-02-2006, 08:15 PM
Once again Deb bravo for posting this stuff. And having followed a number of different players "quietly" these last couple of years, I just realised what a feat it was for him to do as well as he did last year. Many players after an injury do not come back with such a flourish. Bravo James!

Washa Koroleva
01-02-2006, 11:19 PM
Deb, this thread title is *obscene*. James is down under where? :eek: I demand that you change this to a rated-G title. Think of the children!

Tangy, you're one funny chick.:lol:
Beware, people like me are 17!

01-03-2006, 12:18 PM
James beat Alberto Martin 6-3 6-3 - nice and routine to start the season:D

01-03-2006, 03:43 PM

01-03-2006, 04:52 PM
WAY TO GO JAMES!!!! :bigclap: :woohoo:

01-03-2006, 06:31 PM
Great article yet again Deb. And James is off to a good start in 2006 :)

01-03-2006, 06:32 PM
James plays Seppi in the 2nd round in Adelaide on Weds.... go james! Should beat him on this surface :p :D

01-04-2006, 12:54 PM
James lost in 3 :( I'm surprised, I would've thought James had an advantage on this surface :awww:

01-04-2006, 02:04 PM
James. :(

01-04-2006, 02:37 PM
The good news is that he'll still pick up a few points and depending on what other players do he could tie his all time high rank of 22. Let's hope for a better result in Sydney :)

01-04-2006, 05:15 PM
I'm surprised that James went out of the Tournament so quickly myself. I had wanted a much better result. But 2006 is just getting underway so I hope James' results will
get better as the year goes along.

01-04-2006, 07:45 PM
Onto Sydney!

01-04-2006, 09:42 PM
James :sad: Just do better in Sydney James.

01-05-2006, 07:29 PM
Well at least James won't have to worry about Andre at the AO. Word is out that Andre won't be playing this year.

01-07-2006, 03:38 AM
Ouch, James drew Sanguinetti first round in Sydney, then would play the winner of Grosjean/moya :eek:

01-07-2006, 10:20 PM
Oh my it would have been nicer if he could have gotten a better draw than that :sad: We will just have to see what James can do with the draw he has been given :)

01-08-2006, 05:50 PM
James plays Sanguinetti tonight! Go James!:bounce:

01-08-2006, 06:27 PM
Yes Go James! But I still can't see him play :sad: Be sure Deb to give us the details, thanks :)

01-08-2006, 06:43 PM
Oh, we don't get Sydney on TTC. only the women. :(

01-08-2006, 07:01 PM
Is TTc going to show the JHH-Hingis match?

01-08-2006, 07:08 PM
Don't think so - these small tourneys, TTC usually only has Semis on... for gold coast last week, they only had the final

01-08-2006, 08:22 PM
Is TTc going to show the JHH-Hingis match?
I am dying to see that match :sobbing:

01-08-2006, 08:28 PM
Obviously I'd tape it for you guys if we got it, but we don't :( Only semis and final :(

01-08-2006, 10:01 PM
Go James baby! Get yer yayas out and working! What am I saying :shrug: Crawls off to clean up the dishes.....

01-08-2006, 10:13 PM
James is the ATP Blogger this week, from Sydney! :yeah:


01-09-2006, 01:57 PM
James beat Sanguinetti 7-6 6-4 :banana:

01-09-2006, 03:05 PM
Way to go James :)

01-09-2006, 03:26 PM
Yeah he won. Come on James do me a favor and win the singles please. ;)

01-09-2006, 07:41 PM
James should be able to beat Grosjean or Moya, but the scoreline against Sanguinnetti worried me a little bit, Davide's style of play is the kind that James was beating 6-2 6-2 three months ago. Hopefully he can up his game and take the title like he did in Stockholm.

01-09-2006, 07:44 PM
Good job James!!! :yeah: I hope he does well here.

01-10-2006, 02:59 PM
So James will Moya tonight (US time), who beat Grosjean in a really tight long 3-setter.

Go James! :bounce:

01-10-2006, 06:28 PM
Hi!...This is the 4th forum that i go to...:( How are u?:p

01-11-2006, 03:29 AM
So it seems Carlos pulled out of the match against James today, so James is into the QF. Nice for James :) Except he might want the match practice lol. Anyway, he plays Clement in the QF I believe. Boo. :(

01-11-2006, 01:05 PM
So it seems Carlos pulled out of the match against James today, so James is into the QF. Nice for James :) Except he might want the match practice lol. Anyway, he plays Clement in the QF I believe. Boo. :(
Hmmm what is up with Moya I wonder. Anyway a win is a win I guess.

01-11-2006, 02:10 PM
A hip thing I guess. His match with Grosjean was extREMEly long, and probably grueling, so I'd imagine it happened during that one

Anyway, good luck in the QF tonight, James :D

Just saw that with his QF points, James is likely to move up to #22 next week - that'll tie his career-high... keep moving on up James!!!!!! :D

01-11-2006, 09:25 PM
James is starting his move up early this year :) Good for him :cool:

01-11-2006, 09:33 PM
Go James! :bounce:

01-11-2006, 11:25 PM
Go James! :bounce:
I echo that ;)

01-12-2006, 04:47 AM
James beat Clement 3-6 6-2 6-4 :woohoo: Into the Semis! :) He'll play either P-Dorn or, more likely, Davydenko. Will be a tough one. Good luck James!

edit: Srichaphan pulled out of his QF (his 2nd round match was earlier the same day), so James will play Davydenko..... tough match for James but good luck!

01-12-2006, 11:25 AM
Thanks glad he won. No way was I staying up to follow it. Come on James do your best!

01-12-2006, 02:41 PM
some pics :)

01-12-2006, 03:15 PM
Audio here :D http://www.atptennis.com/en/audio/

01-12-2006, 05:03 PM
Thanks Deb. It's great James is doing so well "Down Under" :)

01-13-2006, 02:21 AM
So the AO draw is out, James's draw isn't TOO Bad. He's seeded 20 and has Acasuso in the first round. Could be tough, but on this surface I think JAmes should win. THen he'd have a Q or Waske, he should win that. Then he could get Henman or Robredo. So he could potentially make the 2nd week :D

01-13-2006, 02:40 PM
:eek: james beat Davydenko and is in the final of Sydney!!!!!!!!! he plays Andreev tonight at 6:30pm EST/3:30pm PST. I'm sure someone in the livescoring thread will have it on tv :)

01-13-2006, 03:06 PM
Haven't been following tennis because of school but omg that's great news! :D GO JAMES!! :banana:

01-13-2006, 03:11 PM
Come on James!!! Win the final!!! :bigclap:

01-13-2006, 03:16 PM
Allez James! Good luck and good hunting.

And the blog is kind of fun.

01-13-2006, 06:05 PM
some pics from the semifinal :D (warning, some are huge)

01-13-2006, 06:20 PM


January 12, 2006

J. BLAKE/A. Clement
3-6, 6-1, 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've had a funny tournament so far with a walkover early on, and the match today, you had to fight pretty hard against Clement.

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, definitely today was a little more what I expected of this tournament, playing a really good player, someone that's going to make me work pretty hard, in the heat, and perfect preparation for Melbourne. It's interesting to get a walkover. I don't think I've ever had one of those before this in my career. Moya defaulted against me before going into Melbourne, but I had to play a lucky loser then. I don't think I've ever had a match where I didn't even have to step on the court in singles. That was very welcome the other day when it was so hot. I'm sure it helped me today playing a three-setter, having that time off and just practicing yesterday. But I've definitely gotten good preparation already playing Sanguinetti and Clement, two guys that make you play a ton of balls. Before this year I'd never won even a first round here, so all this is icing on the cake for me.

Q. So your rhythm is coming along?

JAMES BLAKE: Oh, yeah, feeling great. I was telling my coach today this is kind of the best I've felt on the court so far this year. It just keeps getting better and better. I had about two and a half weeks before I came down here where I was practicing indoors. I was in Chicago and then I was in Fairfield, Connecticut, with my family. I was practicing indoors the whole time. It's always a little tricky getting outdoors, especially on Rebound Ace. Usually the courts in Connecticut and Chicago are a little bit faster when it's indoors. Then coming here, it bounces so high, you're in the heat, there's wind, sun, everything. You got to get used to it. I feel like now that's why I'm here at these kind of tournaments, is getting used to it, getting a chance to play in front of a good crowd, getting the chance to feel this heat and be ready for Melbourne. But not just that, I mean, I think at this point now, a lot of guys say that, "Just getting ready for Melbourne, just getting ready for Melbourne," but at this point I'm in the semifinals now, it's not just, "Just getting ready for Melbourne." It's, "I want to win this tournament, too." Once you're into the semis, you know, anything can happen. It's two matches to possibly win and to get a title. Whether or not some of the fans forget about that by next week in Melbourne, it's something that I feel like almost every player, unless you're Roger Federer or Andre Agassi, you kind of remember each title you win. So for me it would be exciting to get that opportunity and play in the finals on Saturday.

Q. What's going well for you at the moment?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, my serve really picked up after the first set today. First set I didn't serve great. Then it really picked up. It was giving me a lot of free points which was big because I never really had that in my game a long time ago. It's come along nicely. Then always my weapon is my forehand. I'm trying to end points or set up points with my forehand and use my backhand kind of to get forehands. I feel like, I mean, my forehand, generally, if that's not working, I'm not going to win. That's, I mean, pretty much a fact. But if my backhand is working really well to set up my forehand, that's when I feel like I'm playing my best. My backhand today was better than it has been in the past. And Arnaud makes you play a lot of balls and makes you kind of think out there a little bit. He's so smart, he's so fast, he's really crafty even though, I mean, he's only 26 or 27 years old. But he's been around the tour for a while and he knows how to win matches, which is a great credit to him. He gets the most out of his ability and has proven that he can be a top 10 player which is impressive especially at his size to be competing with guys out here like Ivo Karlovic, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, the bigger guys out there.

Q. What about Davydenko?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, he's another great player, someone that's improved a whole lot over the last year and a half. I've played him three times now, but I think two of them were really before his marked improvement that he's had, so I got to throw those successes out the window because he's a different player than he was two years ago or three years ago. He hits the ball really heavy from the baseline now which is very impressive because he's also a smaller guy, but he hits the ball like a big guy. I mean, he really rips his ground strokes, makes you pay if you kind of float a ball, and gets some cheap points off his serve, too, which is impressive. He hits it for a good percentage. He's always in the top 10 of first serve percentages on tour, and that's something that is tough to deal with. With the size of men's serves today, if you're making 70% of them, you have a good chance of holding most times. So you kind of look for your opportunities. I'm going to try to take advantage, when I do see a second serve, try to take advantage of those and see if I can make him pay. But he also returns very well. That's why he's top 10 in the world and made the quarters of Australia last year. He's had success on this surface. He's had success on really every surface. Clay, he's made the semis of the French. It's going to be a very tough match, but it's also going to be a really good test because he's someone that hits so many balls, makes you play. It's not a match where you can play bad and win, where you can kind of just get a little lucky or whatever; you really have to play well to beat him.

Q. You've had your tussles with Lleyton over the years. Are you surprised by his slow start to the summer, the result today?

JAMES BLAKE: It's funny. My coach and some of my friends have been talking about kind of all the matches, and we'll look through the schedule almost every day and just joke and we say, "Well, this person's going to win this one, this person's going to win this one, this person's..." We're, I mean, supposedly in the know here on the ATP Tour, that's why we probably wouldn't be allowed to share that with anyone who's actually betting or anything. But we're wrong almost every time. I mean, at the beginning of the year it's crazy to see how many upsets, how many just, you know, strange things are happening on tour because you don't know how guys have spent their off-season. It's two months where a guy could have been sitting on the couch eating chips, you know, but someone else could have been out in the gym for five hours a day. And you just don't know that, how people have prepared. And the even stranger thing is that you can't tell just by how they're replying. Two results - Andreas Seppi obviously is an incredible player. I lost to him last week and I didn't play that badly. He can play great tennis. Then he lost the next round to Malisse 0-1. He's very up and down, and you saw his up today against Lleyton Hewitt. Anyone out here can beat just about anyone with the exception of possibly Roger. But it's really so close that if someone had a better preparation in the off-season, someone, you know, just, you know, had a bad night's sleep, someone had, you know -- obviously now he might not be getting as much sleep now that he's got a crying baby in the house, I don't know. But, I mean, all these things can factor in to just playing one bad match. That's one thing I'm going to try to do this year about my game is not worry if I have two bad weeks, three bad weeks, even six bad weeks in a row. I've gained confidence from the fact that at the end of last year I put together a stretch where I was playing some of the best tennis in the world at New Haven, the US Open and Stockholm. Lleyton, I assume, can draw tons of confidence in the fact that he's put together seasons where he's been No. 1 in the world. I mean, I wouldn't expect him to lose any confidence over two weeks. It is unfortunate that it's in Australia, his home country, where I'm sure the press is going to have a field day with a slow start. But, you know, that's just unfortunate for him, but I really doubt it's going to affect him one bit once he steps on the court in Melbourne Park and has the same confidence of being a top 3 or 4 player in the world and one of the favorites really to win Australia, as much as anyone can be a favorite outside of Roger.

Q. Talk about Roger Federer. Is he beatable in Melbourne?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, Tommy Haas proved that he is beatable to some extent. You really just have to play your best tennis, and there are guys that can be tricky. You see a guy like Andreas Seppi play as well as he did today. I think everyone on their best day has their chance, but it's really to the point now where I think he's -- also you don't know after the off-season. But it's to the point at the end of last year where you really have to play your best and you have to hope he's a little off. But, I mean, there's always that chance. I think at his best, when he's playing his best, he's going to beat just about anyone in the world, and that's what we all work for. That's why I put in the hours in the off-season, is 'cause you know he's still improving and he's -- at this point I think he's head and shoulders above the rest of the field, but there is that day where you can play your best tennis and, I mean, if he gets a little nervous... Being No. 1 in the world, I can only imagine the pressure of every time you're the favorite and, you know, people are cheering for the underdog and they have no pressure on them. And, I mean, I've talked to Andre a little bit about it. He talks about the fact that no one has a bad day against him, no one just comes and doesn't feel like playing or tanks a little bit; everyone comes out. So Roger's got to deal with that. He's done an incredible job of doing that for two years, but you never know when that's going to break. And if he does continue his mental fortitude that he's had for the last two years, then in a few years we're going to be talking about whether or not he's going to break Sampras' record. That's going to be exciting for the fans I think. It's exciting for us to see. I think everyone, any kind of sports fan loves seeing history being made. You want to see if Barry Bonds is going to break Hank Aaron's record, you want to see in football if a sack's record is going to be broken, if Brett Favre is going to break, you know, games played. I would give some rugby or cricket records but I don't know any of them, so sorry.

Q. Considering the level you showed at the last US Open and your level today, have you made improvements? You think you are at the same level?

JAMES BLAKE: No, I've definitely improved. It's funny that now people actually believe me as opposed to when I said it when I was ranked about 200 in the world and I told people I felt like I was a better player than I was when I was 22 in the world. No one believed me then until I kind of went on that run at the end of last year. I was saying that on the clay, I was saying that when I got to the grass courts, and then I was saying it when I got to the hard courts, and people started believing me maybe after New Haven or after the US Open. I definitely feel like I've improved and I feel like the tour improves every year. I mean, if Roger is the benchmark, he keeps getting better, so the tour kind of has to follow. We keep getting better, and I've definitely gotten better, and I'm not ranked as high as I was when I was at my highest so it's very interesting to see. I don't worry as much about the rankings. I really definitely -- the main thing for me is I've improved as much as I possibly can and I keep improving. Even matches like today, matches where I'm winning, where I'm losing, I feel like I can learn from them and I can continue to improve. The level that everyone saw at the US Open I think is giving me confidence to keep improving because, you know, a lot of people thought maybe my potential was reached when I got to 20-something in the world or whatever, but I feel like it's shown I can do even better hopefully, and I'm excited about that. We'll see where the ranking takes me, but that's not going to worry me. I just feel like I'm getting better as a player and that's giving me confidence going into the next Grand Slam here in Australia, possibly the first one I've ever looked at as a success -- as possibly having the success of going into the second week and really challenging for the title as opposed to the last few years most of the Grand Slams I went into I felt like, "Oh, maybe if I play really well I can make it into second week, I can get to the quarterfinals or get to the Round of 16 and that's good for me." Now I feel like I'm not going to be upset if that happens if I play well, but I know that if I'm playing well, there's no reason why I can't be in the semis or the finals or maybe holding up a trophy one of these days. I know I'm -- I was two points away from being in the semis against one of my good friends, Robby Ginepri, in the semis, then one match away from the finals. The way Roger played that day I might have been one sprained ankle away from a trophy, but you're so close that it's interesting to me now to give me that confidence and see how I feel when I go out on the court there with the thought process of it's a winnable tournament.

Q. Are you worth a bet?

JAMES BLAKE: Am I worth a bet? I don't know. I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about that. If I ever tell people that, I feel bad because I remember after the Andre Agassi match, you know, feeling good about the way I played and you're still down. I heard it for months, "That was a great match, that was a great match." But then once I was out in New York and some guy comes up to me in a bar and was like, "Man, I lost 15 grand on that match." I'm like, "Sorry, I tried my best. Can I get you a beer?" You know? There's nothing I can say about that. So I won't tell anyone to bet on me; I don't want to have to buy everyone a beer (smiling).

01-13-2006, 06:33 PM
Awesome James!! :bigclap: Win the title now! :banana:

Hey guys, I just started a general American cheering thread in the AO forum. I figured it would be cool to have one thread to cheer on all of our favorite American players, so come on in and party! :aparty:


01-13-2006, 10:24 PM
Good luck James :) Win that Final :cool:

01-14-2006, 03:09 AM
James WON!!!! 6-2 3-6 7-6(3) YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so close, Andreev served for the match at 5-4 :eek:

what a way to start the season!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up for the AO, pleeeeease :)

01-14-2006, 03:11 AM
:woohoo: James won the Sydney tournament!!! :D

01-14-2006, 04:22 AM

01-14-2006, 05:32 AM

01-14-2006, 05:36 AM

01-14-2006, 07:01 AM
Oh these pictures are freaking wonderful. Yay for James!!!! :D :D :D

ae wowww
01-14-2006, 12:24 PM
SO Happy for James :D You can see how much it meant to him, and even better that the blog coincided with this :yeah:

I really enjoyed reading, and following his progress :hatoff: So deserving..

01-14-2006, 02:28 PM
Here's James's press conference from after the semi :)

January 13, 2006

J. BLAKE/N. Davydenko
6-4, 6-2


THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. Nice way to start the year off.

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it's a great way to start the year off. I'm pretty excited about it. To be in a final, this tournament, when you looked at the draw at the beginning, you see some of the top players in the game, people that are all excited to start the year well. To be in the finals is, to me, a pretty good accomplishment. Whether it's right before a Slam or anything like that, it's just a really good accomplishment to be in the finals in this level of field.

Q. Before Sunday did you have any expectation to be in the final?

JAMES BLAKE: Every tournament you go in to you hope to be in the finals, but it was tough. I mean, I just looked at my first round, second round. I looked at Sanguinetti, who's a great player, he's very tricky. Then, I mean, second-round match against either Moya or Grosjean. I mean, former No. 1 in the world. I think Grosjean's been in the semis of just about every Grand Slam. That to be playing in the second round, you don't think -- you don't really think about Saturday; you think about winning your first round and your second round. I got through those. Obviously very much helped by Moya pulling out. But the way I'm playing is really what I was looking for this week, and it's great to see it. Last week in Adelaide I was still adjusting to playing outdoors. Every match I've played so far this week, I've felt better. I feel like I'm back to the form I was in at the end of last year where every time I step on the court I feel like I'm getting better, and that's really a good feeling.

Q. What do you think that little X factor is then that's making you feel so good?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, right now it's getting used to being outdoors. I was practicing indoors for about two and a half weeks before I came down here when I was in Connecticut and Chicago. So it was pretty cold there. Now it's just more getting used to that. Otherwise, I just really feel like I've -- I can't explain exactly what's been getting better, but everything's been getting better since that time I had off. My whole perspective on the game and just my mindset out there, that's one of the things I've talked about with my coach. I had I think that really long game at 2-All, got broken. You know, a few years ago I might have gotten pretty bummed, pretty down, maybe gone for some silly shots the next game just out of anger, and I didn't do that this time. I stayed focused. I didn't worry about little things. Little things going wrong on the court now I think exit out of my head a lot quicker. I just worry about kind of the big picture, playing the best match I can each point. I think that's been the biggest difference. But, otherwise, I mean, my defense has definitely gotten a little better. My serve's gotten a little stronger. I've put on four or five pounds, which I think has helped me make it through the long seasons without getting injured. I think all that combined is turning into me feeling more confident when I play top 10 players like I did today.

Q. It was a strange match. So many serves were broken. What was that?

JAMES BLAKE: I don't know. I was just trying to survive for a little while there. At the beginning I played a pretty tentative game to get broken early on. I think I missed two forehands that I'd like to think I would normally make. And otherwise, he puts a ton of returns in the court. He's one of the better returners on tour, especially off his backhand side. That made it difficult for me. But the beginning of that second set, traded -- the first four games were breaks. One of them I think -- I don't even know how many deuces there were. There had to be 12 or 13 deuces. It just seemed like every time someone got the opportunity, the other person came up with a great shot. You know, that's why he's a top 10 player. He fought hard for that game, he got it. Then on his serve, he makes a lot of first serves but he doesn't have the huge weapon like an Andy Roddick or a Max Mirnyi or Ivo Karlovic or anyone like that that's gonna get a ton of aces, but he puts a lot of them in the court. Then I was just trying to kind of fight off those first serves and get a lot of them back. I was able to do that today which put me in position. Seemed like he would give me a free point here or there on his serve. Maybe it wasn't his best tennis today, but I felt like I was kind of pushing him every time by putting all those returns in. I think that's one of the things that puts Roger above so many other guys, is his ability to do that. He takes even guys like Andy Roddick's serve and he kind of nullifies it. He puts the return in the court, and I think eventually that really frustrates people, especially guys with big serves. Nikolay, I think in getting so many first serves in, he might get used to getting at least a few free points. In my attempt to not give him any of those, you know, I know from being on the other side of it when I play a guy like Federer, it's frustrating. You go for a little too much sometimes, you're trying to get free points, you end up missing more first serves. So I think I was able to do that, and I'm pretty happy I can do that. That's not always one of my strongest points. Now it's getting to be where I feel pretty confident that I can do that.

Q. Tell us about the final with Andreev. You've played him twice now.

JAMES BLAKE: Twice now, I think.

Q. Two wins?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I won both times. One of them should be thrown out the window because it was before he improved the way he has. I know when I was first on tour and played a lot of guys and they got wins against me, I try to throw those out the window because I wasn't the player that I am now, and he wasn't the player that he is now then. I think even since I played him at the US Open he's improved so much. I noticed pretty much after that, I think he went on and might have won two titles after the Open. So he's obviously playing with a lot more confidence than he was even at the US Open where I think we had a pretty good match. The guy on the on-court interview claimed that I pretty much smashed him, but I wouldn't say that at all because it was three sets, but each set was very close and he made me work hard. I know, I mean, even a match like today's, you know, change three or four points and it could go really either way. So I wouldn't say I killed him at the US Open, I think we had a hard-fought match and he played some good tennis and that happened to be around the time of the year I was playing really my best. I'm going to have to do that again to get a win because he's confident now. His first serve's huge. His forehand is huge. You know, I think we have kind of similar game plans - get as many forehands as we can and to control points with those. We'll have to see who's executing better tomorrow I think.

Q. Some guys come here just to get matches before they play at the Open. You obviously said the trophy drove you here.

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, that would be a great thing. The last Grand Slam I went into, I had won a tournament right before, and that was my best result in a Grand Slam so far. And I feel like I was, like I said, pretty close to being in the semis or possibly even in the finals of that. I don't feel like it's bad preparation. I think having that much confidence can only be a good thing. It definitely makes for an interesting match in the first match because you've got such a high of being in a final, playing a match like that, and then you have to go to a first round, especially if I'm playing on Monday or something. In New York I went from a Sunday final straight down there, hit for one day, and then played a match. It is a little difficult, but I was lucky enough in the US Open, I have great fans that were supporting me and they definitely got my adrenaline going through that match. And just for me, that's kind of the, I don't know, the hallowed grounds for me because that's my biggest -- for me the biggest tournament of the year. I know going into this first Grand Slam with the new perspective I have that hopefully I can be in that second week and really causing some damage to the big names, I want to go into that and see how I feel in that first match because that's the one that's tough to get through. If I do, I know I'll be proud of myself because a lot of people don't -- like you said, a lot of people want to get one or two matches then have plenty of time to just practice before that first match. I'm not going to have that luxury, but I do have the luxury of having a lot of confidence. Whether I win or lose tomorrow, I have a lot of confidence that I can beat top players like Davydenko and Clement and Sanguinetti. Either way, I'm going to feel pretty good in that first round.

01-14-2006, 02:37 PM
There are some video highlights of Sydney here :D http://sports.aol.com/tennis

01-14-2006, 05:15 PM
:woohoo: or should I say WOOT! Nice nice nice. :)

01-14-2006, 06:33 PM

Sorry i couldn't contain myself :o

01-14-2006, 06:51 PM
Sorry i couldn't contain myself :oWhy should you have to? :)

01-15-2006, 12:11 AM
Congrats to James for his 1st 2006 Title :) I'm sure there will be more to follow ;)

01-15-2006, 12:38 AM
YES!!! I'm so glad he won :woohoo: I hope he plays well at AO too.

01-15-2006, 09:45 AM
Why should you have to? :)

:woohoo: :woohoo: (:

Have a great fortnight at the AO, James :kiss:

01-15-2006, 12:18 PM
wish James all right to pass one by one :angel:

01-15-2006, 01:53 PM
I'm so happy for James winning in Sydney!! He deserves it, and will take that confidence to the AO!!


01-15-2006, 04:40 PM
Here's James's full press conference after he won :) btw, James's match is 3rd on Show Court 3 after an 11am local start. I dunno if that's a TV court but I hope ESPN will at least check in on it if they can :D

January 14, 2006

J. BLAKE/I. Andreev
6-2, 3-6, 7-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions for James.

Q. You got the title, and now you're on your way to Melbourne to win. How do you feel about that?

JAMES BLAKE: I feel great. Similar to the way after New Haven going into the US Open last year. This is two in a row for me right before a Slam. That was my best result yet, quarterfinals and two points from the semis. So hopefully if I get the chance, I'll win those two points here in Melbourne and maybe make it further than I ever have there. But I'm just looking forward to playing with a lot of confidence, as I did today. Especially this was perfect, playing in the heat, get ready for three out of five. I don't know, would have been rough to play three out of five in this heat today, but both of us I'm sure would have found a way to get it done. And winning a close match. I've lost a lot of close matches when I was first coming back at the beginning of last year. A few six in the thirds, obviously that six in the fifth with Andre. To get a win like that really does help my confidence to know that I can win the really close matches as well as the ones that even if they're not routine, they seem routine - the four and four, or the three in the third or something. But to win a six in the third in a final, in the heat, couldn't ask for anything more, especially against such a good player like Igor who's played unbelievable the last six months.

Q. Would you take off your hat, please.

JAMES BLAKE: Kind of requests...(smiling). Just kidding.

Q. James, do you consider yourself a serious contender?

JAMES BLAKE: I'd like to think so, and this is probably the first time I can honestly answer that yes because through a lot of the other tournaments, a lot of the other Grand Slams I've been in, I felt like it would be a tall task just to get to the second week. And, you know, the kind of thinking of, "Okay, winning a couple of matches is a great effort." And seeing how close I got at the US Open last year kind of with a new-found confidence, I feel like there's no reason why I can't be a contender. I was at the US Open. This surface I think suits my game as well. Obviously, you know, I'm going to have to deal with the heat, but so does everyone. It's not bad. I don't feel bad about it. I feel like I'm in good shape. There's no reason for me not to be a contender outside of if Roger plays his best, I think we're all outsiders. But I like my chances. But that's not to say just like what happened here to Lleyton, you know, he lost to a guy ranked 60 or 70 in the world. He's one of the best players in the world and one of the favorites going into the Australian. Things like that can happen. I could go in and there's the chance I'll lose my first-round match to Acasuso, but I feel confident in the fact that I can get through that match and hopefully through many more and maybe holding another trophy down here in Australia. That's something I'm looking forward to. I just love the fact that I have this much confidence going into it, and I'm excited to play and see how it goes. I'm going to do the same thing I've done at every tournament and that's go in, do my best, and be proud of whatever that is. Even if I had lost today, a couple of the shots in the last tiebreaker had gone out, I was going for my shots and playing the way I felt has given me the best chance to win. I'm going to do the same in Melbourne. If they don't go in, they don't go in. I'm not going to hang my head in shame. But I am proud to say that I feel like I have a chance to contend for a major for the first time in my life.

Q. After what you went through, do you feel yourself going into the tournaments with a different outlook?

JAMES BLAKE: Definitely. I have a whole different outlook on life really. Any time little things go wrong - and I count a little thing going wrong as losing a tennis match now. I got broken at 4-All in the third set. A couple years ago when I still had -- that's not to say I don't still have a charmed life, but, you know, I had everything going as planned and everything seemed to come easy, getting broken at 4-All in this kind of heat in the third set, I would have been pretty frustrated, hung my head on the changeover said, "I played badly, I should have won that" and still kind of dwelled on that. Now I don't worry about a little thing like getting broken. I came back and I played well, and you never know what can happen then. I think those little things all add up to playing better tennis. And just worrying about one point at a time, if you're down 40-Love, don't get down on yourself. Just take your chances and go for your shots and you're going to win one of those games one of the times and it might turn the match around. I think I definitely have a new perspective. I'm excited to play these tournaments, the Grand Slams, kind of every tournament because I'm realizing that this career is a very finite one. It's not going to last forever. If I get ten more years out of it, it would be incredible. But even if I fall down and hurt myself tomorrow and don't ever get another match out there, I'm proud of what I've done and I know it can be taken away at any time now. That's something that does make a difference in your perspective when you're out there, because you're trying to enjoy every moment win or lose or playing well, playing badly, big crowd on Stadium Court or smaller crowd on Court 2. Try to enjoy it. I still do live a very charmed life, to be doing what I love and getting paid for it.

Q. What does winning a tournament like this one mean to you? Are you a student of the game? Are you familiar with this tournament, how old it is, all the great players that have won throughout the years?

JAMES BLAKE: I have heard the history of it a little bit. I've heard that it's been around since way, way before I was born, and that's something that does mean a lot to me. I was told right after that I'm only the second African American to win it and only the third African American at all to win it with Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson being the only other two. I'm definitely flattered and humbled any time I can put my name in the same sentence as Arthur Ashe. That's something that is always an accomplishment to me. He's a role model for more than just tennis players I think, and Althea Gibson as well. I'm very proud of that. I know the recent history of Lleyton kind of having a lock on this tournament. I guess anything can happen now. I'm also proud to be in the same company as him. He's a great champion, and to win any tournament four times is pretty darn impressive. So I'm proud to hold that trophy, and I'll keep it up front in my trophy case.

Q. You've seen a lot of Lleyton over the years. You've had battles on the tour. What's your observations of him at the moment going into the Open? Do you think he's ready to do what he did last year, or are there problems there?

JAMES BLAKE: Tough for me to say. I know he's capable of doing that. He's one of the best players in the world. He rarely lacks of confidence. So he -- I know losing a match here or there isn't going to shake that confidence - at least I don't think so. And I didn't see much of his match with Seppi here because I was actually on the court at the same time, so I don't know how he played. But I did play Seppi last week, and I know he's capable of playing some pretty impressive tennis. He beat me and I didn't feel like I played very bad at all. I know he's capable of playing well and I'm sure Lleyton now knows that as well. That won't change, I don't think, his confidence. I don't know what kind of virus he had or stomach flu or whatever it was. But as long as that doesn't hamper him physically, I see no reason why he can't be one of the top contenders for the title. I mean, I think most people would consider Roger, Lleyton, Andy, maybe an outside shot for Haas and, I mean, a few other guys, Nalbandian as well even though he hasn't had much leadup practice. But, I mean, those are the guys who I think are really contending. I think there's no reason to count Lleyton out just because he's lost a couple of matches. I mean, he's got way too much confidence to let one or two matches affect him.

01-15-2006, 10:44 PM
James way to go!I told the nurse I work with that he had just won a tournie. She was like yeah!!! :lol: I don't think she really quite got it though. She wants to watch him play and when I told her that ESPN would hopefully have his matches she was like- can you tape it for me, can you can you ? :haha:

01-16-2006, 11:17 AM
good James, keep it up :D

01-16-2006, 01:54 PM
Way to go James :cool:

01-16-2006, 03:30 PM
a few pics :D Great win, James!! Just keep up the focus for round 2 :D
J. BLAKE/J. Acasuso

6‑2, 6‑3, 4‑6, 7‑6

Q. Did that one almost get away from you?

JAMES BLAKE: It did almost get away from me. But I like to think that it's through a little bit better mental perspective out there that I didn't let it get away. Down 4‑2 in the fourth, he's a player that has come back from two sets to love before. He did it to Andy at the French. I knew that. I knew even in the third set he was playing to win.

I mean, any match that's that close can hinge on two or three points. I had a breakpoint in the third set to go up 5‑4, serving for the match. He played an unbelievable point, then served an ace. You know, if I just win one of those two points, I could have been done and already showered and home, eating dinner. He played well to stay in there.

It wasn't all my doing. A lot of it was his doing. My serve went away a little in the fourth. He capitalized on that to get up a break. After that, yeah, it definitely could have gotten away. I didn't want to let it. I wanted to make sure I was still around. I think that helps having the confidence of last week, being in these situations now a little more than I had been three years ago when I was up two sets to love and ended up losing maybe a match I shouldn't have.

Now, I don't feel I'm going to be the reason to let it get away. If he's going to earn it and beat me three straight sets, what can I do but tip my hat and say "Too good." I worked hard to get into that tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker he gave me a couple freebies, which he hadn't been doing all set. I had really been earning points to get to that tiebreaker. He double‑faulted once, made a bad error pretty early on. That was uncharacteristic. I was pretty happy to see it happen in that situation.

That's what I think working hard and getting into a tiebreaker will do, put a little pressure on the other person and make them come up with the goods to beat me. Luckily he didn't do that in that tiebreaker.

But I also felt good about my chances in the fifth set. I felt like my serve was coming back a little. I was playing well enough to win I thought still in the fifth set. I didn't want to put too much pressure on that fourth set tiebreaker. Maybe that's why I was a little looser than he was and he made those errors and I didn't.

Q. You mentioned his comeback against Andy. Was that something that you and Andy might have talked about once you saw the draw or did that stick out in your mind last year?

JAMES BLAKE: No, I didn't talk to Andy about that. I figured that's a memory that he wants to keep a distant memory and not bring it up any chance I get. I mean, that was on clay. Jose I think is a slightly different player on clay, a little more effective with his groundstrokes, is able to stand further back and have more time and can really dictate a little more from way back there, as opposed to on this surface, it's a little easier to take time away from him. I didn't talk to Andy too much about that.

I've played Jose before twice. I played him once on clay and once on these courts actually three years ago, I think. I knew how he played. It was more of a conversation with my coach about what I needed to do. It was also he reminded me. He's come back from two sets to love down. We saw him do it against Andy. He's been up two sets to love and lost. He did that last year here I think against Fernando GonzŠlez. He's someone that goes ready to play, but don't get too caught up in the ups and downs because there's probably going to be ups and downs. Just don't worry too much about that. Just keep trying to win more points than he wins. That's what I was trying to do.

01-16-2006, 11:45 PM
Thanks for posting the article Deb :) I look for James to break into the Top Twenty sooner rather than later :cool:

01-17-2006, 12:33 PM
good luck tomorrow :D

01-17-2006, 02:31 PM
James is 4th on Vodafone tonight! That's probably during ESPN's covrage so hopefully they'll check in on him :D Go James!

01-17-2006, 07:32 PM
Oh oh I may have to watch tv tonight? Nah- just set the VDR :cool:
Good luck to James!

01-17-2006, 09:43 PM
James is 4th on Vodafone tonight! That's probably during ESPN's covrage so hopefully they'll check in on him :D Go James!
i hope so! :) espn's coverage has been pretty crap so far. :(

01-17-2006, 10:23 PM
Actually their scroll across the bottom says they'll show him tomorrow.... :shrug: I have a feeling tonight will be taped :(

oh wait, I just saw the whole scroll and they mention Andy and James tonight too. Maybe they'll come on and show it live wherever it is and show the whole things tomorrow :shrug:

01-18-2006, 10:22 AM
Well done James! :banana:
Haven't seen his match.They should broadcast his next match! :)

Agassi Fan
01-18-2006, 12:55 PM
Good luck James!

01-18-2006, 02:14 PM
James won!!!! :banana: third round!!

01-18-2006, 04:25 PM
AWESOME! I really want him to pick up the trophy this year!

01-18-2006, 07:43 PM
James is really playing well right now :) I hope he can keep it going :cool:

01-18-2006, 07:51 PM
Better late than never :)

01-19-2006, 11:32 AM
Good luck tomorrow again :angel:

01-19-2006, 02:33 PM
James has got the night match on Rod Laver! :eek:! Tommy will be tough on this surface because it plays somewhat like clay. Good luck James!

01-19-2006, 03:35 PM
LET'S GO JAMES!!!!! :bigclap:

01-19-2006, 03:52 PM
James has got the night match on Rod Laver! :eek:! Tommy will be tough on this surface because it plays somewhat like clay. Good luck James!
YAY. I heard earlier, i think it's a great choice for a night match, i love them both so much. I'm going to being cheering for both of them like i did in the USO :D Good luck James (:

01-19-2006, 06:42 PM
I'm so surprised this match is scheduled on Rod Laver. :eek:

Best of luck to James. :rocker:

01-20-2006, 12:06 PM
Aww James ): :sad: :sad:

01-20-2006, 01:04 PM

01-20-2006, 01:07 PM
Cut down some ues next time! :hug:

01-20-2006, 02:02 PM
:( Wasn't too surprised to see the result, the Rebound Ace is good for a guy like Tommy. Still, nice performance and it might get him into the top 20 for the first time :) :hug:

01-20-2006, 03:25 PM
Fantastic! :devil:


01-20-2006, 03:28 PM
:( Wasn't too surprised to see the result, the Rebound Ace is good for a guy like Tommy. Still, nice performance and it might get him into the top 20 for the first time :) :hug:
I'm sorry James lost :sad: I thought he had a good run going! I do hope he gets in the Top Twenty. But if he doesn't get in there now I'm sure he soon will :)

01-20-2006, 03:45 PM
Right now he's projected there. Mario losing helps his cause, so he has a great shot to be top 20. Considering last April he was outside the top 200, I thnk James deserves a big :worship: :D

01-20-2006, 03:46 PM
:worship: That's an amazing jump, well done!

01-20-2006, 04:52 PM
yay james!!! hope he makes top 20.:)

01-20-2006, 08:20 PM
Right now he's projected there. Mario losing helps his cause, so he has a great shot to be top 20. Considering last April he was outside the top 200, I thnk James deserves a big :worship: :D
:worship: I agree :worship:

01-21-2006, 07:34 AM
sooo sad that Jamie's lost yesterday that i actually went straight to the hotel just to emerged a few hours later and hit the night scene drinking the night away...having a killer hangover today but am determined to move on and find another eye candy player to cheer for!

i am that fickle, what can i say? :)

XO, Luna

PS. does anyone know Jamie's next tournament or something? and what's his current rangking after that fabulous, albeit hurtful, but fabulous performance yesterday?

01-21-2006, 02:10 PM
He's next playing in Delray Beach starting Jan 30.

Hopefully he'll be in the top 20, 18 or 19 or so:D

01-21-2006, 02:38 PM
That ranking just makes me grin so much (:

I just found this picture from the match yesterday and i was laughing for like, ever.


James Blake of the United States sits in his chair between games against Tommy Robredo of Spain during their third round match

:sobbing: :lol:

01-21-2006, 03:04 PM
James :sad: I watched the match yesterday, Tommy played great but James made some really silly mistakes. The match should have been closer than that if James would have been awake.

01-21-2006, 03:05 PM
omg sarah :haha: :rolls: :haha: :rolls: :haha: :rolls: :haha: :rolls: :haha: :rolls: :haha: :rolls: :haha: :rolls: :haha: :rolls:

01-21-2006, 04:31 PM
That ranking just makes me grin so much (:

I just found this picture from the match yesterday and i was laughing for like, ever.


James Blake of the United States sits in his chair between games against Tommy Robredo of Spain during their third round match

:sobbing: :lol:
lucky james doesn't have a funny shaped head, that would totally have ruined this otherwise exquisite photograph.;) whoever took that really knows how to pick their shots. :o

01-27-2006, 01:43 AM
I let my mother run free with my digital camera for a day. She found James practicing, in Sydney, 2006. :wavey:

01-27-2006, 01:57 AM
I let my mother run free with my digital camera for a day. She found James practicing, in Sydney, 2006. :wavey:
You need to talk to my son who had the hardest time letting me borrow his camera which took lousy photos anyway. Now this mum has her own :devil:
Thanks to Mom and you for the photos. :D

01-13-2008, 04:58 PM
BUMP! 2008
AO starting and James plays Massu first round.

01-14-2008, 03:52 PM
Best wishes to James. He hasn't gotten the best of draws; in fact, he got a terrible draw! But if he can keep his head and play with confidence, he will do well. He's got all of the physical skills.

I would love to see him start out with a decisive win over Massu. Go James!

01-15-2008, 12:43 PM
Woot woot ;) Good start:yeah:

01-15-2008, 01:06 PM
:woohoo: S-w-e-e-t match, James! 3-2-2 against Massu!! Keep it going! :woohoo:

01-17-2008, 12:36 PM
He is smokin' :banana: Keep it up!

01-17-2008, 02:11 PM
Three, two and two
Against Massu...
Russell up next,
What will JB do?

Three, two and two
Must be deja vu!
Keep it up, James -- woo!

:) OK, really bad poetry...but it's the best I can come up with this early in the morning!

01-17-2008, 07:08 PM
Three, two and two
Against Massu...
Russell up next,
What will JB do?

Three, two and two
Must be deja vu!
Keep it up, James -- woo!

:) OK, really bad poetry...but it's the best I can come up with this early in the morning!

:lol: Good try though;)

01-19-2008, 04:11 AM
AMAZING fight from James! I never saw him coming out of that! :kiss: Loved it!

01-19-2008, 04:27 AM
:banana:James!! Great fight!! Way to hang in there and keep your head in it all the way. Amazing comeback!! Keep it going!!:banana:

01-19-2008, 04:29 AM
Another five set win and his first comeback after losing the first two sets. :worship:

I would like to say that contrary to what others in GM have been saying, Grosjean did not choke, James clearly upped his level and finally cleaned up the errors. Grosjean also has a winning head to head with James so there's no reason for him to choke against a player he owns. Seb did run out of steam in that fifth set and I think that's why James fought so hard in the fourth to break back. He knew that if it went to five, Seb would tap out, and that's exactly what happened.

From Craig Hickman's blog:
Who's that bald guy running around like he was born to win five-set matches? James Blake made his own personal history today. He beat Sebastien Grosjean for the first time in four tries, and he rallied from a two-set deficit for the first time in his career to bring his five-set record to 2-10. But wait, there's more. He was also down a double break in the fourth set and 1-4 in the tiebreak. Clutch.

Grosjean, a 29-year-old tour veteran and father, was worn out from his five-set win over qualifier Robin Haase in the previous round. But he had such a huge lead in the fourth set, physical exhaustion isn't the main reason he wasn't able to hold on.

Blake simply refused to lose. A controlled, composed performance was just what the situation required and that's exactly what James gave. With Sam Querrey's loss to Novak Djokovic, if Vince Spadea loses his rain-delayed third-round match against David Ferrer tomorrow, James will be the last American man standing at a Slam for the first time in his entire career. His own personal history.
James will be our flag bearer. :worship:

Gotta post some photos from the match. :D

Blake def Grosjean 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2

01-19-2008, 04:56 AM
Well done, James! I gave up on you 2x during the match. I'm so happy you came through.

01-19-2008, 06:20 AM

Good win eventually but what a horror show for the first two sets. He needs to use this comeback as a boost but he also should not forget how poorly he started. If he comes out sluggish against Cilic, it will be curtains. Not everyone has a tendency to choke away two set leads. ;)

01-19-2008, 03:22 PM
I need to add my :banana: :banana: here!!!!

01-19-2008, 03:36 PM

01-20-2008, 08:45 AM
Did James complain on some injurie or something like that , fitness or .. ? Tnx

01-20-2008, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the pix Tangy!!! :kiss:

01-21-2008, 01:20 AM
Great to see James win another 5 setter. He really should beat Cilic convincing, he's got no excuse if he blows this shot at his first grand slam quarterfinal outside of the USO.

01-21-2008, 01:49 PM
Well he did not blow it :banana:
Except that he has little chance against Federer. Time to believe James ;)

01-21-2008, 03:13 PM

01-21-2008, 03:41 PM
:worship:JAMES!! Quarter-finals at the Australian Open!! :worship:

He's got his backhand working, his serve is popping, and he's playing with patience and determination.

And along comes Roger.....
Odds are against James, of course. But there's always a chance. Yeah, he's got to believe he can do it.

So what the heck. I believe he can do it. Roger can be beaten, so why not James?
:drive: Keep it going, James!!!

01-21-2008, 08:57 PM
JAMES! :woohoo: His first non-US grand slam quarterfinal, congrats! :D Good luck in the next round. :dance:

He was so happy his Giants beat the Packers too. :lol:

Giants fan James Blake advances at Aussie Open
James Blake rode a roller coaster of emotions that accompanies a nail-biting finish in a big game.

He sensed the planets were aligning even before taking court yesterday, watching from the locker room as his beloved New York Giants made it through to the Super Bowl with an overtime win over Green Bay. After winning from two-sets-to-love down on Saturday for the first time in his career, Blake began his news conference with a tongue-in-cheek: "Please let it be about my five-set record (which is improving, but still stands at 2-10)." Yesterday, it was an exultant: "Please let it be about the Giants!"

Blake, a fan of the New York Giants, caught the whole game as his favorite NFL team qualified for the Super Bowl with a 23-20 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers in bitingly cold conditions that are a sharp contrast to the Down Under summer.

"Thank goodness the girls before me went three sets, otherwise I would've missed it and been wondering the whole match," he said after beating Marin Cilic of Croatia to book his own big match -- a Grand Slam quarterfinal against No. 1 Roger Federer.

When asked which made him happier, the Giants' win or his furthest advance at Melbourne Park, Blake had to make a tough call.

"Let's see. It's been longer since the Giants made the finals, but selfishly I've got to say me making the quarterfinals," the No. 12-ranked Blake said. "But I think it still would have been a good day if the Giants had lost and I had won. Either way, it's even better."

Blake had company around the television as Lawrence Tynes kicked the winning field goal. Much to his annoyance, most were Packers fans.

"I don't care if they're all Packers fans in there. It was just a good day for the Giants," he said. "I had a few people to text back home right away as soon as the kick went through."

Another nice article here, "Blake's Heaven". (http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/blakes-heaven/2008/01/21/1200764171504.html)

Blake def Cilic 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

I :hearts: the first photo.

01-21-2008, 11:42 PM
Tangy! Your pictures make me very happy. :) And James in your siggy is too adorable! :hearts:

01-22-2008, 02:17 AM
FYI -- they just announced during the serena / jelena match that coming up james will be in the studio. ;)

01-22-2008, 06:12 AM
I'm so so happy for James!!! :D ...making his first QF in a slam outside of the US Open has got to make him feel great, and he played very well to get there!!

I hope James can play the best he's ever played against Federer!!

01-22-2008, 08:22 PM
Tangy! Your pictures make me very happy. :) And James in your siggy is too adorable! :hearts:
Hi Mary! James playing well makes me happy too. :D I hope he can bring it against Roger.

I love my new siggy too and James is my favorite part of it. They chose an interesting word for him, "Revealing". And I also like how James is throwing his head back just as someone in the crowd is unfurling an American flag above him. It's a great image. :)

SI mailbag stuff:
What's up with James Blake? He had a downer of a year in 2007, lost to Fabrice Santoro the week before last and I didn't have high hopes for him at all. Now he is in the quarterfinals, the last American man standing. To what do you attribute this hot streak? -- Jim H., Manhattan

At the risk of dousing your fire, I'm not sure how much I'd read into this streak. Blake is playing well and doing what's necessary to win. But look at his draw. His last two matches came against a past-his-prime Sébastien Grosjean and a not-yet-at-his-prime Marin Cilic. Blake's next match against Roger Federer will tell us plenty.

I watched about half of Blake's match against Cilic Monday, though, and was impressed. He made a pretty good case for having the most explosive forehand in tennis and defended exceptionally well. Most points ended with Blake blasting a forehand or running down enough balls to induce an error from the frustrated opponent. Got to think that if Blake could just do this, serve well and hold his nerve in tight situations, a top-10 ranking is very attainable. Watching him, I also wonder why he couldn't reach the second week at Roland Garros.

My viewing pleasure was interrupted in the third set when the security guards gang-tackled some drunken idiot. The guy was on the ground, caught in some UFC jujitsu hold, barely coherent, but still able to ask his friend to pass his beer and lighter while waiting for the police to arrive. Nice that they play up the festive atmosphere here, but there sure is a public intoxication problem here that doesn't plague the other Slams.

Here's a better article. :D

Blake, Federer share unparalleled off-the-court grace
By Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN.com
January 22, 2008

The evolution of James Blake, one of the most dignified players off the court, has begun to manifest itself at this year's Australian Open.

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Given their personalities, the Australian Open quarterfinal match between Roger Federer and James Blake should start with each man taking 10 paces and wheeling around before the first shot.

Two of the biggest gentlemen in tennis will face each other for the eighth time Wednesday. So far, their duels have been completely one-sided. If fact, Federer has won 40 straight matches against American players -- a streak Blake would love to end.

It's a difficult matchup, to say the least. Blake plays high-risk, big-shot tennis with a narrow margin for error against a craftsman like Federer, who seems to delight in flashing a paring knife against a machete. Blake has won only one set in their seven previous matches.

The 28-year-old from Connecticut will go into the contest as a heavy underdog against the man who's at a dozen Grand Slam titles and counting. But a few things have changed for Blake since Federer last beat him in a lopsided final in Cincinnati last year.

Blake broke through to win his first career five-set match at the 2007 U.S. Open after a nine-match streak of futility, and in December, he outlasted Russia's Mikhail Youzhny in Davis Cup play to help the U.S. sweep to its first title in 12 years.

Last week in Melbourne, Blake knocked down another target in his personal shooting gallery, coming back from a 2-0 deficit for the first time ever against France's Sebastien Grosjean. Blake, who was down a double break in the fourth set and 4-1 in the tiebreak, called it his most satisfying comeback.

Commentator and two-time Australian Open winner Jim Courier also found it significant. "That was a monumental win over Sebastien, because [Blake] was counted out by pretty much everybody," Courier said. "And Sebastien's not a player who's known for mental weakness in those situations, either. He's good at closing guys out.

"It was very pleasing to see James come through. I wouldn't say I'm surprised, I expected that Davis Cup to manifest itself somewhere, taking that confidence from winning that huge match. I'm happy for him, it's a great way for him to start the year, proving something to himself, not that he needed to prove it to anyone else."

Blake had no letdown after that emotional high, dispatching Croatian up-and-comer Marin Cilic in straight sets. Seeded 12th here, he will vault back into the top 10 after a two-month absence next week no matter what happens against Federer.

Federer had a few mental lapses in his fourth-round match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, but in general seemed to bounce back well from his strenuous five-set effort against Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.

Looking forward to Blake, Federer acknowledged his evolution over the last couple of years. "[Blake] plays incredibly aggressive tennis. Improved his serve a lot, his backhand. So have to be very careful. I know his game sort of suits my game. I've had some great matches against him where I always play my very best. So we'll see how it goes this time around. Definitely got to play offensive myself, put him on the back foot as well.

"I'm excited to play against him. He's one of the nicest guys on tour, very respected on tour, very sportsmanlike."

Despite the differences in their tennis résumés, Federer and Blake share a certain grace not always easy to find at the top level of sport. At the trophy ceremony at Indian Wells in 2006, runner-up Blake told the crowd that Federer was the only player who sent him a note when he was in the hospital two years before, recovering from a scary practice accident that left him with a cracked vertebra in his neck.

Both are much appreciated by reporters and tour handlers who often have to coax players to do any more than the minimum off the court. They're both legendary in press conferences, for slightly different reasons.

Federer, clearly committed to his unofficial role as ambassador for the sport, spends twice as long as most other players speaking with the press after matches, first holding an English-language session, then a mixed French, German and Swiss-German session, then recording radio interviews.

ATP staffers still wax eloquent about an Australian Open broadcast that took place late at night U.S. time, in which they'd arranged for Andre Agassi to talk with Federer via satellite from Las Vegas before a match. When the telecast was delayed interminably because a college basketball game went to multiple overtimes, Federer calmly sat down and ate a sandwich rather than fretting.

Blake's lengthy, thoughtful answers stretch tournament stenographers to the limit. Like Federer, he's constantly pelted with the same questions -- except that in Blake's case, they are often about an athletic ceiling he's hit rather than a milestone of greatness. Also like Federer, he is unfailingly patient.

After beating Cilic, Blake was asked for the umpteenth time how much he would regret never advancing past a Slam quarterfinal, one of the last important frontiers left in front of him. It would have been easy for him to offer up a pat phrase or get irritable. Instead, he delivered the following soliloquy:

I'm already so proud of my career that I won't worry about it at all. I mean, to have been at a point once where a doctor laughed at my idea of being a pro tennis player to being in a situation in 2004 [with the neck injury] of them telling me I'm probably never going to play again, to be in the second week of a Grand Slam at all is something impressive.

To be a five-foot-tall, 16-year-old kid that was about 95 pounds, had no dreams of playing pro tennis, to be in the second week of a Slam is something I'm unbelievably proud of, the fact that I kept working as hard as I did to get here.

And if my talent isn't good enough to get through the Roger Federers or whoever else, Andre Agassis, who have beaten me in second weeks, I'll still hold my head high and say I'm proud of what I did, I'm proud of pushing them as hard as I did and being a part of these great tournaments.

I think I still have a newspaper clipping of when I was about 12 or 13 years old, when I was -- I think I was the Athlete of the Week in the Connecticut Post. It said in there that my dream is to play in the U.S. Open. Not to win a round, not to get to the second week, not to win, it was just to play in it. I've surpassed that a little bit now.

A lot of people would think that every time this happens it seems normal to me now. Every time I walk out on Arthur Ashe Stadium it doesn't seem normal. It seems like I'm still living a dream. I'm so happy and proud to be there. I know how much sacrifice has gone into it and how hard I've worked. I don't ever want to lose that feeling of it being abnormal. I know how abnormal my job is. I know how surreal my life is. I know how lucky I am to be here.

The best tennis player will win Wednesday. It might be a little harder to discern the better man.

01-23-2008, 12:39 AM
FYI -- they just announced during the serena / jelena match that coming up james will be in the studio. ;)
Here's the video of that arrogant, egotistical jerk. :D


01-23-2008, 01:57 AM
Thank you my dear! I almost fell asleep waiting for him! But I made it. :)

01-23-2008, 11:45 AM

James aftermatch interview from today:

Q. You met Roger now eight times. How did tonight's match rank?

JAMES BLAKE: Same as all the others: it was a loss. I really went in thinking I had a good chance to win, same as every other time I went out there. Came up with the goods when he needed to.

I thought I played pretty well. I mean, definitely had chances I could have taken advantage of if I was playing my absolute best. But I don't know if he was playing his best either.

But he came up with some of his best at the right times, and that was the difference.

Q. What makes him such a difficult opponent?

JAMES BLAKE: Just what I said: he comes up with the goods at the right times, he serves well when he needs to, he puts balls in the court when he needs to. As soon as he gets on offense he can hurt you. He has every facet of the game.

I mean, I feel like he plays somewhat similar to me, just at a higher level when we play. We both want to look to get our forehands. We're both trying to make a lot of first serves and get in the net when we can, close out points at the net. But he just did it a little better than me today. He's done it a little better than me for the last five years or so now.

But I hope he can't be better than me every single time I play him. Next time I'll go in with same attitude: believing I could beat him. I definitely believed I could beat him tonight. Now that it's over, today he was better than me, but next time might be different.

Q. The tiebreaker, you were up 2‑1, he was getting kind of grumpy, making some mistakes he wouldn't normally make. Do you sense there's a chance, suddenly he comes up with two amazing points? Does it still surprise you after all these years?

JAMES BLAKE: Nothing he does surprises me. It frustrates me, but nothing surprises me. I played two unbelievable points at 2‑1. I couldn't have hit those balls any harder.

Couldn't have put him on his back foot any more. He just flicks his wrist, puts it back to neutral. It's tough to deal with. Really, the only person I ever played that could do that was Andre. And Andre couldn't move the way Roger does. Andre didn't serve the way Roger does.

It's just something you have to deal with, and I tried my best after those two points to just put it behind me and go ahead and still take my shots in that tiebreaker and make him come up with those every time.

He came up with a good serve at 6‑5, and he still ‑‑ I don't feel like I gave him anything tonight. I still feel like he beat me. That's all I can do, is go out there and play my best. Today it wasn't my day. Hopefully next time it will be.

Q. That said, do you still feel like he's a little more vulnerable here than some slams in the past based on some of his results, errors he's making?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, that's tough to say. I still pick him. He's still my favorite to win the tournament. But until someone unseats him, until someone proves the way kind of Rafael has on clay, until someone does that to him on hard, I pick him as my favorite every time, even if he's not playing well.

Like you said, he might have seemed vulnerable tonight until it was 5‑6, until it was 2‑1 in the tiebreaker, until he was serving for the match. You know, so another kind of aspect of a champion, another attribute, is being able to come up with those big shots at the right times, late in sets and in tiebreakers.

So if he didn't have his best day until those times, then coming up with the best, you know, that in my mind makes him a favorite still, because that means he didn't ‑‑ he maybe didn't play his best and he still beat the number‑whatever‑I‑am player in the world today. That's pretty impressive.

It's frustrating to me, but it's impressive, so he's still a favorite. Maybe he's more vulnerable than the guy who went, whatever, 71‑4 a couple years ago. I'd still pick him as the favorite.

Q. Offense being considered, do you consider yourself unfortunate or fortunate to play in the age of Federer and sort of be able to test your game against him?

JAMES BLAKE: Uhm, hmm, tough question. It's something I'm sure the guys in years past are wondering how their games would match up against him. So at least I know mine clearly doesn't match up very well (smiling).

But, you know, I guess I'd say unfortunate. You know, to play ‑‑ I don't know how all the guys on the golf tour would say if they feel fortunate to play with Tiger Woods. I would say they're probably very fortunate because of the money they're making.

For us, it's frustrating that some of us maybe feel like we could have one or two or more Grand Slams if Roger wasn't around.

But, you know, what can you do? It's just the place and era you were born into. You're playing against the best in the world. I can't say that I'm unfortunate. I get too much out of this game. I get too much out of even a loss, which I'm frustrated about right now. But I take too many positives from it to say that I'm unfortunate for being born in this era and getting to play against a great like Roger Federer.

I mean, in this era, we're Davis Cup champions, so I'm proud to be a part of the era with Andy Roddick and the Bryan twins. I definitely can't say I'm unfortunate.

Q. Can you still take moral victories? Do you get any satisfaction, or do you have to win?

JAMES BLAKE: It's tough to say "a moral victory" at this level. I mean, you want to win. That's why you come up. I think Herm Edwards said it: That's way you play the game, is to win.

Yeah, I mean, I definitely thought I really good chance tonight. I thought I was playing well. The court suits me well. Night match. Conditions were perfect. Thought I had a good chance.

There's no real moral victory. Next time I go out there, I'm still going to feel like I can win. I know it was close. I've been close before. I can't say it's any different now or I feel really any different. I'm just a little frustrated. But I did my best here, so I can't complain too much about it.

Q. End of the first set, you missed a forehand you normally would make. Is that a situation you try to make the shot too good knowing the situation? What's happening there?

JAMES BLAKE: Possibly knowing the opponent, not the situation. He does that to a lot of guys. Rafael does that to a lot of guys, as well. You get so many balls. That's why I said, I think I'm similar, but maybe not as good. I feel like I get to so many balls and can make a couple shots on the run that makes guys miss. So I know the feeling of doing that to someone else. I guess he did it to me tonight.

I missed that 'cause I'm maybe thinking I need to put this in the corner, otherwise I'm going to get passed. I don't want to give him an easy opportunity to pass me when I'm coming in. It's going to lead to errors. You know, you say you're playing bad, but you always have to remember that it's the other guy that's doing that to you.

Q. Are you going to see your Giants play in the big game or not?

JAMES BLAKE: The deal with Patrick was if I won this tournament, I could go to the Super Bowl. No more. I got to get to Austria Saturday. I'll hopefully be watching it from Austria. They better have ESPN there.

Q. It was brought up in the last press conference that Roger could have lost his No. 1 ranking. For a guy who's been in 10 straight major finals, winning eight of them, is there something wrong with the ranking system?

JAMES BLAKE: Best player in the world is No. 1. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I don't see too many problems with the ranking system, I mean, since I've been on tour, really. There have been very little modifications. But I said the best player in the world is No. 1. I feel like the second best player in the world is No. 2.

It's not really a system you can bluff your way through. You can't bluff the top 10 in the world. You have to win a lot of matches.

I think it's fair. I don't know.

Q. If Roger had lost this match, Rafa had won the tournament, then Rafa would be No. 1.

JAMES BLAKE: That would mean Rafa would have two Grand Slam wins and a Grand Slam final on his record for the year. That sounds like a pretty deserving No. 1 to me, but I don't know.

Q. You guys had the huge high with Davis Cup. Because of the system, you have to go back and play again from zero. How do you feel about that, and how tough is it going to be to fire up again?

JAMES BLAKE: Let's bring Francesco Ricci Bitti in here (smiling).

I think the teams in the finals should have byes in the first round. That would be one possible solution, because to turn around and play so quickly. I mean, my coach, my friends can't believe that I'm already getting ready to go to Davis Cup again, because they feel I should still be celebrating the fact that we just won the Davis Cup, with how exciting, how much drama there is involved, how much emotion we spend on that, to be going back and playing again is just insane.

When I talk to other athletes, NBA players, NFL players, they think about what their off‑seasons are like, it's just crazy to think that this is ‑‑ it's that quick of a turnaround.

The other possibility would be to make it every two years, then we actually have a chance to have a year where it's a little bit normal, our schedule's a little bit easier to deal with, then we go in two years.

I understand their position that the smaller countries need this for revenue. It just doesn't seem to be gaining any momentum. I feel like we always need to be moving forward or there's going to be a backwards step. I don't know if we're looking at the big picture, the fact that if we fix the system, maybe the small countries can benefit more from the whole system benefitting in the long run.

I don't know, maybe that's just me bitter about having to go to Austria in a week.

Q. Could you make a short comment what you expect in Austria, how tough it would be?

JAMES BLAKE: I guess negate that comment. I'm really looking forward to going to Austria (smiling).

I'm just kidding. I love Davis Cup. Don't get me wrong. It's so much fun to be a part of that team. I just feel like it is a quick turnaround from our final in Portland. I know, especially when we're turning around, we're playing a great country. Stefan Koubek, who showed unbelievable tennis here. Especially on clay, he's such a good defender, that's going to be difficult. Melzer has a lot of talent. Werner Eschauer has started playing a lot better. Julian Knowle, a Grand Slam champion in doubles. We're not going to have an easy match away on clay. For the defending champion, that's going to be tough. We know we're in for a battle.

As much as I'd like to go spend a lot of time on the golf course right now, that means it's a couple days off and right back to working out on the clay and getting ready for that 'cause I want to be prepared.

Q. Have you ever been skiing?

JAMES BLAKE: Not since I was about 15 years old. I did a whole lot more falling than skiing.

Q. On TV they talked a couple times about how intimidating Federer is. Does that intimidation come to you in any other way than his play?

JAMES BLAKE: No. And I think that's something that's very unique about him, is that it comes from his play. A lot of the veterans or retired players are kind of shocked that he is as nice as he is. Honestly, I saw him at dinner last night. We said, Hi, how's it going? The waitress came over and said, Do we need to move you guys apart? No, we don't care. We can be friendly.

So he doesn't try to, you know, make himself somewhat unknown or mysterious to the rest of us, what he's doing. He's genuinely a friendly guy. He's just ‑‑ I don't know. He seems like one of the guys in the locker room. Then you go out there, he beats the crap out of you, you come back in the locker room and he's one of the guys.

I mean, it's not intimidation by him being extremely huge muscular, talking down to anybody, being condescending, having any sort of a huge entourage, keeping him isolated. He's just that good.

01-23-2008, 03:59 PM
Thanks, Tangy, for posting those articles. And thanks, Eden, for posting the interview. These just show that James really is a class act. He does give honest and thoughtful answers. But gee, you mean he's not excited to leave for Austria in a couple of days? :) Can't say as I blame him.

Congratulations to him for a great tournament run. He continues to improve, and he always gives the fans his best. Good for you, James!

01-23-2008, 05:23 PM
^^^ I so agree with the above.

01-24-2008, 12:54 AM
I'm so proud of James. He played great today. And what am amazing start to 2008! I'm very excited to see where the year goes from here if he keeps his confidence up. :)