The "Come on, James, you CAN play well on grass!" grass season thread! (Queens) [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

The "Come on, James, you CAN play well on grass!" grass season thread! (Queens)

Deboogle!.
04-10-2006, 03:15 AM
Show us all you can play on clay, James :)

He's playing singles (#2 seed and plays a qualifier) and doubles in Houston (with Mardy)

Go James!

surfpinky
04-10-2006, 03:16 AM
YAY FOR JAMES AND YAY FOR FLAKE!

Deboogle!.
04-11-2006, 04:38 AM
James plays his first match against Dupuis tomorrow. Hopefully he got some good practice on the clay today and is kinda ready to go :)

mishar
04-11-2006, 03:13 PM
James has a pretty good draw until the QF where he could face Horna, who has already beaten Gaudio and Chela on clay this year :scared:

But if he's still shaky after his loss to Gonzo, or on the new surface, he could lose to anyone... :-(

However, on the bright side, if he plays his best tennis, he has a very decent chance at another final! :-)

mishar
04-12-2006, 02:48 AM
Hmm. Just what I feared. Lost the 1st set tiebreaker to Dupuis.

First match on clay would never be easy for James, but I have a feeling he's really shot to pieces after losing that match he should have won last Friday.

Hope he regroups for the second set, or else if he's out of the tournament, that he gets a nice rest and that the loss to Gonzo doesn't haunt him all year. :-(

mishar
04-12-2006, 03:53 AM
Ok.. now the question is will he play MonteCarlo? On the one hand, more matches on clay can only help his preparation and who knows? He might get an easy draw and win a couple of rounds and rebuild his shot confidence after 4 straight losses...

On the other hand, he's played more or less every week since Adelaide.. maybe he needs to take a good few weeks off, rest, train, refresh himself mentally and physically? And come back for Rome in 3 1/2 weeks?

Deboogle!.
04-12-2006, 03:59 AM
Well he has doubles with Mardy tomorrow, they play Horna/Monaco, who could be tough for them.

I don't know what to say. Dupuis isn't exactly a stellar dirtballer.

His serve was horrifically off at Davis Cup, so he needs to work that out. ASAP.

I doubt he will play Monte Carlo, he didn't even mention it the other day when talking about his clay schedule.

tangerine_dream
04-12-2006, 04:06 AM
Poor James :hug:

Well, this day was *almost* perfect. I just hope this isn't the beginning of a slide downward during the clay/grass season. :sad:

Alan
04-12-2006, 04:54 AM
:(

Blue Orange
04-12-2006, 02:14 PM
Poor James :hug:

Well, this day was *almost* perfect. I just hope this isn't the beginning of a slide downward during the clay/grass season. :sad:

Blake will probably struggle until he gets his feet back on American hard courts. His form has hit a minor slump - four losses in four - this almost certainly won't be helped by playing on his worst surfaces:

http://www.tenniscorner.net/index.php?corner=M&action=players&playerid=BLJ001

The loss to Gonzalez is almost certainly going to have an impact on him, but he doesn't have many points to defend until August so his results in the next few months are not going to be hugely damaging to him.

I really cannot see Blake doing great on the clay or grass, but he can still improve to being a competent player on them - just not great.

Deboogle!.
04-13-2006, 04:41 AM
Well Flake won in 2 sets today but James officially pulled from Monte Carlo :o

Fee
04-13-2006, 05:42 AM
Yay, the Monte Carlo exodus is complete! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Deboogle!.
04-13-2006, 06:09 AM
Goldie is still on the ALT list! :haha:

Deboogle!.
05-06-2006, 03:29 PM
Well James will play Rome and he drew Serra in the first round - Serra is good on clay so this will be a tough match for James :awww:

and he's playind doubles with Malisse but they drew Andy and Robby :ras:

cobalt60
05-06-2006, 05:56 PM
Good luck to James!

Deboogle!.
05-08-2006, 02:21 AM
Nice interview with James on the ATP Site :)

http://wm.world.mii-streaming.net/media/atp/tournaments/rome/blake_preview.wma

Deboogle!.
05-08-2006, 03:10 PM
James lost :( He served for the 2nd set twice But lost it in a TB :(

Deboogle!.
05-08-2006, 04:08 PM
US number two James Blake is still suffering from a lack of clay court experience while growing up, he said on Monday after his surprise 4-6 6-7 (3) first round exit against France's Florent Serra.

The number seven seed said his confidence on what is essentially an alien surface is improving but he is still not mentally at ease, as proven by his failure on two separate occasions to close out sets while serving.

"I least I know I can win on clay," he said afterwards. "I put myself in a position to win, I just didn't."

Movement, in particular sliding into shots, is still a problem, Blake said. Like many Americans who had grown up on hard courts, he was "trying to slide but doing it awkwardly."
He said: "Movement is the biggest hurdle for most Americans and myself."

When growing up, he would "always complain" if forced to play on clay at his home club, which happened "one in 20 times," he said.

Despite the natural dislike, Blake was given hope that he could adapt to the surface by his victory in the US clay court championships when he was 17. He admitted however that his experience on the surface was still far short of many European players, such as Serra, who had "grown up on clay."

cobalt60
05-08-2006, 04:18 PM
Thanks for the article Deb. Hopefully he can do better in Hamburg although I believe the clay plays slower there.

Deboogle!.
05-08-2006, 04:23 PM
it was from the tourney site btw.

The clay plays a LOT slower there, like A LOT slower :( he still has the doubles later today with Xavier against Andy and Robby...

Deboogle!.
05-08-2006, 08:38 PM
They're showing the end of James's match earlier and he was just cranky and impatient and didn't look like he wanted to be there... worst attitude i've seen from james in a while :(

few pics.... the third one shows his attitude pretty much :o

Golfnduck
05-09-2006, 01:58 AM
James :fiery: :sad:

Deboogle!.
05-09-2006, 02:22 PM
Here's his press conference from yesterday :(
==============
2006 INTERNAZIONALI D'ITALIA
ROME, ITALY

May 8, 2006

F. SERRA/J. Blake
6-4, 7-6

JAMES BLAKE



THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Obviously, quite a difficult day again. Can you talk about what the difficulties were out there.

JAMES BLAKE: Well, Serra played well, and I had bad timing for my bad play. I could chalk it up to rust, I haven't played a match in three weeks, or not a lot of experience on clay, or just one of those days.

Served for the second set twice and really played pretty poor games then. That's frustrating.

But at least I know I can win on clay. I mean, I put myself in the position and then just didn't. So that's why I struggled today.

Q. What did you exactly do before the tournament during the three weeks?

JAMES BLAKE: First I got my wisdom teeth pulled, then I had to take a few days off because of that. Then I went back to Tampa and trained at Saddlebrook. Then I went up to Connecticut and spent a little time with my family and friends there, still practicing with my coach as well up in Connecticut.

Got here on Thursday -- excuse me, got here on Friday. Left Thursday, got here Friday. Was ready to play, but just I guess not quite ready to beat a guy like Florent Serra yet.

Q. Do you feel you have to acquire a bit more self-belief on this surface?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, although I think it's getting there. Unfortunately, as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. So, I mean, I'm not gonna come out here and feel like Nadal or Moya on the first day out here.

I feel like I'm getting better. I feel like this year I definitely have a better attitude than in years past about coming over here. This kind of hurts that a little, but it will test whether my attitude can stay positive about playing on clay. I still think it can.

I've got two more tournaments on this. I'm excited to hopefully do well, do better than this one. I definitely feel like I can still just play my game. And, like I said, I put myself in position today and then just played badly.

I want to, in my head, just chalk that up to rust and say that it has nothing to do with the surface, it was just not playing matches lately and missing a few shots when I shouldn't have. Hopefully, next time, that won't happen. Hopefully in Hamburg and Paris I'll have the same amount of confidence and I'll be able to close out matches.

Q. How much did you play on clay when you were a kid?

JAMES BLAKE: Not a whole lot. The club I grew up playing tennis at had four hard courts and two hard courts indoors. I would be on the clay courts maybe one out of every 20 times I was playing there, and that was -- I would usually complain when I was on it because I didn't want to be on those courts but all the others were taken. So not a whole lot.

But I've been playing on it more in the last few years, obviously. Actually, in America I thought I did pretty well on clay. I won the National Clay Courts when I was 17, I think. So against the Americans, I feel like I did pretty well but, obviously, that's different than the guys around here that grew up on it. I'm sure Florent has played many more hours on clay than I have, and most of the guys out here have. But I still feel like tennis is tennis and I can figure out a way to win on a surface that isn't as comfortable to me.

Q. What is the most difficult for you on this surface? Is it the movement? Is it the bounce of the ball?

JAMES BLAKE: I'd say it's probably the movement for the Americans, for me especially. I feel like my movement is an asset on most surfaces, but here I definitely get wrong-footed and the sliding into balls is foreign to me. I do sometimes slide on hard courts, but it's just right at the end as opposed to sliding into a ball as many of the natural clay courters do.

I think there's a couple of approaches that Americans have taken. Andre just pretty much refused to slide and just stopped. The rest of us are generally trying to slide, but doing it very awkwardly. I need to get better at that, but I want to make sure it's something that's not entering into my thought process too much, it's something that hopefully comes naturally after playing on this for long enough. Because if I'm thinking about that while I'm playing, it's probably not going to be effective. I'm going to end up missing a lot more.

I want it to come naturally to me, but the movement is probably the biggest hurdle for most of the Americans and myself.

Deboogle!.
05-13-2006, 02:02 PM
oh no James drew Carlos in the first round :(

Grinder
05-15-2006, 11:37 AM
:eek: James just defeated Moya 6-3 3-6 7-5! Bring on Monfils or Murray!

mishar
05-15-2006, 12:13 PM
Wow! What a great win from James. I hope this means he'll break out of his slump. I really believe in James' chances on clay -- it's just a question of experience and practice, I think... hopefully his cramps won't still be bothering him on Wednesday. Every match will be hard, but I think Moya was the hardest opponent in his quarter of the draw so maybe he could go further in Hamburg! Monfils is in good form, but I have a feeling he won't repeat last week's results. Mostly I'd like James to win a few matches at RG! Go James! Sounds like he fought really well!

goodwoman
05-15-2006, 02:09 PM
Well done, James!!

Did he have cramps during that match? What's the weather like there? Is it hot?

At any rate, congratulations and great way to keep battling! :worship:

Deboogle!.
05-15-2006, 02:20 PM
holy crap!!!!!!!!! JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

goodwoman, it's always at least cool, and usually colder, in Hamburg. But yes it sounds like he did have cramps.

goodwoman
05-15-2006, 02:41 PM
Maybe he's allergic to Carlos? :p

tangerine_dream
05-15-2006, 04:18 PM
Holy crap x2, James beat Moya on clay :eek: Fantastic James :D

Now watch him lose in the next round. :o :tape:

edit
Monfils or Murray next? Egads.

cobalt60
05-15-2006, 04:28 PM
What a good monday this was for James :yeah: Next!!

Deboogle!.
05-16-2006, 01:39 AM
Truc was so kind as to upload the ATP highlights from the match, can't wait to watch that!

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XZAVASUJ

KrisJB
05-16-2006, 10:20 AM
Can you give the link for highlights once again. I can't upload from http://www.megaupload.com/?d=XZAVASUJ

Here is the transcript from James conference:


Hamburg, 15 May 2005

Press Conference with JAMES BLAKE

Blake - Moya 6:3, 3:6, 7:5

Q: This is going to be the match of the tournament.

BLAKE: I am sure there are going to be some other good ones, but that wasn't exactly the ... for getting a high seed, getting to play the former French Open champion is not exactly a dream draw. But it was a great match. I feel great. I hope I continue on that level and maybe can get better.

Q: You looked very comfortable.

BLAKE: I think a lot had to do with the clay. Last week in Rome, I felt I was sliding a lot. I had time to practice on it. Here I think it plays a lot better. It is soft. There was a whole in the back, so behind my back leg on the serve, but other than that the footing is great. It's really slow.

Q: For a guy like you, who has made the jump into the Top 5 and is now trying to make that next jump to 4, 2, 3, how much is it a priority to get better on your weaker surfaces or how much can you afford to take your mindset away from the hard court to improve the other things?

BLAKE: You are giving me more credit than I deserve. I think it is more important to get better on the other surfaces. I feel I haven't done that on grass either. I may have succeeded on hard courts but I feel I can have success on all of them. I am really looking forward to it actually. I was looking forward to Rome. I just had a bad day. Obviously I am always going to be dominant on hard, but I feel I can still prove that I can get past a few rounds at the French. Today I beat one of the best clay courters in the world and I feel pretty good about that. And I feel I can continue getting better. I haven't played as much as all these guys on clay. None of the Americans really have spent all the hours on clay courts as most of these guys have. So hopefully with the matches, tomorrow, to the next day, to the next week, to the next year ... The more matches I play, I hopefully will continue improving.

Q: So would you say that on clay always a clay courter would be the favourite and on hard court, the hard court player?

BLAKE: Yes, I think there is always going to be that notion. I think, Moya was probably favourite today. Most people would have put their money on him. That's why I hope to keep improving and get to the part where I will be a favourite against a clay courter. Obviously Nadal is right now the top player on clay, but I would say Roger is not a claycourter and he was within one point of beating the best clay courter in the world. So hopefully that is kind of a motivation that a guy who is as talented as Roger and plays the kind of game Roger has to be successful on clay. It is inspiring for all of us non-traditional clay courters to see Roger. And I hope we will see him succeeding at the French as well.

Q: What was the key to the match today?

BLAKE: I moved a lot better. That was huge and trying to get control of the points. Because on hard court even if you are not in control, you can kind of take it back very quickly with one big shot. You can put them in trouble and win the point. It's much more difficult to do that. So, I had to move well and I had to kind of mentally stay in each point and keep working for position to get him further out of the position and then win the point as opposed to the first forehand I see getting eyes as big as my head and try to win the point. That was important. And maybe the fact helped me that I was cramping a little at the end to go for shots. Because I've had trouble closing him out. He's come back from match point against me before and beat me. This time it maybe was better that I wasn't thinking about winning the match. I was thinking about getting through it. Maybe that ended up being a help instead of a hindrance.

Q: To take control of the rallies, did you have to take risks?

BLAKE: You have to take a little bit of risk. But on hard courts you take kind of calculated risks. I think it's not really a risk by definition, but it's more like a heavy ball to get him off the court as opposed to just try and win the point. You are taking a risk by giving them the opportunity to stay in the point and giving them the chance to go for a winner. Anytime, a player as good as Moya can take one of those and hit a low percentage shot. I did that a few times when he tried to hit the better shot and got it out to my backhand and I just decided he's not looking for up the line. So I got at least sure that I can do that and take it up the line. You kind of take a risk by kind of keeping them in the point but you also have to play smart on clay. At least I think. I'm not an expert from my one match (laughs), ask Carlos. But I definitely think I had to hit high percentage shots, but also hit them pretty effectively.

Q: There was an incident early in the second set. You were a set up and a break up, 40:0 up in the second game and you served quite a rare double fault. There seemed to be a big dip. Did it affect the course of the match?

BLAKE: Luckily it didn't. I lost that game, but I don't think that had anything to do with it. It might have affected that double fault. It might have caused me to do that. But otherwise, the rest of the game, I adjusted my service position two inches further over and it was fine. But the court is so soft that when I dragged my foot, I guess I was going for a little much and I dragged it harder and it picked up some clay and it actually it went down like gravel, so there were rocks down there. But they fixed it and also on the other side. It's unbelievable the court staff. They come out and fix it so quickly and make it like new. It's impressive what they do.

Q: What was the replay in the first set?

BLAKE: I guess the umpire had made a noise, kind of called it out and then said it was in. It was in and Carlos even said it was an inch inside the line, but he stopped. That was just part of the game.

Q: The cramping was just cramping?

BLAKE: Maybe just because the movement is a little different on clay but I think a little bit of it was just nerves. I've come so close to beating Carlos before and had him come back. So, maybe I was thinking about that. My leg just kind of locked up a little bit. Once it locks up, then other things get locked up a little. It just keeps travelling from my thigh, to my calf to my other thigh. That made me just go for my shots because I knew, once you start that, until you take a little break and really rest or get a massage or get them stretched out, it is not going to go away. So, I needed to end that match quickly.

Q: What is your take on calendar issues on the moment? With players dominating who are going to be involved at week-ends in tournaments which gives the risk of what happened this week of not showing up. Is it too much to ask with the calendar as it is now?

BLAKE: Yes. I hope we are attempting to shorten the schedule a little bit. Masters Series two in a row… It's one thing Indian Wells and Miami because they are ten day events. So, once you are done, you still have a few days. Roger and I were in the finals in Indian Wells having three days, even five days because if you are seeded, which most of the times you are in the finals, you get a longer break, so you still get four days off. But to go from playing a five-hour match, to come here, expect to play on Tuesday and have to play every single day, six days in a row on clay, That's super-human. So, it is asking a bit much. To play the Rome final and come here is difficult. But, I don't know if I need to worry about that in my career but just for the guys, who do, that would be a help. Also, I definitely think to shorten the calendar. Guys are playing so many matches. You see so many injuries and it's just overuse injuries. Guys bodies break down after a while. We need a break. That's why I see guys pulling out of so many tournaments and guys needing breaks. I hope the Tour realizes the game is different than it used to be. It is much more physical and guys need the time off. you look at every other sport, they have a legitimate off season. I don't know about soccer, I'm not European. But all sports in America, hockey, basketball, football, baseball, you have a legitimate off season, where you have time to completely heal and rest every injury you have and then get back into shape and be ready. And we have 1 ½ months, where we are still doing exibitions and playing Davis Cup final and Masters Cup. It's a lot of tennis.

Q: You might be skipping the surface a bit. But every player sets their own schedule?

BLAKE: Yes, but we are supposed to play every Grand Slam, every Masters Series, that's 13 right there. If you do well, you are supposed to play the Masters Cup, that's 14, Davis Cup is an important part of the schedule. That's four weeks out of the year. The Slams are eight weeks. So that's 21 weeks right there and you haven't even played any of the other tournaments because your results are on the best 18. 21 weeks plus five more absolute minimum. That's 26 weeks, half the year playing the absolute bare minimum of what you are basically requiring what you are supposed to do. That's not even counting extra travel time, extra practice time and anything else you're doing, whether it be exhibitions or anything like that. And then, no one plays the bare minimum, except for Roger because he has the luxury that every tournament he plays he is in the finals. But guys need to play. Some guys play 35 weeks out of the year. That's just insane.

Q: So how would you answer the critics saying that working 26 weeks a year is pretty cool?

BLAKE: I would like them to come and do what we do 26 weeks a year. Because if it was as easy as everyone thinks it is, they'd all be out here doing it. Because anyone who says that hasn't been in the top 10, top 20, top 50 and worked as hard as they have to get there. And you don't see the other 26 weeks where we are actually working harder. Sometimes I feel I come to the tournament and it's easier than some of my training weeks. It's not just that 26 weeks.

Q: A quick question on Nadal: there hasn't been a No.1 come from clay court since Borg. Tell me about his game. Leaving Federer aside for a minute, does he have that kind of game that he could be consistent on hard courts or is he always going to be a clay courter trying survive?

BLAKE: First of all, I think Moya was No. 1 of the world. I think Nadal does have that ability. If you take Federer out of the equation, I definitely think that Nadal is capable of that. He has beaten top players. He's won two Masters Series on hard, made the semis in Indian Wells. He can make guys uncomfortable on hard court. He works so hard on hard courts as well. He can be very effective. He won a tournament on hard this year in Dubai. He definitely has that ability. To beat him you have to play some of your best tennis, even the top guys. It's looking like if it wasn't for Roger Federer, Nadal would be that dominant player. On hard courts he wouldn't be winning 53 matches in a row, but he'd still be the favourite in almost every match he plays.

Q: So he can go to New York and win seven in a row, it wouldn't be an upset?

BLAKE: I don't think it would be huge upset. I think it's definitely possible. I think even last year people were talking about him being the possible favourite at the US Open. I hope I have something to say about it but if he went on and won it, I would not be shocked at all. The way Roger plays on hard, it would be shocking but taking Roger out, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Q: So you think the way Nadal goes for every point, do you think it might take a toll later on on his body?

BLAKE: That's possible. We are all having theses discussions about Hewitt three, four years ago. He's obviously still one of the best players in the world but it's not by far at the level of No.1. I think it was similar for Michael Chang, when he was early in his career working that hard, and even Jim Courrier. Everyone seems to have the ability to rise above it and maybe Nadal does. But it's very difficult. It's much more possible, I don't want to use the word easy, for the guys like Federer, who have the game where they get free points, where they somewhat move effortlessly and have the ability to get through with less effort, to have the longer careers. But I'm not going to predict Nadal not being well five years from now, because there is the chance that he could be talked about as one of the greatest of all time in 5 or 10 years.

Q: Just a few words on your possible opponents.

BLAKE: Monfils, Murray - great players, both young. I think they are both 19. They are both out and have that hunger that I had a few years ago and I feel I have again thanks to my break for a while. They are both extremely talented. Monfils did well on clay last week. He can move exceptionally well, he runs down everything. Murray is one of those guys where it seems like the game is slow. Everything comes to him very easily. He always knows where to be. He knows what he is doing. He's kind of like Hewitt or even Roger to a certain extent. The game comes very natural to him. I never played either of them but I am looking forward to it. And I know who ever gets through is playing well to beat the other guy.

cobalt60
05-16-2006, 11:08 AM
I watched the whole match last night and James showed such guts in the last game. There were some cheap points but on the whole I really enjoyed watching this match. Many "forced errors" just from the great plays. Just watching the point construction and how both these players were thinking out there. And oh yeah, James could teach Andy a thing or two about clay. Like staying at the baseline and attacking the ball early :woohoo:

Deboogle!.
05-16-2006, 02:26 PM
i forgot to tape it, the replay was when my exam was and the live airing was way before I was awake, so darn :( But the highlights are good :p I'm sorry KrisJB I don't know why megaupload isn't working :confused: here's the interview with him from the ATP thing too http://www.megaupload.com/?d=B2I56O6M And oh yeah, James could teach Andy a thing or two about clay. Like staying at the baseline and attacking the ball early :woohoo:But a lot of that has to do with natural talent. Andy has always played far back and unfortunately always will, and he did even when he was #1 in the world, which a lot of people forget. Andy simply isn't capable of taking the ball as early as a Blake or an Agassi, regardless of surface. James always plays close to the baseline, Andy never does. They're just different.

you can see james's press conference at the tourney site! http://dtb-tennis.rent-a-cluster.net/livescoring/pc/press-conferences.php

cobalt60
05-16-2006, 03:02 PM
i forgot to tape it, the replay was when my exam was and the live airing was way before I was awake, so darn :( But the highlights are good :p I'm sorry KrisJB I don't know why megaupload isn't working :confused: here's the interview with him from the ATP thing too http://www.megaupload.com/?d=B2I56O6MBut a lot of that has to do with natural talent. Andy has always played far back and unfortunately always will, and he did even when he was #1 in the world, which a lot of people forget. Andy simply isn't capable of taking the ball as early as a Blake or an Agassi, regardless of surface. James always plays close to the baseline, Andy never does. They're just different.

you can see james's press conference at the tourney site! http://dtb-tennis.rent-a-cluster.net/livescoring/pc/press-conferences.php
I know but there is always hope;) I remember when I followed Massu that he did the same thing. And every fan used to say the same thing. Step up! But you know I am ever the optomist;)

Deboogle!.
05-16-2006, 03:05 PM
I know but there is always hope;) I remember when I followed Massu that he did the same thing. And every fan used to say the same thing. Step up! But you know I am ever the optomist;)It's a bad habit. I think taking the ball early is one of those reflexive type talents that's half-natural and half-habit, problem is it's next to impossible to change it by the 20s. If it would be possible to change at all, it might require taking some kind of extended period off to try to fix it. But it can be improved and it'd be nice to see Andy play... 4 feet behind the baseline instead of.... 10 feet :lol: But we can debate that in andy's forum ;)

mishar
05-16-2006, 04:17 PM
Andy will always have that great second serve though, which bounces so high it's a huge assist on the clay... if James could do that, his game would be much more effective.

So James faces Murray next... Murray is a very talented young guy with a lot of options.. I think James runs into problems with the no-pace blocking-back the ball style player like the guy at Wimbledon last year (forgot his name right now) or with players who overpower him... but I don't think moon-balling is an effective strategy against James.. he's always had success against the guys who play with a lot of topspin, probably because he does take the ball so early and take their time away. So if Andy is moonballing (as someone said he did against Monfils), I don't think he'll beat James that way. And I'm not sure clay is a good surface for the other kind of counterpunching. You can't really utilize someone else's power as effectively on clay as on a faster surface.
But we'll see. It should be an interesting match.
I have no idea if James will win another match on clay, but if he can keep going, his draw is not bad.. He's beaten Ancic before... He has a great record against Davydenko... but I shouldn't get ahead of myself!

Deboogle!.
05-16-2006, 04:19 PM
I think james's patience and consistency will be key against Murray, who just gets every single freaking ball back.

cobalt60
05-16-2006, 04:53 PM
I think james's patience and consistency will be key against Murray, who just gets every single freaking ball back.
I will add aggressiveness.

Deboogle!.
05-16-2006, 05:08 PM
I will add aggressiveness.Yea but he can't let Murray lull him into pulling the trigger too early and at the wrong times - play like that has been James's problem in the past and he still does it sometimes and Murray is the type of backboard player that might cause James to do it. So I hope not.

Deboogle!.
05-17-2006, 04:00 PM
Well James played perfectly, he just went at Murray over and over, came to net when he could, hit some great dropvolleys and half volleys, etc. Just didn't let up. It helped that Murray served like a girl :lol:

Deboogle!.
05-17-2006, 08:38 PM
:)
Press Conference with JAMES BLAKE

Blake - Murray 6:3, 6:3

Q: Andy said that he rarely played against anybody, who punished his second serve like that. Did you feel that was one of your major strengths?

BLAKE: Yes definitely. The way I returned today was pretty far up there with one of my better returning performances of the year. I am very happy with the way I was playing. I needed to be because he was returning my serve so well. I don't feel I was making a ton of first serves. He made me feel that. It's tough to deal with but luckily when one thing wasn't going great, my serve wasn't going great, my returns were going great. So, it's a good feeling to know that something's working, that I can attack and that I can force my game on someone else.

F: It also seemed you were taking a lot of risks with your groundies and coming in?

BLAKE: Yes that's part of my game. I'm definitely someone, who likes being the one, who is kind of controlling it, whether I'm making the errors or hitting the winners. A few years ago I tried to be a player that's just going to kind of counterpunch and keep balls in the court and not miss. Just flat out, I'm just not good enough for that at this level to do that. I'm not a Lleyton Hewitt, I'm not a Coria. I just can't do that. I need to be attacking. I need to be putting pressure on guys. I watched some of my match against Chela in Miami, the first set I lost, I was missing too much and I thought I need to keep the ball in the court. I just kept playing my game and beat him after that. That's what I need to do, play my game. Although it seems as if I'm taking risks, I think it's the highest percentage of chance of me winning the match.

Q: So is it too early to say or are you making the transition to clay now?

BLAKE: I wouldn't say I'm a clay courter quite yet (laughs). I definitely feel more comfortable on hard courts but it's a good feeling because I never feel like I am improving on clay and hopefully I can continue that improvement and we`ll see. It's a great opportunity for a lot of guys this week without Roger and Rafeal in this tournament. We can all feel like we have a good chance to win the tournament. Right now I'm just worried about Mario Ancic but I definitely feel good about my game on clay now. It's getting better. It was tricky last week in Rome. I felt like I was not moving well, I was slipping and sliding and now I feel a little more comfortable on it. I hope to keep feeling more and more comfortable on it for this tournament, the French Open and French Opens in years to come.

Q: Andy is the only British player with a chance of making the top grade. Do you think he can?

BLAKE: I definitely think he can. He is a tremendous talent. I never played him before to get to seem him in action. He kind of makes the game looks easy which is tough for all of us because it is not easy. Mainly for him it's just going to be getting a little stronger and bigger. I remember myself at 19, I was a rail as well and couldn't get a lot on the ball. I was ranked 400 in the world. I was just coming out of college. And he is already, without having the meat on his bones, in the top 50 of the world. Once he gets a little bigger, little more on his serve, a couple more weapons, he's going to be dangerous. He sees the court very well, he moves very well, he's got great hands. He kind of looks like Agassi in the manner that he doesn't move as his opponent usually and Agassi does that by just pounding people. Andy does it with his hands which if he's already got those, it's something you can't teach, you can't learn. Now it's just a matter of getting a little bigger and stronger. I think he's going to be very dangerous on any surface in the years to come.

Q: So were you a little surprised? Were you expecting it to be difficult?

BLAKE: I try not to go in with any expectations. I know he's a great player. The only time I saw him play, I saw him beat my friend Mardy Fish pretty badly in San Jose. So, I know he's talented, has a solid backhand, his returns were good. He doesn't make mistakes often. I knew it's going to be a tough match. But I always feel if I play my game and go for my shots, take some risks and if those go in, I have a chance against just about anyone. I never feel the guys are going to give me trouble. I try to play my game and adjust if I need to. But I always go in, especially when I play someone the first time and don't know what to expect, I play may game and try and make them adjust to me. That's what I felt happened today which is a good feeling.

mishar
05-18-2006, 03:28 AM
Wow. James was a pleasure to watch today. Some fantastic returns. He was just putting so much pressure on Murray.

Deboogle!.
05-18-2006, 03:42 AM
Yeah he was, but he was also playing extremely high-risk tennis and Murray really sucked. I don't know if that kind of play from James will be successful on clay when he meets a guy with a better serve who's a better player.

cobalt60
05-18-2006, 02:57 PM
Nice run James on the clay. Onto RG now:yeah: Unless you are asked to play in Dusseldorf;)

Deboogle!.
05-18-2006, 03:03 PM
He was actually, his site says so and now his name is on the Dusseldorf site.

Bad choke, though :sad: James is never going to get over that fully, I fear :(

goodwoman
05-18-2006, 06:01 PM
James. :bigcry:

He seems to be struggling with serving out the set and the match. It's all mental. The talent is totally there. I sure hope he can overcome this!

It's good to see him playing well on clay, though.

Alexandy
05-18-2006, 06:12 PM
I am sooo depressed. James!!!! Anyway, well done in Hamburg. I wish he would go to Paris early and get used to the clay. Look how much better he played this week when he had time to prepare. He's not a claycourter so he needs more than a couple of days to acclimate to the clay at RG. Don't follow Andy's example. GO TO PARIS PLEASE!

Deboogle!.
05-18-2006, 06:29 PM
Don't follow Andy's example. GO TO PARIS PLEASE!Uh? Andy always gets to Paris early for RG....

anyway, James is playing with Andy and Robby and the Bryans in Dusseldorf next week.
=====================
Press Conference with JAMES BLAKE
Ancic - Blake 4:6, 7:5, 7:6 (3)

Q: That's a tough one to lose after coming so close.

BLAKE: Yes, it was a tough one to lose, especially when I served for it twice. He hung on. I played two pretty bad games, he played a pretty good one in that third set to get to the tiebreaker. I didn't take advantage of my opportunities.

Q: Are you criticizing yourself now or are you giving him credit?

BLAKE: No, it's not easy to play against him the way he returns. He broke me quite a few times. He played well. I feel I made a couple of errors, but he obviously fought hard. At some point he could have given in a little but he kept playing his game which is very important on clay. Another lesson learned for me. I have to do the same if I am in that situation and hopefully that will benefit me in the future. But today he taught me a lesson and he played well in the times when he needed to.

Q: It was an amazing match though, wasn't it?

BLAKE: Yes, I'm getting tired of losing amazing matches but hopefully I will win a few soon.

Q: What could you have made different?

BLAKE: I think my first serve percentage could have been higher. That would have helped a little bit. He returns very well and puts every second serve return in the court that it starts me off sometimes in trouble because he puts it so deep. Other than that I thought I played pretty well from the baseline. I made a couple of errors at important times maybe. At that point where he broke his string in the second set I could have made him hit a forehand instead of let him slice some backhands. Otherwise, he played great, especially in the second and third set, he served unbelievable. There were stretches there, when I wasn't getting any. If he is serving that well, there's not much I can do about it.

Q: What are your plans now?

BLAKE: Lunch. I don't know. Generally I don't think about while I'm playing the match. I don't worry about that. I know I'm going to Düsseldorf but I don't know when. I was hoping I would still be in this to play on Sunday. But I will head on to Düsseldorf. I don't know if I'm driving or flying. I figure all that out this afternoon. I'll go to Düsseldorf, get at least another match on clay there and hopefully have a good time with Andy and Robby and the Bryans and get practice and be in good spirits for the French.

Q: Are you disappointed not playing the doubles here?

BLAKE: Yes, it's tough, but getting this close to a Grand Slam, to the French Open, if you got an injury, you really focus on singles and be careful about it. I think kind of one of the benefits of playing with another singles player is that if I was in the same situation I know that he would be okay with it. And I told him the same thing that if he needs to be ready for the French Open singles and that's your main concern, don't injure something because of me. I don't want him to feel bad about me and I'll be okay. It would have been nice. I think we would have had a lot of fun if we had won this and gotten the chance to play the Bryans and have some fun with them. But we will have fun practicing next week.

Q: Surely, overall this week shows that your game is still moving forward in different directions.

BLAKE: Yes, it's definitely moving forward. I am happy about that. I obviously played better than last week in Rome. A couple of shots here and there today and I definitely could have been in the quarter finals of a very slow clay court tournament. That's a positive to think about in a few hours after I do some damage to my bag or something. It's something that I definitely think about tomorrow, the next days and into the French. So, this is a positive. I'm playing better. I came close, I put myself in the position to win. I like to think that at the Grand Slam or any other time, I hope I can close those out. If I can't because the other guy plays too good, take another disappointing loss, but right now I feel good about the way my game is going. And hopefully getting to the French Open it won't be a hattrick of … I think it's going to be three years in a row that no American got past the 2nd round. I don't want that to happen. I will try to make sure that there's at least one of us past the 2nd round.

Godiva
05-18-2006, 06:40 PM
I'm really in no mood to be all sympathetic and nice about this loss. I'm seriously pissed and I wasn't even betting. His most serious competition just lost to Verdasco. James blew a golden opportunity to do something really special in this tournament. Nothing new I guess. I'm just pissed. :mad:

Deboogle!.
05-18-2006, 06:45 PM
yeah, it's really disappointing :( I mean, he served for the match twice? GOSH.

cobalt60
05-19-2006, 12:53 AM
yeah, it's really disappointing :( I mean, he served for the match twice? GOSH.
Oh I did not know that:( Sigh.... And of course wasn't around to watch it tonight unless the replay is still on :bolt: And Gonzalez lost too?

Deboogle!.
05-19-2006, 12:59 AM
yes Gonzo lost. I watched the replay until james served for the match. He was playing so well, he hit about 5 clean return winners from Ancic's serve, the commentators couldn't believe he was playing like this. Then he just started missing all his first serves, playing tentatively, and he really just blew it, no other way to put it.

Very bad loss for james, up there with the DC loss last month. And Brian wasn't with him, just his brother, so I thought that was sort of odd.

Golfnduck
05-22-2006, 09:52 PM
James :sad: I thought when he broke in the 3rd set to send it to a TB, he would win the match.

Truc
05-24-2006, 02:15 PM
Sorry if it's not the right thread, I just wanted to say for the European fans that Eurosport 2 is showing the exhibition tournament of Rueil-Malmaison live today and that they are showing Blake-Djokovic at the moment.

Edit: He won 5-7 6-4 6-4 and he will play the final tomorrow, which should be on Eurosport at 17:30 (live?).
(I know it's just an exhibition tournament, but Eurosport barely shows men tennis normally, so maybe it's interesting for the fans who only have Eurosport!)

Deboogle!.
05-24-2006, 03:59 PM
Wait, James is not in Dusseldorf anymore?

Truc
05-24-2006, 04:01 PM
No, I just watched his match against Djokovic and that was live.
He was supposed to play the "Trophée de Paris" for months, I was rather surprised to see him in Düsseldorf. :shrug:

Deboogle!.
05-24-2006, 04:07 PM
Hmm :scratch: Interesting. Thanks! Good that he won anyway :)

cobalt60
05-24-2006, 04:08 PM
Well that is interesting. Thanks for the info.

Truc
05-24-2006, 04:31 PM
The tournament has been promoting Coria and Blake for weeks now (that's why I know James was supposed to play there), maybe James wanted to withdraw and play in Düsseldorf, but Coria is already back in Argentina and they needed some big names.

I found him a little bit "grumpy" for an exhibition, to be honest. But he played a real match against Djokovic, Grosjean and Baghdatis are playing the other semi-final atm and it really looks like an exhibition, they are having fun and not playing seriously. Jame's match was different, like a normal match.

Caren
05-26-2006, 06:40 PM
I actually saw that game and honestly thought it was just a repeat from last year or something lol. I know it said live in the corner but i was like "wait isn't he in germany", oh well...explains why he wasn't there supporting the rest of the team on wednesday.

Deboogle!.
05-26-2006, 06:47 PM
Well James won this little thing Truc said, beating Seb in the final so I guess that's good even if it wasn't played that seriously

James's first match at RG is ok against Srichaphan but 2nd round probably Almagro....

tennis_freak67
05-26-2006, 08:19 PM
Well James did well just to come back from 5-7 0-2 down against Djokovic to pull it out 5-7 6-4 6-4, and Grosjean is no clown on clay either, so that's a good sign for his confidence.

Deboogle!.
05-26-2006, 10:51 PM
yep definitely :D:yeah:

btw, I like Gio Lapentti too :)

mishar
05-27-2006, 03:02 PM
I haven't been able to post since I watched (live!) James' total choke against Ancic. He served for the first set, the second set and the third set and was broken every time at 5-3! It was like a train wreck. I'm sorry, he's my favorite player, but he's got such a problem with choking, it's amazing he's made it to the top 10. Every match he doesn't choke, I consider a huge victory.
And he was playing well -- he totally would have made it to the SF at least -- perhaps even won the whole thing! Oh well, coulda, woulda, shoulda..

Aside from his chokiness, I think his level on the clay has been pretty good -- taking Ljubo to 7-6 in the third, who went on to beat Gonzalez and win the whole thing -- and now winning this exhibition against good players like Djoko and Seb. However, he got the worst draw -- well, he did get the ParaBye, which I was hoping for, but then the single most dangerous unseeded player (Almagro) -- everyone thinks James will lose, and he probably will, but perhaps he'll surprise us all and make it to the QF. Or perhaps not. At least his second-round loss won't be to a no-name.

Golfnduck
05-28-2006, 01:02 AM
I hope James does well at the French Open. This could be a huge turning point for his career if he does well.

cobalt60
05-29-2006, 02:52 AM
Up tomorrow against Paradorn. Best to James :D

Deboogle!.
05-29-2006, 02:52 PM
He won 6-0 6-4 7-6 :D Paradorn was pretty damn horrific. good to get the win but not really good preparation for Almagro :unsure:

Golfnduck
05-29-2006, 03:13 PM
James!!!! :woohoo: :woohoo: :bigclap: I hope he can beat Almagro, but it will be a very tough match for him.

Alexandy
05-29-2006, 08:31 PM
Yaaay, James!!! He had a few moments when he seemed to lose concentration but I am happy for the win. He's going to have to play much better against Almagro. I hope James can do it. I want him to win so badly.

mishar
06-01-2006, 06:52 PM
From the stats it looks like he was playing well... hardly gave up a point on his service games.. unfortunately, Almagro was just one point better in the tiebreaker. Hopefully tomorrow he'll be able to break Almagro and win the match!

cobalt60
06-01-2006, 07:03 PM
I just checked the scores and stats too. Looks very close. Here's to tomorrow! Glad to see he was holding his own against a clay court specialist.

goodwoman
06-01-2006, 11:50 PM
Yeah, the stats look good for James. He's playing well. C'mon, James, you just have to believe. You can beat this guy!

Alexandy
06-02-2006, 01:36 AM
I'm glad it was close. Hopefully, James can take some positives and belief from this.

Fight, James!!! I know you can win!!

NYCtennisfan
06-02-2006, 04:23 AM
On serve, it was like a hardcourt match. James probably outplayed Almagro and still lost the set which could be looked at two ways:

-not good because he played really well and still lost and will therefore lose confidence
-good because outplayed a very hot Almagro in very slow conditions and anything can happen tommorrow. .

I'm hoping for the latter.

Caren
06-02-2006, 12:51 PM
:) GO JAMES

def. Alagro 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

tangerine_dream
06-02-2006, 01:42 PM
James!!!! :D :D :D

Nobody gave James a chance in hell and he did it! woohoo! :woohoo:

So proud of James right now :dance: :banana: :cool:

goodwoman
06-02-2006, 02:34 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

I wish I could have seen the match, but from the sounds of it, James played with total confidence, belief and determination.
This is GREAT!! He just made my day!!!!!!! Keep believing, James. You can beat anybody.....on any surface!! Just believe!!!! :worship: :dance: :rocker: :banana:

NYCtennisfan
06-02-2006, 03:17 PM
-good because outplayed a very hot Almagro in very slow conditions and anything can happen tommorrow. .

I'm hoping for the latter.

Yay!

Golfnduck
06-02-2006, 04:05 PM
James :bigclap: :woohoo: :yeah: Hopefully he can beat Monfils.

tangerine_dream
06-02-2006, 06:21 PM
People in GM are saying that James could take out Rafa on clay now.

I know James' win over Alamgro is a huge shock to everyone and it's great and all, but for him to beat King Rafa on *clay*? Um... :shrug:

James may be in Rafa's head on hardcourts but they've never met on clay and it's Rafa's best surface so I think the dynamic between them would definitely be different and Rafa would not believe that he could lose to James on clay.

However, I'm always happy to be proven wrong in these instances. :angel:

But we're getting ahead of ourselves again, he's not even at that point yet, he still has to go through Monfils. Here's hoping he can pull off another outstanding upset. :)

Jlee
06-02-2006, 09:55 PM
^I agree completely

I think Blake/Nadal on clay would be very interesting and, depending on how James was playing, could take a while. But I think Rafa would pull it out...

Good luck to James vs. Monfils!!

rofe
06-02-2006, 09:57 PM
James will win over Monfils. How close will depend on Monfils' retrieval ability.

Nadal is a completely different proposition. It would be a huge upset if James somehow managed to do it. He still has to win over Tommy or Novak and both can be inconsistent but dangerous players.

cobalt60
06-03-2006, 12:50 AM
:D

idolwatcher1
06-03-2006, 03:28 AM
This is such a great win for James!! :D I'm excited for his chances if he keeps playing with control and confidence! I watched his match today, and you could tell James was either not feeling a lot of pressure out there or he wasn't letting it get to him at all!.... At the same time, you could tell he wanted to put the pressure on Almagro and he hit some very forceful returns and just really hit some great shots, and just kept his energy going until he won!! :woohoo:

Good luck tomorrow, James!! :dance:

mishar
06-04-2006, 02:28 AM
I'm still predicting James will beat Monfils tomorrow, though it must be hard on him to play every day in a row..

But Djokovic could be very tough

tangerine_dream
06-04-2006, 03:09 AM
Great comeback from James in that second set! :eek: :bigclap: :yeah:

The commentators were saying James had a hard time getting into the game because he was so annoyed by the fact that they were moved to Court 1 and especially because they made them start a late match that had no chance of finishing until the next day. :(

But James finally got is head into gear and seems to have figured out a piece of the Monfils puzzle and I hope that he will go into tomorrow's match with a more positive and confident attitude and put Monfils away in the remaining two sets. :cool:

cobalt60
06-04-2006, 02:48 PM
This was a good run for James on the red clay. Now onto the green grass:)

Jlee
06-04-2006, 03:53 PM
I'm saddened by this result just because he had an opportunity to get to the quarters here, but I think he can do better next year. I was pretty mad at him for squandering that set point in the third though...ugh...

But yes, time for the lovely grass court season :)

Golfnduck
06-04-2006, 04:17 PM
I'm pleased with the result, it's a lot better than I thought he would do. I hope his grass season is successful.

goodwoman
06-04-2006, 05:16 PM
I just watched the match. Sad that he lost. :( But overall, I must say that I'm pumped to see how well James is playing on clay. He was fit and fast, his ground strokes, including backhand, were sharp, powerful and consistent. His net play was impressive. His serve was awesome. If he keeps playing like this, he'll be able to shake this five-set albatross soon, maybe at Wimbledon.
I'm proud of you James! I'm seeing a lot of improvement, and I know there will be more to come. :worship:

Deboogle!.
06-04-2006, 05:49 PM
I just saw his little interview with Bud (which was nice of him to do). He seems to think it's an anomaly in the stats that he's never won a 5-setter and not a reflection upon his fitness or ability to come through in the clutch. I've got to disagree with him on the latter. He can't put away the big matches in the later stages sometimes. It's his fault that he's not won a 5-setter, it's not ALWAYS because his opponent was just too good. I hope he's not deluding himself into thinking that this is not a big mental problem for him, because until he accepts it and tries to work through it, it's going to continue to be a problem.

tangerine_dream
06-04-2006, 05:59 PM
James :sad: This was a winnable match for you. Oh, well. Very good effort anyway. No one thought you could play on clay but you proved them, and yourself, wrong. :D

Now prove yourself wrong again by playing well on the grass. :dance:

Confident
06-04-2006, 06:30 PM
Despite of he lost today, the clay season was good for James :cool:

Deboogle!.
06-04-2006, 06:43 PM
Was it really? 2 first round losses and 2 third round losses (which were both close and winnable matches).... I wouldn't quite say that was that good for a top 10 player? But it was progress, so that's good. Next year will be better and now he goes to grass where he also has much to prove.

goodwoman
06-04-2006, 07:38 PM
I just saw his little interview with Bud (which was nice of him to do). He seems to think it's an anomaly in the stats that he's never won a 5-setter and not a reflection upon his fitness or ability to come through in the clutch. I've got to disagree with him on the latter. He can't put away the big matches in the later stages sometimes. It's his fault that he's not won a 5-setter, it's not ALWAYS because his opponent was just too good. I hope he's not deluding himself into thinking that this is not a big mental problem for him, because until he accepts it and tries to work through it, it's going to continue to be a problem.

I agree. James has the physical game. His mental game is improving, but still has a way to go. I hope he's not deluding himself, but you're right, Deb, if he thinks his mental game is fine, he will continue to have a problem. I hope he can see what's happening and work through it. Easier said than done, of course. Anyone who plays tennis knows that the mental part is the toughest to conquer.
With that said, I still think he's playing great tennis, and it will only get better if he can conquer some of those mental demons.

idolwatcher1
06-04-2006, 09:28 PM
I feel that, despite this loss, James has increased his confidence on clay, and he can feel good about some of the improvements he's made on it. In this match, Blake made a few too many UEs... and at some of the crucial points, but that's something he can improve on and learn from...

Monfils can say he's beaten the Top 3 Americans in one month's time... each on clay! But it's on to the grass now... :)

Deboogle!.
06-04-2006, 09:52 PM
I agree. James has the physical game. His mental game is improving, but still has a way to go. I hope he's not deluding himself, but you're right, Deb, if he thinks his mental game is fine, he will continue to have a problem. I hope he can see what's happening and work through it. Easier said than done, of course. Anyone who plays tennis knows that the mental part is the toughest to conquer.
With that said, I still think he's playing great tennis, and it will only get better if he can conquer some of those mental demons.Yep, I agree completely :)

tangerine_dream
06-05-2006, 03:04 PM
James Blake's sob story now available for viewing on YouTube ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE8sO_pQZKo

edit
Blurb from FoxSports:

9. What can American James Blake take out of the tournament?

A mixed bag. The 27-year-old American had his best finish ever in Paris, reaching the third round before losing to France's teen phenom Gael Monfils in five sets. Blake had an impressive second-round win over clay-court specialist Nicolas Almagro and clearly is improving on the surface. But he had a good shot to beat Monfils and fell to 0-8 in five-set matches. Blake has the physical talent to challenge at all four majors. But it's not clear yet whether he has the confidence and will to actually win one. He's such an appealing person with such an exciting game, that virtually everyone is rooting for him.

cobalt60
06-13-2006, 12:01 PM
Well when JB is playing Justin all just isn't right with the world :lol:

Ok he won 7-5 and 6-1.

And I noticed Goldstein is playing Ginepri? Great :p

Deboogle!.
06-13-2006, 02:04 PM
I'll change the title for grass, let's just keep it in here for the sake of ease :p

cobalt60
06-13-2006, 03:32 PM
I wasn't sure if you'd want to have a different thread or not :p And I hate starting new threads :lol:

Deboogle!.
06-13-2006, 04:12 PM
I personally find it easier when there aren't that many posts in a thread.... b/c once in a while I'll want to look up a picture or article and it's nice to know where it is. and I hate forum clutter. but that's just me :p

Fee
06-14-2006, 01:26 AM
Oh wah, James deserved a new thread for grass. But this will work.

Anywhoo, Justin said that James was "sick" in the second set and just took it to him. Yay for James that he is playing so well. :)

surfpinky
06-14-2006, 07:48 PM
James Blake of United States takes time away from the tennis to visit The London Eye during Day 3 of the Stella Artois Championships at Queen's Club on June 14, 2006 in London, Engand.

tennis_freak67
06-15-2006, 07:56 PM
James beat Ginepri 6-3 3-6 6-3, now avenge the loss to Monfils!

Alexandy
06-15-2006, 08:31 PM
Well done, James!!! Beat Monfils!!!! You can do it. :)

new-york
06-15-2006, 10:45 PM
i really hope he'll ditch Monfils out of the court for that RG thing. :devil:

mishar
06-17-2006, 03:27 PM
I agree that James has some major choking/putting away problems on all surfaces, which were in evidence throughout the clay season. He really should have reached the semis of Hamburg and the QFs of Paris if he weren't such a choker.
However, I think technically, he played on clay far better than he ever did before, and got two big wins over great clay-courters (Moya and Almagro)...

Now he's reached his first SF on grass, so hopefully he can do well at Wimbledon too. There's no reason he shouldn't have good results on grass technically.. he's got a lot of power, good serve, good volleys, great movement... it's just a mental problem for him!

He's about to serve for the second time against Andy in the first set of the SF -- I really hope he can serve it out this time.

revolution
06-17-2006, 04:18 PM
What a great win :worship:

Jlee
06-17-2006, 04:39 PM
Yay James!

Alexandy
06-17-2006, 05:57 PM
Woo hoo!! I am so happy for James. :) I really hope he can win tomorrow.

So depressed for Andy. :( This is not going to be good for his already low confidence.

PinkFeatherBoa
06-17-2006, 06:16 PM
A bitter sweet victory for me, but congrats James. Now go all the way! (:

Jlee
06-17-2006, 10:28 PM
^Same, very bittersweet.

He better beat Hewitt!

KingGuga'sQueen
06-17-2006, 11:30 PM
Good luck James :D

Fergie
06-18-2006, 02:07 AM
Good luck in the final James! :yeah:

Godiva
06-18-2006, 02:13 AM
:D Let's go James, you american number one you. :worship:

I♥PsY@Mus!c
06-18-2006, 06:43 AM
He beat the three-time champion, :bigclap: he deserves to win this title! :rocker:

Confident
06-18-2006, 11:32 AM
Good luck James! You can beat Lleyton in the final! :)

Alan
06-18-2006, 03:02 PM
he lost... but I AM STILL EXTREMELY TRULY PROUD OF OUR GUY!!! great effort! what a tremendous performance!

I♥PsY@Mus!c
06-18-2006, 03:36 PM
James :sad:
It's still a good week for him esp he beat his buddy first time, :eek: good luck in the next week! :)

KingGuga'sQueen
06-18-2006, 05:46 PM
:sad: Shame he didn't beat Hewitt, but he can still be proud of the way he played. :worship:

Julia_Chelsea
06-21-2006, 03:33 AM
Yeah James has played well, he can do somthing suddenly in Wimbledon, I think.

mishar
06-23-2006, 03:09 PM
Hopefully James can keep up his good form and do well in Wimbledon.

He doesn't have an easy draw, but it's not bad either. Kristian Pless in the first round -- don't know much about him, but he was a top junior, won three rounds in qualifying, and if memory serves, has a powerful serve, so that could be a tough match for James. Second round will be Marach or Wang -- Wang beat James earlier this year in San Jose. Third round will be Mathieu, Mirnyi or Poo -- none of them easy, but all opponents James should beat unless they're having one of their out-of-their-mind days. Poo would be the scariest if he suddenly finds form, but it doesn't appear that way right now. Tojo would be the expected 4th round, but as I don't think he's fully recovered, I'm picking Jonas in the 4th round -- so James has a decent chance of making the QF! Any wins after that are pure gravy.

Good luck JB!

Agassi Fan
06-26-2006, 09:17 AM
Come on James!!

idolwatcher1
06-27-2006, 09:59 PM
:woohoo: Go James!! Into second round... not as smooth as it was looking to be from the first set, but he did it!! Wang breezed through his first round match, and he is next for James! Good luck! :)

goodwoman
06-28-2006, 11:09 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo: Way to go, James!! :woohoo: :woohoo:

It looked like a great victory over Wang. The stats look great! Keep it up, James! :)

cobalt60
06-30-2006, 02:59 PM
Man o Man What the hell happened in those last 2 sets?

PinkFeatherBoa
06-30-2006, 03:41 PM
*cringe* at the end of that match! not pleasant viewing!