James wins his first singles title!!!!! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

James wins his first singles title!!!!!

tennischick
08-18-2002, 10:12 PM
he beat Srichaphan 1-6, 7-6, 6-4

go James!!! :kiss: :kiss:

back to back titles in one week...:eek: :eek:

Mrs. B
08-18-2002, 10:14 PM
Congrats James Blake!!!

Well done, dude!

TennisHack
08-18-2002, 10:18 PM
:kiss: JAMES!! I'm so happy, and so proud of him!!

This is just what he needs going into the Open in two weeks!!

Layla
08-18-2002, 10:18 PM
Congratulations Blake!!! :bounce:

That was a phenomenal weak! :D

Goonergal
08-18-2002, 10:21 PM
Congrats James! :D Great scenes when he hugged his mum Betty :)

bonkers186
08-18-2002, 10:22 PM
James...........................................yo u told me you would do it, and i didn't doubt you for a second. Great win and keep racking them up. Go James..............................

Lily
08-18-2002, 10:55 PM
Congrats James!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

I'm so happy for him!

Third times a charm :)

Static
08-18-2002, 11:11 PM
Yay Congrats James :bounce: What a great tourney he had :)

AdriRob
08-19-2002, 12:34 AM
SWWWEEETTTTTT!!!!

I am so proud of Jamie boy...
Kool
Keep it up man!!!
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Gonzo Hates Me!
08-19-2002, 01:38 AM
This is great! I have been a fan of his for so long--so long! This is so fantastic. I wish I were there though. Another year, I must wait again. :sad: I'll never reach a tennis tournament.

U.S. AIR FORCE
08-19-2002, 01:41 AM
:D

Dissident
08-19-2002, 03:09 AM
What a great way to crown the week where he had his first HUGE win (Agassi).
This has to give him so big confidence.
I should say something else over all you all said:
Perfect timing. In one week he has the major opportunity to prove he is for real! :D

luvbadboys
08-19-2002, 03:25 AM
YEAH!!:bounce: :bounce:

Plus there is a really nice article about him in this Sunday's New York Times.

kazblah
08-19-2002, 07:27 AM
Congrats James :D

Chloe le Bopper
08-19-2002, 07:58 AM
YAY :D

This will give him the confidence that he needs for the US Open, where I do feel he can do some damage, if not give like, Marat in the 3rd round or whatever :)

I certaintly don't want him near any of my other faves ;) I like them to all stay away from each other :D

King Aaron
08-19-2002, 08:30 AM
Congrats James..:D

Paradorn..:( :sad: soo close

irma
08-19-2002, 08:52 AM
go james:D
no anna of the atp anymore :D

claudine140
08-19-2002, 10:41 AM
I saw his match against Agassi, he played just marvellous. Nothing could go wrong, it was really beautifull to see. I am very happy for him with his first winning tournement

tennischick
08-19-2002, 12:41 PM
Reuters
Monday, August 19, 2002; 8:41 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Having already won an army of admirers among tennis fans and his fellow players, Harvard man James Blake won his first ATP title in Washington during the weekend.

Not only did his 1-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory over Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan secure him a first tour title, but it guaranteed him an emotional distinction as well.

The triumph saw Blake become the first African-American to win the Legg Mason Classic since his hero Arthur Ashe in 1973.

"It's incredible," the 23-year-old said afterward. "Any time I'm put in a sentence with Arthur Ashe, it's very significant for me.

"In my childhood, I was proud to say he was my role model, and now ... it's mind-boggling, I can't really comprehend what's gone on this week," Blake said.

He first met Ashe when the pioneering player gave a talk at the Harlem tennis center where Blake learned the game.

Years of practice and dedication later, Blake has taken the first step in his bid to emulate some of the success of the former Australian Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion.

"I describe it as incredible. I never knew if my first title would come," he said.

"Having beaten Andre Agassi (in the semi-finals) already made it an incredible week, but to do that and to follow it through with a win is great.

"Having been so close two times (in previous finals) where it came down to a couple of points I knew that feeling too well and I didn't want to feel it again.

"To see the last ball fly out was exciting especially with my family here with me and some of my best friends.

"Arthur Ashe ... was my role model and now more and more I keep hearing 'you're the first one to do this since Arthur Ashe' is mind-boggling.

"I can't comprehend beating Andre Agassi, winning my first title, being the first African-American to win here since Arthur Ashe, I can't believe I'm in the same sentence as him.

"The toughest thing I had to deal with today was 50 Thai fans, (Ashe) had to deal with racial slurs, people throwing things, put in the toughest section of the draw week after week, not being allowed in the same locker room.

"For me to get angry at a few Thai fans would seem silly and it would seem almost an insult to everything he did to make it possible for me to be here."

washington post

tennischick
08-19-2002, 12:45 PM
Blake Standing Tall on His Own
By SELENA ROBERTS

In between the last scraped knee and first razor nick, after Hot Wheels and before car dates, James Blake faced the awkward age of 13 each day by pulling on a pair of jeans, four sizes too big.

No other pants would fit around the bulky back brace that began at his armpits and ended below the waist. No shirt was baggy enough to camouflage the condition that made him different from the other freshmen roaming the halls at Fairfield (Conn.) High School.

There was no hiding scoliosis. Although Blake underwent some positive soul-searching after learning he had curvature of the spine — thankful he wasn't one of the debilitated patients he had seen at a children's hospital — what freshman is comfortable being different?

Being a 13-year-old provides enough oxygen for insecurities as it is.

"My condition definitely made me shy," Blake, now 22, recalled in an interview. "I wondered what people thought. When I was around a full locker room at gym class and had to take my brace off, and deal with that kind of thing, it's nothing most high school students really want to go through."

Except for six liberating hours each day, when he was free to play tennis and sprawl out to do his homework, Blake was a captive of his brace for four years.

"He never complained about having to wear that thing in the hot weather or the fact he had to sleep in it," Blake's mother, Betty, said. "Actually, I'm finding out now that he did have some social issues."

Now it is even harder to imagine Blake as an inhibited teenager. Three years after playing tennis for Harvard, two years removed from the challenger circuit, and one year after nearly upsetting Lleyton Hewitt at the United States Open, Blake will return to Queens next week fresh from a photo shoot for Vogue.

These days, he is comfortable in his own skin — within reason. Before he posed for Sports Illustrated Women's swimsuit edition this spring, he had one demand: no Speedo, please.

Reaching the top 30 on Tour a week ago, the teenager who wanted to disappear at recess has morphed into an attention-getting player who has the fan base of ice cream. Almost everybody likes him. "I don't know where James learned to be the man that he is, but I have a lot of respect for him," Andre Agassi said. "He's a great, great guy."

Few would argue. Blake has a lucrative modeling contract, but he hasn't pouted since his self-described whiny childhood days on the courts of Harlem. He has the intellect of a Cambridge man, but Blake talks to children on their level.

Few can begrudge fame to a player who has leapt 100 spots in the ranking over the past year, distinguishing himself with a wicked forehand and dreadlocks that would make Yannick Noah proud. Many parents would be preening in the reflective glory of their pop-star son. A few wouldn't.

"I've never been too impressed with fame," Betty Blake said. "It's not anything too important to me, but I'm glad it's happening to him. It could end just as quickly tomorrow; so I just hope he keeps a level head about it. We keep him humble. I think he can handle it. I remind him of how things used to be."

Blake was born in Yonkers, where his parents met on the city courts. Before James turned 7, the family moved to Connecticut, to a home on the border between Bridgeport and Fairfield. The Blakes may have been viewed as different by some because of their diversity — Betty is a white former British athlete and Thomas is a black salesman for 3M — but they were ordinary tennis buffs. The parents loved the game and passed that on to their children.

As a classic tag-along, James followed his older brother Thomas to Harlem, where they attended tennis clinics for elementary students with good grades. On occasion, a guest speaker came by to instruct the group. One day, Arthur Ashe dropped in.

"Arthur Ashe was someone I learned more and more about as I grew up," said Blake, who now volunteers his time to give lessons in Harlem. "I appreciate everything he did. He made it possible to overshadow a great tennis career by being a good person, a humanitarian and a social activist."

Without banging a fist, Ashe created change within the system, choosing grace over grandstanding when confronted with injustice. Drawing comparisons to the man who has inspired him, Blake handled a controversy in the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium last year at the United States Open with similar deftness.

As Blake played the match of his career, ahead of the eventual champion two sets to one, Hewitt made what was perceived to be a remark with racial overtones during a third-set changeover.

Hewitt was seen pointing to an African-American linesman, while complaining to the chair umpire. "Look at him! Look at him!" Hewitt yelled. "You tell me what the similarity is." As he complained, Hewitt appeared to motion in the direction of Blake. A set later, Blake's legs began cramping on the court. With a dehydrated Blake wobbling to the finish, Hewitt won the five-set second-round match, then denied race had anything to do with his argument to the umpire.

Instead of leaving Hewitt to twist, Blake offered him the benefit of the doubt, saying his opponent had made the comments in the heat of the match. Blake had made his point, without fanning the issue.

"That was just an uncomfortable situation for everybody," said Andy Roddick, Blake's good friend and Davis Cup teammate. "I can't say if Lleyton meant it or if he was trying to do something.

"It wasn't perceived well. You give a fellow player the benefit of the doubt, but we were all pretty sympathetic to James because he was the one that it happened to. But no one could have handled it better. James is a class act."

Alongside Roddick, Blake has become a stiff dose of good vibes for a Tour struggling to find its identity as the Sampras-Agassi era nears a final curtain. A true revival only comes with winning, though.

With a 5-0 Davis Cup mark, and counting the upsets he has scored this year against top players — like Agassi last night in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic semifinals in Washington and the third-ranked Tommy Haas — many tennis officials and players believe Blake has enough athletic ability, nerve and savvy to perch next to Roddick in the top 10.

Blake believes in his ability, too. Instead of remembering the Hewitt match for its link to controversy, Blake took confidence from how close he came to upsetting the No. 1 player in the world.

"I felt like I was playing as well or better than him before I started cramping and my body gave out," Blake said. "Extending the eventual champion to five sets and playing such high-level tennis there made me feel like on any given day I can play with the best in the world. So why shouldn't I feel like I'm a part of the Tour now?"

There is a gratitude in this epiphany, because Blake knows what it's like not to belong. High school wasn't that long ago, but, as usual, Blake talks about his scoliosis treatment as if a child is listening somewhere.

"To anyone who has to go through it, I'd say don't worry about it," he said.

"I could have come out of my shell earlier if I had been more self-confident, and let people see me for who I was. Of course, it's easy to look back and say that, but it's awfully tough to do when you're just 13 and trying to fit in."

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2002/08/18/sports/18tenn.1.jpg

bonkers186
08-19-2002, 12:55 PM
Awwwwwwwwww...those articles made me tear up. Great read TC. Come on James....let's rock into the James Blake Open (others might know it as the U.S Open).

tennischick
08-19-2002, 12:57 PM
yo bonkers!!!!! i hope he keeps delivering on the promise. i just luv this guy...:kiss: :kiss: oh and he's quite talented too! :eek:

irma
08-19-2002, 02:20 PM
James :drool:
hope eurosport is smart and shows him instead of mister gremlin during the us open :D

tennischick
08-20-2002, 02:01 AM
lol@ irma. :D :D i also hope the US Open use him more in their promos. that would be nice...:eek:

i first saw James a couple of years ago when he played mixed doubles with Lori McNeil at the US Open. they lost a close match (i can't remember against whom -- i was too busy watching James :p ) and i became a fan. after that every chance i got i kept talking about him and about the promise that i saw. and then when he went off on the modeling thing i got scared and felt that the comparisons with Anna were apt. (i tend to not be a defensive fan -- if my fave gets criticised, i really don't care!!). anyway he has since shrugged that off and i hope he keeps delivering. i just wish his brother wasn't so constantly injured so that he could join him on the tour on a regular basis. the Blake Brothers...:p :p :p what a thought...

luvbadboys
08-20-2002, 02:59 AM
Really nice article. Read it yesterday in the paper. I have my problems with Selena Roberts but I have to say she did a good job and he deserves the praise. Now If only the rest of the media could get out of Roddick's but and embrace Taylor to, I'd be so happy.

jennifer
08-21-2002, 02:58 AM
Great win for James!

:drool:

tennischick
08-21-2002, 03:56 AM
If you were a betting person, would you have laid down a post-Wimbledon wager that American James Blake would win a summer hard court title and that Andy Roddick wouldn't? If you had, you'd be sitting flush after Blake came from way behind and took out the talented Thai Paradorn Srichaphan 1-6, 7-6, 6-4 to win the Legg Mason Classic in Washington, D.C.

The title was the first for 22-year-old American, who had lost a number of tight contests this year just when he appeared to be on the verge of a major breakthrough.

"I never knew if my first title would ever come," said Blake, who shocked five-time Washington champion Andre Agassi in the semis.

Now that he has his first crown and will be seeded at the Open, Blake should have sufficient confidence to make a run at the second week. His serve, backhand and volley have improved a ton and his forehand and court coverage are all already excellent.

It's Blake's killer instinct that still may be lacking (he may be too nice a guy to ever be a dominant player) but as he showed against Srichaphan and Agassi, he's not lacking in guts.

If there's any downside to Blake's victory, it's that now he'll be expected to do damage in New York. It's the first time that he'll be under pressure at a major and how he responds will go a long way in foretelling his future.

tr.net

http://www.tennisreporters.net/tr.net_photos_art/BLAKE_sm_rg_02_hands.jpg