James on the Hardcourts! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

James on the Hardcourts!

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07-16-2005, 07:30 PM
First up, Indy!

He's got Carraz in the first round, then Srichaphan (whose form is not that great right now). So I think James has got a good chance to win a couple matches:D:D

07-18-2005, 03:29 PM
Go James! Kick some ass :D

07-18-2005, 03:32 PM
Go James!!! :bounce:

07-18-2005, 05:19 PM
Nice article from the Indy tourney site :)
American crowd favorite James Blake will be aiming to end a run of first-round defeats in his last two matches when he plays the showcase contest Monday night at the RCA Championships.

Bill Scott, Monday, July 18

INDIANAPOLIS -- American crowd favorite James Blake will be aiming to end a run of first-round defeats in his last two matches when he plays the showcase contest Monday night at the RCA Championships.

For the 25-year-old American, who lived through a hellish year of injury, illness and personal tragedy in 2004, this summer at home will be his chance to consolidate a comeback effort which began in the spring with a pair of lower-level Challenger titles on clay.

But the heat and humidity at the Indianapolis Tennis Center could be as much of an enemy to the No. 110 as is first-round opponent Gregory Carraz of France.

After a fight to regain fitness after breaking a bone in his neck during an on-court accident in Rome in May, 2004, then contracting a case of shingles as well as coping with the death of his father, Blake has learned many lessons about life and his career.

He now has a better idea about his limitations – and he knows that heat can sometimes do him in. For that reason, he'll be pleased to have at least the partial relief of a night match.

"I'm starting to notice a pattern of if I have a really long match, when it's hot, I start to cramp.

But I think my body is doing better at adjusting. I'm preparing better with the salt, Gatorade and everything."

The American who in early 2004 shaved his trademark dreadlocks (which were later auctioned for a favorite charity) was approaching a spot in the Top 30 when his career was derailed by his collision with a net post during a Rome training session 14 months ago.

As he began the fight back in 2005 after months away from the game, the former Harvard student showed no hesitation in starting over on the lower-levels of the sport.

"It's a little different feeling when you're not playing in front of a big crowd, you're not playing for as much money, you're not playing for any TV cameras or anything like that," he said of the Challenger circuit grind. "It's just kind of back to where you started."

So far, results have been mixed, with a letdown through first-round losses at Wimbledon and on grass this month at Newport, R.I.

But dealing with life's hard knocks is not a problem for the easy-going New Yorker. "I don't set any goals ranking-wise because I don't want to say I need to get back to Top 20," said the former world No. 22.

"I think some of that is out of my control. But the thing I try to do is be better. I want to be better at the end of this year."

Blake's path through this edition in Indy could pit him in the second round against 2003 finalist Paradorn Srichaphan, whose career is also suffering as he struggles with a 43rd ranking after once standing Top 10.

All 16 seeds benefit from first-round byes, with top seed Andy Roddick seeded ahead of German Nicolas Kiefer; that pair also played the final here 12 months ago.

07-19-2005, 08:07 PM
Tough loss to Carraz. 5-7, 7-6, 5-7

07-19-2005, 10:58 PM
and I see some familiar "faces".

07-20-2005, 02:34 AM
oh james :sad: better luck at your next stop! :hug:

07-21-2005, 10:09 AM
:sad: :sad:

07-23-2005, 04:11 AM
James drew Kiefer in the first round at LA :( :( :(

07-24-2005, 02:51 AM
We met James in LA today. He looked cute and was so nice. End.

07-24-2005, 02:36 PM
bad draw :( Anyway, go James!

07-24-2005, 02:37 PM
Deb, your avy... :hearts: awesome pic that you took!

07-26-2005, 06:26 AM
glad you like it :p

James was a part of the Charity pro/am tennis thing in LA tonight - he partnered with Jon Lovitz, it was so much fun and they beat Andre and Gavin Rossdale :lol: I took a ton of great pics I'll post them in my blog soon :cuckoo:

07-26-2005, 11:40 PM
he won 3-2 ret. :)

07-27-2005, 05:08 AM
He was up a break, and playing really well.

He and Xavier also won their doubles easily. James was by far the best player on court. he's hitting the ball so well, it really bothers me he has to play Robby now. :(

07-30-2005, 02:47 AM
After finishing off his pack of Cheez-its, James had a formal interview with Access Hollywood today on the practice court. There were some interesting questions about his hair, his good looks, a girlfriend, etc. It was hard to hear but look for it on TV!

The cameraman filmed a corny 360-shot of James sitting down on court with his head down and the camera going in a circle around him and everything! That's well worth it, no?

07-30-2005, 06:32 AM
lol I was there, too. We must've seen each other! :p

It was a nice interview, he said a lot of great things. He's such an eloquent guy :)

08-02-2005, 02:38 AM
James beat Lisnard today 6-4 6-3. He's onto the 2nd round in Washington. :woohoo: :bigclap:

08-02-2005, 03:20 AM
Well done James! :bounce:

08-02-2005, 03:55 AM
yes, but 35% first serves will not cut it against Stepanek, or almost anyone else on tour except Lisnard who I might be able to beat.

Please, James, step it up and get a big win. it's TIME.

08-03-2005, 01:44 PM

08-03-2005, 02:25 PM
Go James, you can do it!!!

08-03-2005, 11:56 PM
HE DID!!!!!!!!!

He beat Stepanek 6-4 2-6 6-4 WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next he plays Zib, which I think is for sure a winnable match for him. GO James, make the QF!

08-03-2005, 11:59 PM
HE DID!!!!!!!!!

He beat Stepanek 6-4 2-6 6-4 WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, well done James !!! :yippee: :banana:

and good luck for your match against Zib :bigclap:

08-04-2005, 12:14 AM
Well done James :worship:

And good luck against Zib :yeah:

J. Corwin
08-04-2005, 01:40 AM
Yay for James! :bounce:

08-04-2005, 03:58 AM
nice article about James's match against Stepanek - lots of quotes and stuff :)
Blake Wins A Heated Match
He Edges Stepanek In Scalding Weather

By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 4, 2005; E01

While Washingtonians wilted under a heat advisory yesterday, court temperatures reached 108 degrees at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, and tournament favorite James Blake couldn't have picked a more miserable afternoon to play a three-set match.

But in the end, the withering heat and stultifying humidity served as a critical measuring stick for Blake. In the face of oppressive conditions, the unseeded Blake not only toppled the tournament's fourth-seeded player, Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, to advance to the third round. He did it the hard way -- starting strong, stumbling in the second set, then collecting his emotions and summoning the physical strength to prevail, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, before a delighted crowd that rewarded him with a standing ovation.

"Three or four months ago, I wouldn't have won this match," Blake said. "It was so close. Either one of those points [when he faced break point in the third set] could have made the difference. Maybe the tide is turning."

Blake battled a relentless tide of illness, injury and loss last year -- breaking a vertebrae in his neck, losing his father to stomach cancer and then contracting a debilitating case of shingles. He battled the aftermath of so much grief through the first half of this year. And he said it was fitting that it's here in Washington, where he won his only top-level title in 2002, that he is finding his confidence and strokes again.

"I'm playing just about as well as when I was ranked in the top 20," Blake said. "I'm more mature. I'm more in control -- but not so much in control that it takes away from my game. My emotions are more in check. And there are parts of my game [the serve] that are better than before."

Stepanek was the highest seed, but hardly the only seed, to fall yesterday. With one match yet to play, eight of the tournament's 16 seeds had departed as night fell on the stadium court.

Blake called it a testament to the depth of men's tennis, with players ranked 100 or lower able to beat even the game's best -- save for Roger Federer, he conceded -- on any given day.

"It's so rare to see a number one and a number two seed in the finals of a tournament today, the sport is so deep," said Blake, who is ranked 101st. "I hope that makes it fun for fans."

Among those who joined Blake in advancing were last year's runner-up, Gilles Muller, who defeated ninth-seeded Nicolas Massu of Chile; American Robby Ginepri, who dispatched 12th-seeded Karol Beck; eighth-seeded Sebastien Grosjean, who subdued Alexander Popp, 6-2, 6-3; and 14th-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela, a 6-3, 6-3 victor over wild card Brian Baker.

Blake's match against Stepanek was the final offering of the afternoon, but it spilled over well into the evening session that was supposed to start at 7, with Rockville native Paul Goldstein taking on Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan, the tournament's 2002 runner-up and this year's 13th seed.

Blake came out blazing and broke Stepanek in the first game and built a 5-2 lead. But Stepanek clawed back, making Blake sweat all the more before closing it out, 6-4, with a serve that pulled his opponent wide, followed by a forehand winner to the open court.

Stepanek seized the momentum in the second set, bolting to a 3-0 lead as Blake's concentration seemed to drift. He hit three poor forehands and then saw two net cords go against him. In quick order the match was level at one set each.

Blake admitted that a few months ago he would have unraveled from frustration over the wild forehands and the bad luck that seemed to conspire against him. But given the experience of last year, he said, he is able to keep setbacks on the court in better perspective. It is a game. A game he wants to win, of course. But nothing more than a game.

So when he strode out to start the third set, Blake thought about how he felt on this same court in 2002. Washington's August weather was every bit as miserable that day, and Srichaphan stood across the net in the Legg Mason championship match. It wasn't pleasant for either player, but Blake plowed on that day, drawing strength from the slightest indication that Srichaphan was tiring.

So yesterday he let his strokes flow and his serve rip, finishing with 11 aces.

Blake broke Stepanek's serve early to take a 2-1 lead in the third set. Stepanek didn't fold, holding his serve from then on and attacking Blake's serve whenever he got the chance. Blake faced two break points serving at 15-40 and 4-3. But he fended off both, with an ace and an error by Stepanek, and the crowd roared its approval.

From there, Blake served out the victory, firing two aces in the last game for good measure.

"I've been physically back for a while, but it has just been a matter of being mentally back," Blake said. "I'm not going to go down with regrets."

08-04-2005, 04:15 AM
WAY TO GO JAMES!!! :woohoo: :bigclap:

08-04-2005, 10:18 AM
:woohoo: awesome win! go james! :banana:

08-05-2005, 03:32 AM
James beat Zib 6-3 6-3 and is into the QF against Clement tomorrow night!! GO JAMES!!

Vamos Feńa
08-05-2005, 08:25 AM
Congratz James for defeating Zib! :banana: That's 3wins in a row :D
Now try to beat Clement :D

08-05-2005, 09:13 AM
James makes me happier than Andy does at the moment :D Go James!!

08-05-2005, 10:01 AM
Well done James !!! :yeah:

Good luck in the quarters.....you can do it!!! :bigclap:

08-05-2005, 12:41 PM
Well done James!!! :bounce:

Good luck today against Clement, you can do it! :yeah:

08-06-2005, 12:26 AM
James won 6-3 6-2 :woohoo:

08-06-2005, 12:56 AM
:woohoo: He's on a roll now! C'mon James :D

08-06-2005, 01:30 AM
JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh this is SO good for him. Not only will he be in the top 100, he'll gain 90 points for the SF and be closer to 80! He could gain as many as 20 spots from the SF appearance and more if he can beat Berdych (which I think he can!)

08-06-2005, 04:22 AM
Great win tonight James :yeah: He's really playing well lately. I hope he keeps this up.

08-06-2005, 09:54 AM
:woohoo: :woohoo:

This is so great!!! Well done James :worship:

Good luck in the semis today.....you can do it :bigclap:

08-06-2005, 03:55 PM
:D It would be fantastic to see him in the finals!

08-06-2005, 05:40 PM
:D It would be fantastic to see him in the finals!

Yes, And Plz James WIN this title!!!!!!!!! :)

08-06-2005, 06:25 PM
Exxxxcccccceeeeeelllllllllllleeeeeennnntttttt! Go James! :yippee:

08-07-2005, 12:21 AM
And a very sloppy performance from Berdych sees James IN THE FINAL!!!!!!!!!! OH boy his ranking will benefit bigtime.

sorry, I want Andy to win, but I am so thrilled for James to be in the final

08-07-2005, 03:53 AM
If James were playing anyone other than Andy, I'd want James to win. But this is HUGE for James to make the final, it will help his ranking a ton.

08-07-2005, 11:08 AM
WOW James is in the final :woohoo: :woohoo:

Well done James !!! :worship:

Good luck in the final tonight ......you can do it :bigclap:

08-07-2005, 01:06 PM
Good luck in the final James, you can do it!!! :yeah:

08-07-2005, 01:41 PM
Good luck in the final James, you can do it!!! :yeah:

James plz Win the Title!!!!!
I hope you can beat big serving Roddick!!
Go! Go!!!

08-07-2005, 02:31 PM
sorry, I want Andy to win, but I am so thrilled for James to be in the final
right on. ;)

08-07-2005, 09:29 PM
Good playing today James :yeah: I'm glad his ranking is steadily getting better.

Agassi Fan
08-08-2005, 02:48 PM
He lost the final. :-(((((((

08-12-2005, 10:25 PM
James drew Roger in Cincy :hysteric:

08-13-2005, 01:26 PM

08-15-2005, 01:42 PM
Why must he draw Roger? :( Go James! Dont give up and make us proud anyways :)

08-15-2005, 02:07 PM
Go James!!! :bigclap:

Play your best tennis.......impossible is nothing!!!

08-16-2005, 02:48 PM
He lost 6-7 5-7 to Roger, who was rusty. Still I thought James played quite well :)

08-16-2005, 03:40 PM
:hug: :hug: Nice try James, hopefully next week in New Haven you will get a better draw :lol:

08-16-2005, 05:55 PM
That was seriously the best I have ever seen James play for a set and half. Then he fell apart like a house of cards. If James can keep that level up that he had for the 1st set, and alittle of the second he can be a top 10-15 guy for sure.

08-16-2005, 06:14 PM
yea Ryan, that's all true.... but this has been his problem for years :( He tends to start out awesome and fall apart as the match goes on - esp. against top players when it's harder to sustain a great level against them.

08-16-2005, 06:56 PM
James's press conference :)

August 15, 2005

7-6, 7-5


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, James Blake. Questions, please.

Q. It seemed like you had some opportunities out there, just couldn't capitalize?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, definitely. I think, you know, I played pretty well, but obviously not well enough to win. I really don't think Roger was at his best right now. He hasn't played in a little while, which I don't say as an insult, I say as a compliment. I think he beat me with less than 100% tonight, and that's something that guys on the top are able to do - come up big on breakpoints, come up big in the tiebreaker. He really did raise his game. Puts a little pressure on me when I know I've got to do something special to break him or come up with something a little better. Maybe I tried a little too much on a few of those breakpoints and he took advantage, and then he never gave up, you know. Being down Love-40 on my service game, he still played a great game from there on out. I felt I should hold every time I'm up 40-Love, but I can't fault myself too much for the way I played the rest of those points; he really attacked me on every single one. I wish I could have won it, but, you know, he played pretty well when it came down to crunch time.

Q. Do you feel maybe you almost have to be perfect?

JAMES BLAKE: You have to play pretty close to perfect. You don't have to play perfect, obviously. But like you said, I had opportunities. So a couple of those breakpoints go my way, you know, anything can happen once you get a breakpoint. You can get a let cord, you can hit a line, you can just come up with a big shot. So if a couple of those go my way, I feel like I can at least get the second set. Then if you win one set, you can win two. I don't think you have to play it completely perfect. But, like I said, he wasn't at his best. I don't think I saw his best tonight. I think he will get better as the tournament goes on. That seems to be the pattern with the guys at the top; your best chance is to beat them in the first or second round. He gave me a few opportunities tonight, and now that he's gotten through that, I think he'll be even more of a nightmare for the rest of the guys in the field.

Q. After Washington and this tonight, do you feel it all coming together for you?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah. I can't say it's right after that. I think I felt like I was pretty confident going into the whole hard court season. It was just a matter of matches similar to this where it was a couple points here or there that I lost. I feel like it was a matter of time until I strung together a few where I got those wins, because I felt like I was playing pretty well. Luckily, it came in Washington, a place where I'm familiar with, a place where I'm familiar with succeeding. So that was a good feeling. But I've been pretty confident since we came off the grass in the way I've been playing, so I'm excited about that. I'm excited now to go to New Haven, close to home, I'll be staying at my home, in my own bed, which is great. Then the US Open, which is the next best thing to my home turf, it's just an hour away from where I grew up. That's always fun - hometown crowd, tons of fans, tons of friends and family. I feel really good going into those. Hopefully, I won't see Roger in the first or second round in New York.

Q. What was your reaction when you saw the draw?

JAMES BLAKE: It was actually mild surprise. Because the day before the draw came out, Thursday, I was having dinner with Mardy Fish in Tampa and he just asked, "All right, who's the first person that comes to mind? Who do you think you're going to play here?" And I said Roger. He's like, "No, no, I don't think so." Then next day, sure enough, I play Roger. So I was -- felt like maybe that was a good sign, maybe that meant I was gonna beat him. But didn't quite come through.

Q. You come to Cincinnati, it's almost like you're the hometown kid. There's kind of a Cincinnati chemistry. What does that do for your game when you're playing here even though it's not really your hometown? You really had the crowd on your side tonight.

JAMES BLAKE: It helps. I think they're always cheering for an underdog against someone that's so accomplished as Roger. But, you know, that year I played here with Todd Martin and we won the doubles, it seemed like we just had a great time on the court and the fans appreciated that. We did everything we could in terms of signing autographs, being accessible to fans. Todd was towards the end of his career; I was towards the beginning of my career. People could really see the connection we had out there with him kind of being like a mentor to me. I think they kind of saw me growing up that whole week, and that makes for a connection. Any time you have a connection with the fans, it goes a long way. I love playing here. Like I said, that was one of the better weeks of my career and jump-started me to the next week, winning my first career title in singles, too. I've had some good times here. It's such a good feeling to have fans on your side. It's tough enough to play against the No. 1 player in the world, but if you don't have the fans on your side either, makes it even tougher. Having them, it gives me a little boost. When, you know, you get to breakpoint and they're really cheering you on, they really want to see you break, they really want to see you come up with something special, that's a great feeling. Like you said, I'm not from here, but it does feel like it when I'm playing in front of these fans.

Q. Beyond how he plays, how would you say Roger has handled being No. 1 and having the fame that goes along with that?

JAMES BLAKE: I think if possible even better than the way he plays. It's been pretty much flawless. He hasn't changed a bit. He hasn't been arrogant in the locker room; he never is. You know, that's great to see someone that does it with class. He doesn't intentionally get in anyone's face. He doesn't put people down. He goes about his business, he does everything he can, and he's still very accessible to fans. He's accessible, I'm sure, to the media; I'm sure they'll tell you the same thing. To put a -- to add an anecdote to how great of a person he is, when I broke my neck last year in Rome, I got a visit from a couple of the Americans, but I got one note in the hospital and that was from Roger saying, "We'll miss you and we really hope you get back here quickly." That says a lot about a person that's No. 1 in the world and doesn't need another friend out here. He really is a class act. I applaud him for being a champion on and off the court.

Q. What do you think it would take for him to kind of light a fire as far as the American audience coming to his game and his way of play?

JAMES BLAKE: Get an American passport (smiling). I mean, that's the only thing I can think of. It seems that the American fans are going to always be partial to Andy Roddick, myself, Mardy Fish, Taylor Dent, Robby Ginepri. And I do think they appreciate him everywhere in the world, though, because of the way he does go about it. But he's not going to come in with the attitude of even a Nadal or a Lleyton Hewitt or anything like that, he's going to go about his business. It took a little while, I think, for the fans to warm to Pete Sampras. I think he's comparable to that because he goes about his business, he doesn't throw temper tantrums, he doesn't throw his racquet, he doesn't do anything like that, and he doesn't, you know, disrespect any of the umpires. He goes about it in a very honorable way, which I really appreciate. And I think the fans, as he gets closer and closer to history, will appreciate it more and more, that he goes about it the right way. I hope especially parents take note of that and let their kids know that, "All right, this guy's the best in the world and he does it the right way." When I was a kid, I was a brat, and I unfortunately had John McEnroe as No. 1 in the world so I could say to my coach, "Look, he does it." So now hopefully those 12-year-olds that are brats, their parents can say, "Look, he's No. 1, and he's doing it the right way." So I hope kids see that.

08-16-2005, 07:51 PM
I watched most of the match last night. Monster forehands by James. He played the way he had to against Federer - agressive. He could definitely do some damage at the US Open. By the way I saw his brother play World Team Tennis a few weeks ago, Martina also played lots of fun. The Boston Lobsters made the playoffs in California, which will be next month. James is techincally a member of the team, have no idea if he will play.

08-17-2005, 04:03 PM
Finally finished watching James' match with Roger and holy moley if James can keep up that level of play he can really go places. That was terrific playing by him. :worship: That forehand :drool: And his oncourt attitude was great too, he wasn't awed or intimidated by Roger, he went toe to toe with him throughout most of the match. This is not the same kind of playing I saw from James in the Legg Mason final.

Keep up the great work James. You are definitely on the right track. :banana:

08-18-2005, 04:56 PM
I agree :D Now if he can sustain that level of play throughout the whole match... :)

08-19-2005, 03:29 AM
James officially has a WC into the USO now. WOOT!! There's still a possibility that he could end up getting in directly if enough people withdraw, but at least he knows he is in:D

08-20-2005, 03:11 PM
woot james!!! :]

08-21-2005, 12:25 PM
James plays Michael Llodra in the first round.. Go James!

08-21-2005, 08:06 PM
Go James!

08-21-2005, 11:57 PM
James's section is very doable, it'd be awesome to see him play well again here in his home area and stuff :D

08-24-2005, 12:08 AM
WOOT WOOT James beat Llodra 6-1 6-4 in like, an hour or so! :banana: :woohoo:

He plays Volandri next, tomorrow afternoon. :bounce:

08-24-2005, 12:21 AM
Haven't been here in awhile but I want to wish James luck in New Haven!!!

08-24-2005, 12:50 AM
Keep it up James! :)

08-24-2005, 06:50 AM
Normally James can kick his ass. :boxing: Go man! :rocker:

08-24-2005, 08:09 AM
Awesome :D Keep up the good play, James! :banana:

08-24-2005, 06:54 PM
James took the first set against volandri, and is up 5-2 in the second set GO JAMES!!! WOOT! :]

08-24-2005, 07:02 PM
james won 6-1 6-3 :woohoo:

08-24-2005, 07:06 PM

08-24-2005, 07:28 PM

Just keep on adding the rankings points :banana:

08-24-2005, 08:34 PM
Pictures of James and his fans from John Woike of the Hartford Courant (www.courant.com)

08-25-2005, 01:31 AM
james was so great today :yippee:

08-25-2005, 04:17 AM
James will play against Tommy Haas ... Good luck!!! :bounce:

08-25-2005, 12:03 PM
yay James! :D Continue with the good form :banana:

08-25-2005, 10:53 PM
will play by play be given here...anyone?

08-26-2005, 12:55 AM
James beat Tommy!! Great comeback 1-6 6-3 6-3 WOOT!!

Now beat Chela in the quarters tomorrow, please!1

08-26-2005, 12:56 AM
Great fight James :worship:

Good luck against Chela tomorrow :D

08-26-2005, 05:27 AM
James did awesome!! He is getting SO much better:) I'm glad I got to tape it....it's some great tennis!

08-26-2005, 12:04 PM
Go James!! You can do it! Nice guys need to finish first ;)

08-26-2005, 02:43 PM
That was a brilliant match James played against Tommy last night.

08-26-2005, 03:36 PM
Good luck against Chela. James can win this :D

08-26-2005, 04:14 PM
awesome.. :) Wish I could get some coverage of his matches though.. Go James! :banana:

08-26-2005, 06:47 PM
Awww man... it doesn't look like espn2's gonna show JB's match against Chela on t.v.... :sad: I hate not being able to watch it! :( Oh, well...let's go JB!! He's supposed to play after Amelie's match which is on right now...but then when I checked the tvguide channel it says that women's pool is coming on after Amelie's match...pooey. Oh, well...*sigh*

08-26-2005, 07:35 PM
c'mon, james guy!

08-26-2005, 07:41 PM
Here's James's press conference after last night :)

August 25, 2005

J. BLAKE/T. Haas
1-6, 6-3, 6-3


Q. The way the field is shakin up right now, Tommy Haas says you are going to be real hard to beat. When you look at who you have to face going forward and who is left, how do you --

JAMES BLAKE: I like to think that every tournament, but realistically I know at the beginning the year I wasn't playing like this and now that I am -- I'd like to think that I am going to be one of those guys that people don't want to play hopefully, especially now my ranking isn't such that I am getting seeded a guy like Tommy Haas I think could have had a much easier draw and could have played the way he did tonight and beaten a lot of guys that aren't seeded. So I am hoping that right now guys are just looking at the draw and hoping not to see my name. Hopefully I can get my ranking up to the point where I am getting seeded and I don't have these kind of tough matches early on in tournaments. That's what I am looking forward to. I am looking at my next match. He has played great so far this week. I like my chances against him. It's so tough in men's tennis right now to say someone is a clear-cut favorite until their name is Federer and Nadel.

Q. Did this have the feel of and atmosphere of a semi and or a final?

JAMES BLAKE: Yes, mainly the level of tennis, it was so high, I played him three times now. First time he was a little injured. Still for me a huge win because it was really early in my career then playing him earlier this year at River Oaks, we had a similar match where it was a great match, high level of tennis all the time. I think he forced you to play such a high level of tennis because he makes so many balls. He plays great defense, he gives you so few free points on your serve that it just makes you -- that's why he gives some of the top names fits like Andy, just because he can return serve so well, and then you have to win the point two or three times so it makes the level of tennis have to be high otherwise going to roll over you. You can't be a little off and beat him.

Q. How much does it help, James, you lose first set the way you did; then you are sitting down, the crowd is, let's go James, James can't do it, no one can...

JAMES BLAKE: That's a big help. Some people I am sure would think of it as pressure. You really want to do well for the home crowd but for me I try to look at pressure as a positive thing because if you don't have pressure it's really not an opportunity to do anything great. The more pressure you have the more of an opportunity it is because you know that there's a reason for that, you know you got a lot of people counting on you and all I can do is do my best. That first set he steam rolled me. He played too good. I wish there was something I could have done but he was playing too well. He was hitting lines, wasn't missing, when I heard that chant, it was starting the second set I had to think start the whole match over again and do everything you have been trying to do so far and just try to execute a little better, maybe take it to him a little more, try to dictate because right now just playing defense isn't working. I had to go after him and it started working. The crowd is getting into it. I got a break early and as soon as I got that break the crowd was on my side like that, made a huge difference to have that feeling.

Q. How did you like the "Harvard sucks? Chant?

JAMES BLAKE: (Laughs) only to be expected here at Yale. I still think a lot of them were cheering for me later in the match. So like I said, that's a pretty big deal to have Yale kids cheering for a Harvard guy. I am sure if we had a Yaley up at Harvard they'd be doing the "Yale sucks" chant as well.

Q. At the point beginning of the third set where he was end up sprawling the ground --

JAMES BLAKE: That's pretty routine, right? Normal breakpoint? (Laughter) that was an amazing point. I thought I had it won once, then I thought he had it won when he had kind of a volley that I thought he could have put away and just really ran it down and I thought -- I figured he had to be looking down-the-line because it was a relatively stupid shot to try to go crosscourt with it. Of course I still went for the stupid shot, and impossible angle and luckily I just made got it over the net and he was kind of out of position, had to just dive for it. If he had made that, I don't know what I would have done, but that was a great effort by him and just it shows how well you have to play to get a break to get a head of him. I was fortunate enough that it came on a breakpoint. Those are the kind of points that earlier in the year seemed like I would have missed earlier in the rally or I would have been a little tentative. I wouldn't have had just kind of the clear mind to go for that shot, and if you lose those breakpoints he keeps it on serve and you get a little tight on your serve he wins that match. Those are the kind of points that need to keep going my way. I think with the confidence I have now I am hoping they will.

Q. Do you see yourself as a favorite going forward here?

JAMES BLAKE: Like I said I always try to think that, but I am realistic, I know in men's tennis now anyone can beat anyone. So I never really look too much as there's any one huge favorite or anything like that. I am really hopeful that I can be here on the weekend and Sunday and still talking to you guys Sunday night.

Q. His strength is his backhand. Yours is your forehand. Will you be trying to attack that to kind of open the court a little bit?

JAMES BLAKE: I am always trying to get forehands basically. It's a pretty simple philosophy, I am trying to get forehands. If it is hitting to his backhand or forehand, if I am going to his backhand it is his strengths, I am trying to open it up and get it back to the forehand. For me, with almost any of the guys on Tour I am trying to get it going forehand to forehand because I have a ton of confidence in that. Even if I am losing some of those it helps my confidence in everything else just hitting that many forehands, I feel really good about it. I did feel like I opened up the court and that was what was rough about the first set, I was hitting plenty of forehands and he was taking them on the rise, hitting winners, he was taking them and moving me and getting me -- forcing me to hit backhands or forehands out of position. That's just too good if someone can do that against me. So he did that and luckily he wasn't able to keep it up in the second and third sets.

Q. He's a bit streaky. Did you feel that if you kept putting pressure he might give you openings like that?

JAMES BLAKE: He's streaky but he is still so solid in his defense. I saw him play a match in L.A., very similar match where he just played a flawless first set and then a couple of errors here and there in the second and gave him a chance to get back into it. He did the same thing. Kept putting pressure on him. I try not to get too down after the first set when that happened because if someone can keep that up, you can't hang your head even the crowd would know I gave my best but he just played unbelievable for that first set. I just looked for a little chink in the armor and then take advantage of that and keep pushing.

Q. What was the turning point for you?

JAMES BLAKE: Probably that first break in the seconds set. I think he doublefaulted on the breakpoint. I think -- and for me that was that little chink in the armor. Okay, he's going for -- he goes for a pretty big second serve a lot of times, but I try to take that as a positive. If he doesn't feel he is confident in his groundstrokes he wants to end the point with just that serve and then he missed it on breakpoint. I thought okay, maybe he doesn't want this to be a long match. He wants to kind of keep steam rolling me, I can't make it easy for him. Once I got that break I said, all right, I need to take care of my serve because he does return so well. I was able to do that and from then on I had a lot of confidence and having the crowd behind you helps that.

Q. Have you ever seen someone's racket disappear like his?

JAMES BLAKE: That was pretty funny. I have never seen anything like that where the kid has to go behind the fence to get it. It gets a little tough out there to control your emotions sometimes. And he's been known to throw a racket here or there but he's never been known to do anything disrespectful to the other players to his other competitors. I actually like seeing it. I like seeing emotion on the court because that's who he is, he's an emotional person, I never mind those outbursts as long as it doesn't endanger anyone. That's just part of the game. I am glad they didn't give him a warning or a fine or anything because it is just I mean, he had a pretty easy volley that he missed and you get angry after that, if you are the type of person that's going to let that out then let it out.

Q. You went for a big backhand winner on matchpoint. Is it nice to get that out of the way and not have to sit in the changeover and not worry about having to serve it out?

JAMES BLAKE: Definitely, especially the way he returns he had some chances on me that last game before that to break and he actually finally gave me a free point on one of those serves which was very, very welcomed by me. But as soon as he missed the first serve, I said, I am going to step up and go after this. If I miss it, I miss it, but I am going to go after it and have no regrets about it and once you kind of make up your mind that early and you have that kind of clear mindedness about it, it's generally going to go in your favor and it did that time. And that was a great feeling to have that confidence because like I said, six months ago I never would have had that. I would have thought okay, I need to just put it back in the court, see if he's going to miss, get a little nervous, these guys are way too good to get nervous about one match or one point. I took it to him and this time it work.

Q. Having fun out there? Last couple of days you got the whole stadium cheering for you, how does it feel?

JAMES BLAKE: Unbelievable. I can't get the smile off my face when I am out there playing. I think you guys saw the emotion I had when I did get that break in the third set. I knew I had the chance to win this match after such a tough first set to come back and win that match for this crowd I knew it would be exciting for them. It's exciting for me to beat a player like Tommy who, in my mind, is a top 10, Top-15 talent. It is a great feeling and being in front of my home crowd and I get to go home and sleep in my own bed tonight and hang out with my friends and get some breakfast with a couple buddies in the morning you really just can't beat it when you have that many friends around and you are doing a job that you love. I love every single thing about this job except the travel and being away from my friends and everything. If I can do this every week, I couldn't possibly be any happier, I don't think, around my friends and doing a job that I love, with a great crowd and in the States I mean, just I would never complain about anything, I don't think.

Q. He talked about how he kind of has gone through similar things that you have with injuries, his parents, having been in -- have you guys spoken about that at all?

JAMES BLAKE: Not a whole lot. A little bit I talked to him earlier in the year but not a whole lot. I kind of draw a little inspiration from someone like this. Seeing what he went through with his parents, all of the Tour was very concerned about that. That's something I mean, no matter who you are, I mean, you have parents, you have people you love that you just don't ever want to see hurt, and his parents able to battle through that and I have seen them at quite a few tournaments, that's something that's really great to see every time I try to take a minute just to say hi to them and say good luck to tomorrow. I hope they are doing well and they are okay and they are really proud of him and everything. Because it makes a difference when I am at a tournament and people know my mom and they tell her that they hope she is proud of me and that kind of stuff. It does make a big difference to me to know that he has his family still and he appreciates them the way he does now. In terms of the injury, I heard doctors say that they thought he might not come back and might not be the same and his shoulder was about as bad as a shoulder can be and now he's coming back serving 130. To see that means, no matter what age, he's a couple of years older than me and came back just as good as new. Seeing that makes you realize that even if it takes a little while, you can get back. So I just -- I try to draw inspiration from that. It's kind of tough sometimes to talk to a colleague or a competitor that you are facing and give him a ton of advice and say okay, now this is what you need to do, but I am going to try to beat you in a couple of hours, so it's tough. It is a tough dynamic sometimes for someone that maybe you weren't as close to before. But I have definitely drawn a lot of inspiration from him.

Q. Any goals for yourself?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I always set pretty much the same goals that's just to get better. This week I knew there would be a lot of pressure with the fans and everything and being so close to home but I didn't want to think about that. I think about getting better next week for the US Open and even at the US Open I am not going to focus on just that one tournament, I am going to think about getting better. Since I got to college I haven't set ranking goals or anything like that because I think they are at times a little bit out of your control. I could play Roger Federer five times in a row, I can get a little injured and feel like I am doing everything right and still not be ranked where I want to be, but I can also get great draws, get a couple of walkovers or something and get ranked higher than I really deserve when I haven't worked as hard as I probably should. I don't worry about the ranking. I worry about getting better. I feel like I am. I feel like right now I actually believe I am a better player than I was when I was ranked 22 or whatever I was in the world and I am just -- I am not worried about the ranking catching up. I am just worried about continuing to get better and it's exciting to me still.

08-26-2005, 10:31 PM
James just won his match today!!! He beat Chele 7-6 and 6-3--first and third sets!!! :D I'm SO proud of him! It sux that it wasn't on t.v, but I watched the scores on the internet...:) He's doing so good!

Hope they show his next match on tv.... :cool:

08-26-2005, 11:23 PM
Thanks for the press conference Deb :D It is great to see James playing so well.

08-26-2005, 11:28 PM
Sure :D

WOOT WOOT James. Now beat Hanescu!!! :banana:

08-26-2005, 11:58 PM
Woo hoo go James take this tournie!!!! I want to root for the good guy for a change!

08-27-2005, 12:18 AM
Well done James!!! :bounce:

Good luck tomorrow against Hanescu! :yeah:

08-27-2005, 01:40 AM
WAY TO GO JAMES!!! :aparty:
And I was there (front row!) :D

08-27-2005, 02:17 AM
WOOT WOOT tell us all about it!!

08-27-2005, 02:38 AM
Okay before I pass out in my chair...

During the Robredo match which I was ever so unamused, so at 6-5 in the first I left the stadium and wandered looking for random players practicing. I saw James and watched him practice for about 25 minutes. For awhile he was just chatting away with his coach about random things and then played a TB with his brother, a very casual practice.

After the almost 3 hour Mauresmo match James came on, as you all know, and played Chela. Everyone there was crazy about James. 100% of the people were rooting for him. I don't know how he doesn't get distracted though. There was a big section all in matching shirts cheering for him, some guys with GO JAMES written on this stomachs, and an annoying little 12 year old who screamed in the most annoying tone. Anyway, first set was tight but he pulled it out, in the second set he seemed to be going for too much on a few bigger points, losing that set by a break, and in the third he pulled it together to give him a win.

This all probably made no sense because I'm about to go to sleep because I'm so tired, so I'm sorry. I have 184 pictures in total from the day, and a lot are James so I'll post the link when I upload them all eventually.

Oh, and another noteworthy thing before I crash, he signed autographs for absolutly everyone that wanted one. He seemed very apprecaitive of his fans and in such a good mood after his win (but wouldn't we all be?)

08-27-2005, 05:12 AM
Aww thanks for the writeup!! :hug: :kiss: James...:hearts: I love him! sigh.

08-27-2005, 05:33 AM
Thanks to Debstah and aceit!:) You guys are awesome...

James is *such* a sweetheart...

08-27-2005, 03:00 PM
Well done James :worship:

Good luck in the semis tonight!!!

And thanks for the report aceit :)

08-27-2005, 03:53 PM
Awww signing autographs for everyone :D Thanks for the report and cant wait for the pics! Go James today!! And I might add that there's coverage of the semis and finals on tv!!!!! I dont care even if the semis are delayed :D :D :D James'd better win so I can watch his awesome form!

08-27-2005, 06:23 PM
I'm so excited to watch this match soon. :crazy:
Best of luck to him! :rocker2:

08-27-2005, 10:21 PM
Yay! This one's gonna be on t.v.!! Let's go JB!!!!:)

Oh, my gosh...8:00 is not coming fast enough...lol!

08-28-2005, 02:04 AM
James won 7-6 6-7 6-1 and is in the final against Feli Lopez tomorrow


Ah, forgot to post this earlier - his press conference after the QF last night :)

August 26, 2005

J. BLAKE/J.I. Chela
7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3


Q. Feeling your game is getting back on track last couple of months?

JAMES BLAKE: Definitely. I have said a few times I felt like it's been completely back since I got off the grass I felt really comfortable on the hard courts. Had some close matches, some tough losses but now they are starting to go my way. This is just a great feeling today. It's another match that I think it's going to happen a lot more now. It's one that I know at the beginning of the year I wouldn't have won because it turned on one or two points here or there, and those are the points now that I feel comfortable going after my shots and when you have that kind of confidence and you are clear in your intentions you are going to play a lot better and win a lot of those points. I think he had a breakpoint early in the third. I managed to save that. Came up with a big serve and then the game I broke, I came up with one really good forehand, he went for it a little too much on the next one, a doublefault, then I played a pretty solid point. Those kind of just points, if I don't play that game, and he doesn't give me a couple of free ones, it could have gone to a breaker anything could have happened. He was serving well at the end. So just a couple of points here and there in these kind of big matches. I expect the same tomorrow. I expect the same in just about every match I play to be based on a few points. Now I am feeling like those are going my way.

Q. If you talk a little bit about how you are enjoying this summer on hard court, after the experiences you had the summer before are you reveling in it more; feel like your game has changed?

JAMES BLAKE: This summer is a little better than last summer. I can actually sit here without feeling I am going to fall off the chair. I can actually smile, and yeah, I definitely feel so much better and I am enjoying it a whole lot. And it does put a few things into perspective and I am just so happy to be playing and now that it is going well and I feel like I am healthy, I feel like things are starting to go my way, it's such a good feeling. Knowing as low as I was last year that I can come back and be playing this well, is a great feeling. Now doing it in front of the friends that got me back to where I am now, I have to credit my coach a ton, my mom, my brother, people like that, but also my friends, just for keeping me smiling, keeping me a little upbeat during some down times. Now I am doing well in front of all of them which is really important to me and it just, you know, makes me feel good and yet another reason why I have started to believe that everything happens for a reason.

Q. How long has it been since you played this well that you felt?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, I like to think I keep getting better. Outside of a match here or there where I felt like I just really exceeded myself I feel like now I am playing as well as I did when I was 20-something in the world. So it's been a while since I have really feel like I have played this well.

Q. Do you think what you went through last year made you stronger?

JAMES BLAKE: I do. I really think it is going to in the long-term make me a better player giving you the perspective of being out on the court knowing that it's not the end of world if you lose and that gives you the opportunity to go after your shots a little more and that you know you have other things other than tennis and there are much worse things in life than losing a tennis match. So it will give me, I think, a better perspective, a little more calm on the court. Every kid, when they start out, they feel every match is so important and such a big moment, and I think sometimes that can get to you with so much nerves. Now I don't feel that nearly as much. I also feel I had sometime last year to when I couldn't do a lot of things but I could work on a few things. And my serve was one of them and my serve is coming in a lot bigger now. And my defense, and I felt a lot more comfortable now playing defense. See a guy like Tommy Haas, or Andy Roddick and Federer, those guys can attack you and hurt you pretty easily but they are also three of the best at playing defense, really making you win the point twice or three times. I never really had that in my game before. I could get to a lot of balls with my speed but then I didn't do enough with it. I didn't feel comfortable playing defense and now I do. I also want to make sure I don't use that too much and make sure to attack. A couple of times tonight I felt like I was using it too much and I was being pushed back too easily. Then you got to click in realize what you are doing and make sure you are keeping moving forward.

Q. Crowd wasn't as big as it had been. Still made a lot of noise?

JAMES BLAKE: Sure did. Those are a lot of my friends, a lot of people I don't know that well, I am sure a lot of people that have, you know, some sort of connection to me. I think I have heard at least 40 people that they are my neighbors so far come up and say, hey, I am your neighbor. Okay. Everyone seems to have a connection to me and that's such a great feeling and that makes for some good fans; feel like they are really connected to you. That's what comes with growing up too close to here and going to high school around here and trying to be as friendly as you can to those people that are around you. Makes for having some great fans that are on your side no matter what, and even if they do happen to cheer a few times when he doublefaults, you got to kind of grin and bear it.

Q. Playing tomorrow, you are in Connecticut, from Connecticut, get any better than that?

JAMES BLAKE: No, doesn't get any better. If this is my life every week I would never retire. It couldn't get any better. Only part of this job I don't like is the travel. Now I get to not travel. I am driving home every night. I am sleeping in my own bed, hanging out with my friends, I am having dinner with my mom or my buddies and having breakfast with my friends, and waking up to my own alarm clock and it's just, you know, everything just seems so much more comfortable when you are at home. Then you come out and you feel you are at home on the court too when you've got these many fans cheering for you, got a whole section kids painting their chest for you, doesn't get a whole lot better than this.

Q. Added pressure because sort of a home-court advantage?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I have talked about that with my coach a little. He just mentions that we are not expecting anything of you. Try to take the pressure off, but I know it is there. I have never worried about that because I always try to look at pressure as a positive thing. If you have pressure that just means there's an opportunity to do something great. Any time you do something without pressure, it doesn't seem like it's quite as gratifying as when you had pressure, you overcame it, and you had that opportunity to do something great. I think that's my way of just looking at it and I am trying to take advantage of that this week.

Q. You talked about not wanting to set a particular goal for your rankings. Is there a certain point where like you already said you feel as good as you did when you were 20-something in the world but do you think like the rest of the world, will it take like a certain ranking or something or do you think that's coming?

JAMES BLAKE: I don't know. I think I am at the point now where a lot of the guys on Tour don't want to see my name in the draw right away. Because I am not ranked high enough to be seeded but I feel like I am playing pretty darn well. So I think a lot of guys don't want to, you know, don't want to play me early in a tournament because they know -- I think they know I have the ability to go on a run and beat guys like Chela, like Haas, and hopefully some of the top guys as well. It's just -- I am not going to -- I am still not going to worry too much about the ranking as to whether or not people are going to accept me as to whether I am back or not, I think I am back. I think I have been back for a little while, and it may take a certain ranking to get the media, the press to accept that okay, now he's ranked this, so we can accept him as, you know, as a force in tennis again, but I don't worry about that. I am worried about getting the respect of the other players and hopefully I mean, the easiest way to do that is to beat them. That's what I am trying to do.

Q. A couple of day matches after a night match situation, does that get a little difficult playing four days in a row not being able to get into your routine?

JAMES BLAKE: Little difficult but it would be a whole lot more difficult if I didn't have the comfort of knowing which restaurants stay open late, knowing I can get to bed whenever I want and not feeling uncomfortable in the bed and knowing what I am -- knowing where to go for breakfast, what places --, you know, who makes a good egg and cheese sandwich. It makes it so much easier being at home because 20 minute drive up here and go right home. So I know I feel -- I still feel pretty comfortable even though it is a tricky situation being day, night and then coming right back here.

Q. Driving yourself back and forth?

JAMES BLAKE: Yes. Driving myself.

Q. Hanescu you play next, you only played him once?

JAMES BLAKE: Early this year on grass. It's going to be, I am sure a pretty different matchup, grass is completely different situation. But I know he has got a really big serve and he also makes it very consistently. He's one of the highest-- has one of the highest first serve percentages on Tour, I think. A very tall guy, going to try to take advantage of that a little bit more, difficult to move when you are that big, got a great hitting partner in my brother that's about that tall so that will help me. He's a really talented player, had a couple long matches this week too. Maybe I can use to that to my advantage. I am just -- I have seen what -- his weapons, he can rip the ball from the ground on the groundstrokes and he can serve big so I am going to have to play well, I am going to have to use defense at times for sure because he can hit it for sure huge. Try to attack him. If I can dictate play and get him moving, I really feel like I will be in control.

Q. Are you worried about running out of steam for next week?

JAMES BLAKE: I am not worried about that. I don't think I will run out of steam at the US Open. That's another one that feels like my backyard. Last year was the first year I missed the US Open, that hurt more than anything else in terms of watching on TV and seeing my friends play and the US Open is what I get geared up for every year. So I don't ever run out of energy in terms of just being hyped up for it for the US Open. I have run out of energy that match against Lleyton when it was too hot and my body couldn't take it, but I don't worry about that. I am going to have a whole bunch of fans there too. I am going to have -- make a nightmare for the tournament director wit ticket requests there too, maybe he can just transport the J block down there, it's going to be just as hectic. I want to do as well in front of my friends and family again. That's always a pretty hectic and fun time but I am not worried about running out of gas.

Q. Did you get kind of ancy waiting for the Mauresmo match to end?

JAMES BLAKE: What are you talking about, that was quick. (Laughs) it's really funny because my coach who is about as conservative as can be, when he makes statements he wants to cover everything else, OH, James, better get ready, this one could go quickly. I brought that up just about every 20 minutes of that match yeah, good call, yeah, it IS going to go quick. Yeah, that was -- I mean, we are used to it now. I have been lucky enough to be playing a few times when it's right at 7 o'clock or right at a certain time so that -- just like it normally is on the Tour you got to figure out when you are going to eat, what you are going to eat, how many times -- if you are going to get stretched out. Just kind of getting ready, you are getting your legs loose, and you are ready to go, and it goes -- it goes to a tiebreaker, you are ready to go, then, oh, go back, sit down for another half hour, it's part of the game.

Q. (Inaudible) Andre Agassi, chance at the Open this year, he was somebody who obviously was interested in you when you were coming up?

JAMES BLAKE: He's a guy that I am never going to count out. It's so amazing to me how many people write or ask him the question when he's going to retire. You don't see that happen too much on a guy that's Top-10 in the world and has won tournaments and, you know, why should he retire if he's enjoying it and he's still the biggest name, biggest draw in tennis, I am really happy he's still playing. Helps us to have such a marquis name, a legend still playing, and also a great champion that's willing to help the young guys. He helped me when I was coming up, he's just truly a gentleman, so I am never going to count him out. People have counted him out so many times. I don't think anyone ever thought he would win Wimbledon with his game. He did. I don't think anyone would have thought he'd win the French being two sets to love in the Finals and he did. If anyone wants to make the statement that they don't think he can win it, I'd love to see him prove them wrong. I am not going to make that statement. I think he has got a great chance. It's pretty tough to say with as good as Roger and Rafael have been playing all year, but Andre has the ability to beat anyone on any day. Pretty glad I am not playing him first or second round.

Q. You chose to receive today at the start of the match. This was because you have been returning so well? It worked because you got a break.

JAMES BLAKE: Yes, I did. I have done that every time I have won the toss so far this week, I feel like I have been ready going out there and maybe hoping a little bit they are not ready for as loud as my fans are going to be, try to take advantage of that early. Because it does help when you have the fan support like that. If you are running in front it makes it so much easier. I feel like Juan actually did a great job this match of being able to fight from behind because I can only imagine how difficult that is with the fans getting on you every point and being down and a little frustrated you make one mistake, they are still cheering, so I wanted to get an early break and get up. And I did that. I didn't hold it, but I still felt good about my decision and it also makes it easier I think if you are not quite warm and you can take advantage of them not being warm and if you are not quite warm worse that happens is that they hold serve and you get ready to serve and you are ready to get into the match.

08-28-2005, 02:36 AM
I'm watching the match now and one thing James needs to dump immediately is the negative body language and expressions. He is always mumbling and waving his hands, and scolding himself if he missed an easy shot or something, even when he was ahead in the match. Cut that out, James. Be more positive out there and quit being so hard on yourself. It only encourages your opponent to see you so down on yourself. :bounce:

08-28-2005, 02:42 AM

08-28-2005, 02:43 AM
Oh, and ughhh my pictures didn't turn out the greatest because it was sunny like no other yesterday, but they're still okay and I'll probably post tomorrow.

08-28-2005, 02:53 AM
james guy, to capture the title :yeah:

bad gambler
08-28-2005, 02:58 AM
hope he returns well tomorrow, c'mon jim :yeah:

08-28-2005, 03:03 AM
Making a rare visit to James' hole to say:

Win the title James!

08-28-2005, 03:15 AM
Well done James! :woohoo:

Now take the title ... Good luck! :bounce:

08-28-2005, 06:16 AM
James! :banana:

08-28-2005, 06:22 AM
LET'S GO JAMES!!!! WIN THE FINAL!!!! :bigclap: :woohoo:

08-28-2005, 07:34 AM
:yippee: Go James!! Just one more match to the title!!! :D

08-28-2005, 08:22 AM
Well done and good luck in the final James!!! :worship:

Take the title....you can do it!!! :bigclap:

And I'm happy because I'll have coverage of the match not live though but I'll get to see a delayed 1 hour summary.

Sugar Kane
08-28-2005, 09:32 AM
Well done James, but :hysteric: Victor...

08-28-2005, 01:59 PM
Go James and win the title, then grow back your beautiful hair :)

08-28-2005, 02:46 PM
aw, all these new James fans :p

here's his press conference from yesterday!

August 27, 2005

J. BLAKE/V. Hanescu
7-6, 6-7, 6-1


Q. How are you feeling, you look pretty -- you must be pretty tired?

JAMES BLAKE: I feel great. Amazing how good you feel after you win. I might have been tired if I had lost right at the beginning of that third set, I think I was a little down, I don't know if it was as much physically tired as much as I wanted to end that match in two sets; then I was a little down. Then I got the break with him making six first serves, that was pretty exciting to me and it was helped by the crowd being still on my side. After I lost that second set, and just figured I had to come up with a new strategy, hadn't broken him in so long, had to come up with some way to break him. That was going to be actually I thought more about it attacking his second serve and he didn't give me a chance to look at one, I was just trying to get his first serve back. I did luckily. He made a couple of errors. I went after a few balls and played a couple of good points. Then I definitely wasn't tired or down at all after that.

Q. Just talk about what you were thinking about at the changeover after the second set kind of hear the crowd ---

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it helped having the crowd but also in the back of my mind just letting that set slip away. Towards the end of the break I had to just think you know what, let's start all over, I got a break pretty early in the first set, let's try and do that again. Try to keep taking care of my serve. I had held, you know, all throughout the second set and he had been putting little more pressure on my serve. I had been missing a few more first serves. I said let's get back to focusing on that serve and focusing on holding. Like I said, was going to change my strategy a little bit going after his serve, his second serve a little more; especially in the third to take my chances, I wanted to have that confidence in my serve that I can keep holding. Luckily it paid off right away.

Q. Do you feel like you let him stick around there in the first too long, and I know you ultimately held -- you had a double break there, for the set?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I mean, that was partially me letting him hang on; partially him playing pretty good points. I did play a pretty loose game to get broken; made a few mistakes I really shouldn't have made. That's bound to happen at one point or another. I am just glad it happened when I was able to recover and still win the set. I think that's something again six months ago or maybe a few years ago, I wouldn't have had the maturity to do. I would have thought about that too long and I wouldn't have had the same focus in that tiebreak to continue playing my game; might have tried to change something and been angry about the break. But I got through it and I think I am -- I know I am pretty proud of myself for doing that.

Q. How did you break him three times in the third set after having winning a point after his serving in the second set, that was night and day?

JAMES BLAKE: Like I said I was going to try to go after his second set more. That was a conscious effort to do that. I think possibly his legs -- he still was making a ton of first serves but when I was getting them back he didn't quite have the same real pop on his second balls. He wasn't stepping up to them even when it was in middle of the court he wasn't getting around it like he had been before so maybe he was feeling his legs a little bit or maybe he was just a little unnerved about how many I was putting back in the court because he was getting a lot of free points in that second set. Sometimes if you don't have a rhythm from getting so many free points it can actually work to your disadvantage because then when you start getting a lot coming back you are not ready for it. I think possibly a combination of those things, I just kept taking it to him, when I got second serves, I was trying to attack him. That paid off.

Q. What was the key to keeping your focus there during all the delays?

JAMES BLAKE: During the delays all I was thinking about was that next point because I know how hard it is once you have a delay like that. It seems like most of them were on my serve when I was coming back seemed like I have got to make a first serve and I have got to try to put pressure on him; most of them I did. I felt like I won those first points except for the one in the tiebreak, but I just knew it's just as tough for him, he's coming out, he's trying to make a return and put some pressure on me so I have got to put the pressure right back on him. He's thinking I might come out with a weak first serve because I haven't hit a serve in a little while or I might be cold, but I wanted to just go out and not get hurt but I wanted to go up after it and really make a first serve.

Q. You had that one delay, you were down 30-40 breakpoint. That's got to be a tough spot.

JAMES BLAKE: That's a very tough spot especially since I was up 30-Love when it started to drizzle; then kept playing, he came up with a great backhand down the line to make it 30-40. That's pretty frustrating to end on -- you want to keep playing after that. That was frustrating but again proud of myself for coming back. I hit a serve that I probably wouldn't have hit a few years ago. I just went hard into his body as opposed to trying to go for the ace. Ended up working out for me. I won the point with a pretty good forehand.

Q. You hit two shots in the third set, one running forehand behind the baseline. Other one topspin lob over a guy who is 6 foot 10 jumping up. Talk about those shots.

JAMES BLAKE: Sometimes luck comes into it. Those are shots when you guess right and you are just feeling good, you go after them and those are shots I am sure up in the booth anyone watching if I missed them by a little bit they are going to say what in the world he was thinking. For me a lot of times on those instinct plays I just go with the first thing that comes into my mind because if I were to the try and change my mind and go for the safe shot, I think I'd miss that more often than I'd miss the shot that's just my instinct. So I am going to go after those for ever whether I am criticized or not, and if it happens to be a bad day, I am playing bad, people I am sure will say that's the reason, but as you can see now, when I am playing well that's sure as heck the reason why I lost. I would just chalk those up to a bad day. That's my percentage play to go with my instinct.

Q. How psyched are you going into the Finals?

JAMES BLAKE: Unbelievable. Amazing feeling to be -- at the beginning of this week, I couldn't have dreamed it up any better to have some close matches, have a lot of fun in front of these fans and to me it is just -- it's really the best feeling I get all week or all -- after these matches it's such a good feeling when you go up, you hit an ace, got an overhead, something on matchpoint, you win that, but to come off the -- off and when you get into the locker room your coach or whoever isn't there but just to see my agent, see my coach, see my friends and see how happy they are, that's what really makes the difference makes me realize how much it means to me to have people to share these kind of moments with because if I came into an empty locker room and didn't have fans, didn't have friends to share it with, it really wouldn't feel this good. But I am so lucky that, it's just amazing feeling.

Q. At what point did the fan exuberance turn into maybe annoyance maybe even embarrassment and are the other players say anything?

JAMES BLAKE: No one said anything to me. I haven't been embarrassed yet. I have seen a whole lot worse in Davis Cup before. I think it goes over the line if it ever is during a point. I think it goes over the line if it's ever personal to a player. And I think -- I didn't hear anything. Unfortunately actually I don't hear a lot of things -- my friends always ask me, I will get home tonight, did you hear when I said this, did you hear when we said that. I have to disappoint them very often, no, I didn't notice that. I didn't hear that one. Usually I will pick out one or two things that I have heard all match then I will go home, I heard that one, that's the one and that person will be happy that it was the one I heard. I really don't hear too much. I didn't hear anything get personal tonight and I mean, mostly I am hearing go JB, fire it up one time, that kind of stuff. I never think that's going over the line. That's just them getting excited for me.

Q. Tomorrow on your way in to the watch what are you going to be thinking?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, probably, you know, keeping the eyes on the road making sure I am getting here all right.

Q. 20 minutes from home?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah. I will probably coming up with a couple of my friends, so I will just be doing the same thing I have been doing these last few days coming up talking shooting the breeze most likely not about tennis and just listen to some music, enjoying the ride. Nothing to serious until I actually get here.

Q. Second final this month. What does that tell you about where your game is right now?

JAMES BLAKE: It's a great feeling. Like I said, I have said a few times I felt this way for a little while now since I came off the grass and I felt like my game is there. It was just a matter if I can get a run to show other people to let make them believe that my game is back. This is more affirmation that it is. I feel good about beating top players, Hanescu had a great run this, Haas, in my mind is a Top-10 talent. Chela has been playing great. He played even better than I would have expected him to. These wins are not easy, and it's a sign that I feel like I am playing a level of tennis higher than where my ranking is. I feel pretty good about that.

Q. First time meeting against Lopez. What are your thoughts going into that match?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, it always tricky first time you play someone but I need to think that it is going to be tricky for him as well. I'd like to think my game is going to cause problems for him. I know his game can cause problems for a lot of people big lefty save, that's dangerous to anyone, no matter how talented or how good a returner, you don't see that as often. I am lucky that I played a lefty earlier this week so I have seen a pretty big lefty server already. But Feliciano is really one of the best in the world so I am going to have to really take care of my serve to counteract that and hopefully get him tight into spots where he's serving at 4-5 or serving at 5-6 or 5-All to make it him think about it a little more. Then really take my chances go after him hopefully.

Q. You worried at all about the rain tomorrow?

JAMES BLAKE: Made it through tonight hopefully I will do the same tomorrow if we get a little rain, just same for him as it is for me. I have got -- if it does rain and it causes a long delay I have got a ton of confidence in my coach it's not -- I hope it's not going to be advantage for him get -- to regroup, talk to your coach. I feel like I have become better and better as I have gotten older. I don't see a problem. I will deal with it. I think the tournament will be a little bit more upset than I would.

Q. Tough to adjust to a series of delays like that?

JAMES BLAKE: Yes, was a little difficult. That was the first time where we stayed on the court every single time and then right back so quickly. But like I said before, I am just going to worry about getting that first serve in and then from there on in, get back into the rhythm of the match and feel pretty good about it.

Q. How much of a factor do you think the crowd is going to be?

JAMES BLAKE: As big as they have been so far, maybe even more. They are going to be so excited for a final because they will know how excited I am for being in a final and possibly winning in my home state it would just be unbelievable. First one was so special to me with my family there, few of my friends to travel there in DC, but to do it in front of a hundred of my close friends here and my mom and some really other close friends it would just be amazing. I really couldn't have dreamed it to be any better at the beginning of this week.

Q. A lot of adrenaline tomorrow. Worried about being tired?

JAMES BLAKE: No, if my legs start going at all, the crowd will be my legs for a little while, I think I am not worried about that just like I am not worried about being tired for the Open. I know I will have enough adrenaline, enough energy when I go out into the U.S. Open and tomorrow with the kind of fans I have here.

Q. Patrick McEnroe is here everyday, you see him, say anything to him about Davis Cup, I wouldn't mind being a part of that?

JAMES BLAKE: I think he always knows I wouldn't mind being a part of the Davis Cup, but I think Robby and I are making his decision a tough one, but a fun situation for him. It's tougher when you don't have anyone that's playing that well to fill that No. 2 but spot right now he has got two guys that are back to playing pretty darn good tennis myself and Ginepri. We are both proud of each other every time Ginepri won a match in Indianapolis and Cincinnati I was texting him or calling him and saying good job. Every time this week he's been saying keep it rolling. I even called him for a scouting report. We are both supportive of each other, whichever one goes, we know we've earned it. If I go to Davis Cup, I know I've earned it. If Robby goes, I will be cheering from the sidelines and I will know that he's earned it.

End of FastScripts….

08-28-2005, 04:48 PM
Here's my picture from Friday.
The ones of him playing his match didn't come out as well as I wished they would because the sun was absolutly horrible and I guess that's why they aren't so great.

08-28-2005, 07:21 PM
Good luck in the final James! :banana: Win your second career title. :bounce:

The match just started. I am nervous for James. FLo is an underrated hardcourt player, imo. FLo looks very metrosexual as usual but he has completely copped Nadal's look, complete with the capri pants! :eek:

08-28-2005, 07:54 PM
James lost the first set 3-6 and rain delay now :p

08-28-2005, 07:58 PM
James!! Come on dude!!

J. Corwin
08-28-2005, 08:01 PM
James, for the sake of this poor mtf'er, please win. Then, I will not bet on you in the future if you choose to lose.

08-28-2005, 08:45 PM
i really hope james turns this match around. i love feli but i love james way more. :bounce:

08-28-2005, 08:54 PM
The match start and James breaks and leads 3-1 ... Go :bounce:

08-28-2005, 08:54 PM
James! :bounce:

08-28-2005, 09:27 PM
:bounce: :bigclap: :banana: Yay James!!! 3-6, 7-5 And Feli looks a little flustered/pissed now

edit: James is up 2-0 !!!!

08-28-2005, 09:47 PM
Congrats, james, new title :yeah:

J. Corwin
08-28-2005, 09:47 PM
High-may! (Spanish accent ;)) thank you High-may...:worship::bounce:

08-28-2005, 09:49 PM
Yipee! :bounce:
Congrats James!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

08-28-2005, 09:54 PM
Congratulations James!!! :worship: :worship: :worship:

I'm so happy for him :banana: :yippee:

08-28-2005, 09:55 PM
Well done James!!!! :dance:

08-28-2005, 09:57 PM
:woohoo: :banana: :yippee:
did great all week, totally deserves this!!!

08-28-2005, 09:59 PM
James!! :D

I'm so happy for James, he's had a great summer leading up to the USO, and I hope he does well there! :):):)

08-28-2005, 10:25 PM
I am so happy for James! At least I have another player to cheer for!!!!

08-28-2005, 10:42 PM
James did great all win, this must be such a sweet moment for him after everything that he has been through :D

08-28-2005, 11:34 PM
Gosh, I am so happy for him, no one, NO ONE, deserved it more.






08-29-2005, 12:18 AM
Congrats James!!! :woohoo:

He looks so happy :D

08-29-2005, 12:26 AM




08-29-2005, 12:38 AM
Great pics, thanks! :D

08-29-2005, 01:05 AM
Those pics are just so 'awwwwwww'! :D

thanks for posting them Deb. :kiss:

08-29-2005, 01:52 AM
YES!!!! WAY TO GO JAMES!!! :woohoo: :bigclap:

08-29-2005, 04:18 AM
I know he can do it! :kiss:
Congratulations! :crazy:

08-29-2005, 04:25 AM
Thanks for the pictures Deb :D:D:D

I am SO happy for him :banana:

J. Corwin
08-29-2005, 04:31 AM
James :banana: May this start a great 2nd chapter of your career. :D

08-29-2005, 01:46 PM
Great win for him. But, as a Brit, I hope that he wore himself out a little bit in this tournament, and will be tired when he plays Rusedski in the US Open.

08-29-2005, 04:59 PM
Thanks for the pics Deb! Yay for James!! I hope he can have a good run at the Open!

08-29-2005, 09:38 PM
thanks for the pics deb! :]
I'm so happy for james, WOOT WOOT!

08-30-2005, 03:16 PM
James had several brilliant matches throughout the week--to come back from losing the first set numerous times against top players is a huge accomplishment. Nobody deserved this title more. Well done, James :bigclap: And welcome back. :D

08-30-2005, 08:22 PM
James beat Rusedski today!!!!! :woohoo: Ranking's gonna keep goin' on up!

08-30-2005, 08:58 PM
Well done James!!! :woohoo:

08-30-2005, 09:34 PM
james guy, keep up !!

08-31-2005, 05:45 AM
:banana: this is such an awesome run so far for James :D :D :D

08-31-2005, 10:08 AM
Well done James :D Keep it up!!!

08-31-2005, 07:13 PM
LET'S GO JAMES!!!!! :bigclap:

09-01-2005, 12:24 AM
Thursday Order of Play

Arthur Ashe 7.00 PM Start

1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Sesil Karatantcheva (BUL) vs. Amelie Mauresmo (FRA)[3]

followed by
2. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
James Blake (USA) vs. Igor Andreev (RUS)

Go James! :bounce:

09-01-2005, 12:33 AM
Good luck James!!!!

09-01-2005, 01:02 AM
wow, the featured night match. Well-deserved :yeah:

09-01-2005, 04:05 AM
Thanks fergie! I'll be watching!:)

GO JB!!!

09-01-2005, 04:11 AM
wow, the featured night match. Well-deserved :yeah:
Exactly what I was thinking! Go James!! :bounce:

09-01-2005, 04:53 AM
Nadal is waiting in the third round ... Go James, I want to see this match! :D

09-01-2005, 07:10 AM
Awesome match-up, but either way, I'll be heart-broken :sad:

09-01-2005, 04:17 PM
Good luck to James. I watched his interview on the tennis channel last night after his first round win. What a nice guy. He said that he has about 100 friends and fans who attended the Pilot Pen final and now the Open. He has been getting them all tickets since they stuck with him through good and bad times. Made him laugh and made him see what was so important even when he was down after his injury and viral infection.
Loves playing tennis, is glad to be back but also realized that if he couldn't he had other pursuits other than tennis. Nice! I can easily support this young man who seems to have a good head on his shoulders. :D

09-01-2005, 04:45 PM
even i wasn't a james's fan but i have to admit that he was Awesome.... i wish him all the luck that can be wished

09-01-2005, 07:07 PM
Not a James fan? :) Well, I'm glad you've finally come over to the BRIGHT side!! :wavey: ;)


09-02-2005, 03:12 AM
James won 6-2 6-2 6-4 :woohoo:

09-02-2005, 03:49 AM
WAY TO GO JAMES!!!!! :woohoo: BEAT RAFA!!!!

J. Corwin
09-02-2005, 04:07 AM
Go James let's do it :smoke:

09-02-2005, 08:32 AM
Kick Nadal's ass James! :rocker2::fiery::boxing:

09-02-2005, 11:52 AM
Kick Nadal's ass James! :rocker2::fiery::boxing:
:lol: ... You can do it James!!! :bounce:

09-02-2005, 04:48 PM
I cant choose between rafa and james :sad:

09-03-2005, 12:51 AM
Saturday Order of Play

Arthur Ashe 11.00 AM Start
1. Women's Singles - 3rd Rnd.
Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL)[7] vs. Yoon Jeong Cho (KOR)

followed by
2. Men's Singles - 3rd Rnd.
James Blake (USA) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]

Go James, you can do it!!! :bounce:

09-03-2005, 12:57 AM
Blake and break seem to be a tongue twister for some commentators. I caught our commentator a few times saying "blake point" :haha: That was funny, you really have to be careful when saying "break Blake" :p

Agassi Fan
09-03-2005, 11:09 AM
I cant choose between rafa and james :sad:

I like both too. :)

09-03-2005, 05:58 PM
I can't choose between Rafa and James either but i'm so excited for James and his 1st set win over Rafa that was the bomb! :):woohoo:

09-03-2005, 07:25 PM
This match of his with Nadal is brilliant :worship: I can see it in James' eyes that he knows he's going to win. Nadal knows it, too. :D

J. Corwin
09-03-2005, 07:29 PM
James is freaking me out here with his amazing play. :lol:

What a wonderful quarterfinal it would be if it's Agassi v. Blake :hearts:

09-03-2005, 07:32 PM
I'm so happy for James, I could cry. Wait, I almost am.

They say karma's a bitch, but it can also be pretty sweet when someone really deserves it.

09-03-2005, 07:40 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo:

Congrats James :worship: What a match :worship:

I'm so happy for him :D

09-03-2005, 07:45 PM
:woohoo: :woohoo:
he played soooo well :yeah: he fully deserved that win :)

09-03-2005, 07:45 PM
Congrats!!! :yeah:

09-03-2005, 07:47 PM
Well freakin done man!!!:)

09-03-2005, 07:48 PM
Wow, NO ONE deserved this more than James. I love him so much :sobbing: :inlove: I didn't cry, I swear....ok maybe I did :o James played so well, and I am so proud of him and so happy :D:D:D

09-03-2005, 07:50 PM
YIPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :aparty:


09-03-2005, 07:50 PM
ROCK AND ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was just so fucking awesome! And his brief interview afterwards was just perfect. Even in a moment like that James just wanted to share it with everyone in the stadium, that is just coolness personified.

I am just so thrilled to see two of my top five favorite players (James and Robby) finally playing the type of tennis I always knew they were capable of. Awesome.

I'm going back to dancing around my apartment, lots of booty wiggling to do! *booty shake* *booty shake*

09-03-2005, 08:03 PM
i'm so excited to see james playing such awesome tennis, nobody deserves such great results more than him!! :woohoo: james has got me doing this :dance:

09-03-2005, 08:03 PM
I'm like STILL sitting here grinning my face off.

09-03-2005, 08:14 PM
Oh my God James, I'm so proud of you!!! :woohoo:

09-03-2005, 10:10 PM
I'm like STILL sitting here grinning my face off.

Me too Deb. :lol: I'm just like laughing, and nothing's funny.

I'm so proud of James right now. :worship: :D

09-03-2005, 10:11 PM
I'm like STILL sitting here grinning my face off.
YOUR AV! :yeah:

09-03-2005, 10:23 PM
:D:D as the match went on I was like, omg i need a james av with his reaction after winning b/c just wow omg sometimes karma does good things.... hence the caption

how about some PICS :D








09-03-2005, 11:25 PM
Just got home and saw the result! Go James! After all that has happened what a great summer run! And thanks Wonder Deb for the pics!

09-03-2005, 11:32 PM
Boy I bet Dunlop and Citizen watches wish James was still on the payroll this week. HA!

09-03-2005, 11:37 PM
Hey Fee! how was your trip?

09-04-2005, 12:04 AM
Boy I bet Dunlop and Citizen watches wish James was still on the payroll this week. HA!And probably, so does James :p... but hey, their loss :D

09-04-2005, 12:33 AM
really nice article :D
Blake shocks Nadal in U.S. Open
9/3/2005 8:02:00 PM

NEW YORK (AP) - Misfortune's victim for so long, James Blake punctuated the Hollywood-like turnaround of his life and career by upsetting French Open champion Rafael Nadal on Saturday at the U.S. Open.

Blake, who sank to No. 210 in the rankings last spring and needed a wild-card invitation to get into the Open, knocked off the No. 2 Nadal, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, as cheers, mixed with more than a few tears, cascaded down from his friends in packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.

``I need a new vocabulary to describe how I felt about that match,'' Blake's mother, Betty, said. ``This time last year he was half-paralyzed and watching this on TV and wondering if he'd ever play tennis again. How good is that? It's like you can't describe how good that is. To see him smile the way he did is wonderful for a mom. He was pretty down last year and trying to hold it all in and keep it away from me because I was grief stricken at the time, too.''

Blake was overwhelmed by the constant cheers of his buddies - ``The James Block'' - and the more than 20,000 fans in the stadium, who gave him a long, warm ovation at the end.

``I truly wish every single person in here could have the feeling I have now,'' he told them.

If it wasn't the biggest win of the 25-year-old Blake's career - in his mind nothing will ever top his victory over Andre Agassi three years ago en route to his first tour title in Washington - it put him into the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the first time, matched his best-ever performances in Grand Slam events and set him up for a possible quarterfinal confrontation against Agassi.

Agassi, seeded No. 7, had a tough time against No. 32 Tomas Berdych but reached the fourth round with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (2) victory.

In other matches, No. 8 Guillermo Coria and No. 13 Richard Gasquet advanced, as did women's No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo, No. 6 Elena Dementieva, No. 7 Justine Henin-Hardenne, No. 11 Patty Schnyder, No. 12 Mary Pierce, No. 15 Nathalie Dechy and No. 19 Elena Likhovtseva, who beat 2004 French Open champion and No. 13 Anastasia Myskina.

``If someone had told me a year ago that I'd have to go out and lose love, love and love in the quarterfinals of the Open to Andre Agassi, I'd say, I'd take it in a heartbeat,'' Blake said. ``If that happens, so be it. I'm going to go out there and play the same way I've been playing, not be afraid. Today I was not afraid to play Rafael Nadal. I will not be afraid to play Andre.''

The match between Blake and Nadal, two of the speediest players in tennis, gyrated around brilliant shots by each of them in the first two sets. One moment, Blake scurried to catch up to balls that seemed out of reach, the next moment Nadal did the same.

Everything changed on two astonishing points that Blake won, the first on a running lob that he flicked crosscourt into the corner to break Nadal in the third set for a 3-2 lead, the second a series of shots that broke Nadal for the set and crushed the Spaniard's spirit.

On that set-winning point, Blake lofted a lob that Nadal unbelievably ran down with his back to the net as he skidded into the wall behind the baseline. Blake smashed the ball from midcourt, seemingly putting it away, but Nadal caught up to that one, too, with a leaping backhand. Once more, Blake let loose a smash, this time sending the ball into the front row of the stands, the only place Nadal couldn't reach it.

``I don't know how many winners I hit today, but whatever it is, you can double it, because that's how many winners I would have hit against other players,'' said Blake, who was credited with 53 to Nadal's 29. ``I felt like I had to hit two winners at least to win each point.''

Nadal, the winner of nine tournaments this year and usually so cocky, sagged and never recovered as Blake steamrolled him in the fourth set.

``I lost confidence,'' said the 19-year-old Nadal, who proved he could win on hard courts when he captured his first title on the surface in Montreal last month, beating Agassi in the final.

To anyone familiar with Blake's story of tragedy and perseverance - and that included his many friends and family and virtually everyone else in the stadium - the sight of him taking down the best young player on the tour was as emotional as it gets.

Only 16 months ago, Blake didn't know if would ever play tennis again after he fractured vertebrae in his neck when he crashed into a net post during practice in Rome. Yet, ever positive, he spun that bad luck around and said it was the best thing that happened to him because it allowed him to spend time with his father, Tom, who was dying of cancer. His father died in July last year.

A week later, Blake contracted shingles, which temporarily paralyzed his face and caused vision and hearing problems. Again he tried to look on the bright side, wondering what he would do with his life if his athletic career were to end. It was an attitude that had served him well when he was 13 and was diagnosed with scoliosis, a severe curvature of the spine, which forced him to wear a back brace 18 hours a day.

Just as he has worked hard to be an athlete since his teens, and worked hard in school to get into Harvard, Blake pushed himself this year to play better than he ever had. Once ranked as high as No. 22 in 2003, he climbed from his low of 210 up to 49 in the rankings just before the Open when he won in New Haven, near his hometown of Fairfield, Conn., for his second career title and first in three years.

Blake's coach since he was 9 years old, Brian Baker, considered Saturday's win his biggest - ``beating someone as good as Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open, center court, in front of all his family and friends.''

``After going through what he went through last year, nothing is that big a deal to him,'' Baker said. ``I think now he respects that it's important to win a tennis match, but it's really a small part of his life.''

09-04-2005, 12:37 AM
Hi everyone!!!


I just wanted to say how proud I was of James today and to just wish everyone here congratulations cause I KNOW how much you all support him.

It's a great day.

I can't believe it's so busy here that I can't even get my butt out there. But I can still be proud and happy!!!!!! And I am!!!!!!!

09-04-2005, 12:48 AM
HOLY CRAP PAIGE IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

09-04-2005, 12:48 AM
I think James' win is much better than me!

09-04-2005, 12:49 AM
WElllllllllllll both in the same day is almost too much to handle! HOW THE HELL ARE YOU!?

09-04-2005, 12:52 AM
I'm OK, I'm fine, I'm disappointed I'm missing something I was so looking forward to seeing...

How are you 'stah???? How is everyone???!!!!!

09-04-2005, 02:04 AM
Blake and break seem to be a tongue twister for some commentators. I caught our commentator a few times saying "blake point" :haha: That was funny, you really have to be careful when saying "break Blake" :p

09-04-2005, 02:08 AM
That was such an awesome win!! Even though I like Rafa too, I am really happy for James :D He deserves it! Supersports decided to show soccer during its usual USO timeslot so I couldnt watch the match. Grrr

09-04-2005, 03:32 AM
JAMES!!!!! AWESOME WIN!!!!! I really hope he wins the title. GO JAMES!!!!! :woohoo: :bigclap:

09-04-2005, 04:56 AM
hi guys...i don't usually write here and, even though i am a rafa fan, i just wanted to congratulate james on a great win...he was the better player and deserved to win. i've seen him play a few times at the hopman cup here in perth and boy when he's in the zone he really is hard to beat. hopefully he can continue to do well in this tournament and beat robredo in the 4th round...he deserves the good fortune after all he's been through. :)

09-04-2005, 11:51 AM
he is too remarkable :yeah:

i wish him more though maybe too much, i still wish :secret:

Agassi Fan
09-04-2005, 01:37 PM
James was great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

09-04-2005, 06:24 PM
Here's his press conference :)

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Anybody that goes on court against Nadal has to respect his speed out there. I wonder whether now he's got a new respect for your speed on the court.

JAMES BLAKE: Uhm, I don't know but I definitely have a great respect for his speed. But not only is he, in my opinion, possibly the best mover out on tour because he really seems like even when he guesses, if he guesses wrong, he still has the ability to get back and get to a shot. So you never feel that comfortable. Especially since his speed is so good, but he plays defense so well, when he gets to the ball he's got a great court awareness knowing that you're coming in, he needs to get it low. Or you're staying back, he has the opportunity to float it deep and make you have to hit a tough shot.

It's not as easy as it looks to hit a ball six feet from the baseline, hit a cold winner, when he's got no pace on it, especially against a guy that's that fast and that far back in the court. It's not easy to do, and he knows that. He does a great job every time about doing that. I don't know how many winners I hit today, but whatever it is, you can double it, because that's how many winners basically I would have hit against other players. I felt like I had to hit two winners at least to win each point.

Q. What's wrong with your quickness?

JAMES BLAKE: What's wrong with my quickness today? I hope nothing. I was getting some pretty good shots. I just felt like, I mean, I was trying to dictate and it felt like he had to answer. He came up with a lot of great answers, but luckily I kept playing pretty darn well and was able to dictate a lot.

Q. Was this the biggest win of your career?

JAMES BLAKE: Uhm, like I said out there, I think with all due respect to Rafael, he's going to be a great champion, one of the best ever possibly, and already is a champion, but I got to give my best win to Andre Agassi, being a legend, everything he's accomplished. That match, it just seemed like everything was going right for me, as it did today similarly. But, you know, it was emotional to really beat Andre Agassi, someone I idolized.

Q. Might have to play him again in another round?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, well, hopefully I can have some fond memories of that win and make some more memories. But he is truly a class act and someone I look up to. And it would be a lot of fun. I mean, if I'm playing him in, what would that be, the quarterfinals, if I'm playing him in the quarterfinals of the Open, I mean, if someone had told me that a year ago that I'd have to go out and lose 0, 0 and 0 in the quarterfinals of the Open to Andre Agassi, I'd say, I'd take it in a heartbeat.

If that happens, so be it. If I do get in that situation, I'm going to go out there and play the same way I've been playing, not be afraid, like I felt today, not afraid to play Rafael Nadal, not afraid to play Andre. But I will, you know, as I respected Rafael Nadal today, I will have a great deal of respect for Andre when I go out there, if I play him.

Q. Can you talk about the crowd compared to New Haven?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, crowd's unbelievable. I mean, a few times today a couple of those break points, a couple of set points and that matchpoint, you know, when they really got on their feet and started screaming, I really couldn't even hear a thing. I started thinking this is what people talk about when they say they can't hear themselves think. That loud, I could have screamed at the top of my lungs and no one would have noticed.

To hear that, it forces you to, "Okay, I need to just think about this point, because I can't think about every single person here screaming." You try not to think of the magnitude of 20 some odd thousand people screaming for you.

So it was amazing, having my it looked like Rafael was getting a little upset towards the end of the match noticing that my fans were pretty vocal, as I think they're going to be against anyone. I'm proud that they never really make it personal and they never do anything too negative towards the other player. They're always just trying to encourage me. And I really do appreciate that.

Just like in the finals of New Haven, they chanted Lopez' name at the end at the ceremony. I do appreciate the fact that they try to have class. And maybe it helps that it was during the day and they maybe didn't have quite as many Heinekens today. That helps, I think.

Q. Did you feel he lost his focus in that third set? Did you feel that?

JAMES BLAKE: No. I mean, that was not easy for me. Someone told me I won I want to say 16 of the last 17 points or something, but it didn't feel like that. Like I said earlier, I had to win each point two or three times. I was never expecting him to miss. Every single time I hit a shot, I expected it to come back the way he was playing, and that's just out of respect for him and knowing that he can reel off winners, he can play defense better than anyone else out there, I think.

I don't think he lost his focus. I think I got more and more confidence, especially once I got the break. That second game I broke him, I don't remember exactly the points, I remember saying to myself, "I'm going up and going after these." I started going for his second serve a little more and ripping forehands. You know, if those are going in, I like my chances against a lot of people out there. And they were going in.

It's tough. When someone's dictating the way I was and you're down two sets to one and a break, it's not easy to keep coming up with the shots he was coming up with. I think he did a great job in fighting, as everyone saw how well he did at that in the French Open. But I managed to get him on the hard courts.

Q. He talked about losing confidence in the fourth set. Did you pick up confidence in the fourth set?

JAMES BLAKE: I definitely did. Like I said, once I got that first break first break was kind of, uhm, I don't want to say lucky because lucky is involved in every match, but I think he double faulted, maybe he missed a relatively routine forehand, got a let cord and missed the forehand. You know, that's when I did get a little confidence, saying, you know, what, this guy's human, this guy makes mistakes too. He plays defense as well as anyone. He can loop that ball so high, make it really difficult and uncomfortable for you. He's still human. If I keep grinding and making my shots and putting a little pressure on him when I can, I have a chance.

And when I got up that break, I got a ton of confidence in knowing that he is human, he can make mistakes, he's still a 19 year old kid out there, and I can go for my shots. If I keep pressuring him, things can happen.

Q. Every player says they want to focus just on the next match. Also, in Slams, there comes a time when there's a little momentum, a sense that this just might be your breakout time, your time to go real deep. Is there a little place within you that says this might be it?

JAMES BLAKE: You know, this is as deep as I've gone in a Slam, so I don't know. I don't have a whole lot of experience in saying, "Well, this time I made the semis," or, "This time I made the finals." I know right now I couldn't be more thrilled about this. To say I'm taking it one match at a time is an overstatement because I haven't even thought about next match yet. I'm still thinking about how great a feeling I have right now and the fact that my phone still hasn't stopped ringing since I've been in here.

I'm really thrilled about the way I'm playing, and keeping this level consistently through New Haven, into this tournament, I'm just really happy about the way things are going. I'm not thinking about next week. I'm thinking about being into the second week. Happy about that. Hopefully I can keep this going in the next match. I'm definitely not thinking that far ahead right now.

Q. Your coach and your brother were talking about what you were going through last year at this time with your injuries and everything. Can you reflect about where you were a year ago and how far you've come. Were you concerned you might not be able to play at that time?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, every time a question like that comes up, I do reflect and think about last year watching it on TV. A little different. It's a little different on this side than on that side. It's, you know, so much fun. I think about that time last year, I was wondering if I would play in the US Open again. At that point I was just, I mean, 24 years old, you don't want to just have memories, you don't want to just have thoughts of the end of your career at that point, saying, you know, "I had a lot of fun at the US Open, I had some great times, I had some good matches, all my fans had a lot of fun," and at that point I thought, you know, it's too bad if that's the end. I really wish I could get back there again and show people that I can still play this game.

And now to get here, to know the hard work I put in, the hours when I could really couldn't see too well, balance very well on the court, just hitting balls just for the sake of hitting balls so I don't get blisters on my hands, so I don't kinda completely lose the feel or something, I know a lot of people wouldn't have done that. A lot of people wouldn't have then used that off season, or the November December time when I started feeling a little better, to work as hard as I possibly could just on the chance that I'll be back to 100%. I didn't know even then that I would be back to 100%.

To work as hard as I did to get back there, then go through the first few months where I was at times playing like I didn't really know how to play the game, then to go through that, still try to keep a positive attitude, I do think about that, that a lot of people wouldn't have been able to get through that. I also think about the fact that I'm lucky to have the people that were around me to help me get through that. If I didn't have my coach Brian Barker there every day telling me, keeping things in perspective, just being honest about how rough it was last year, and then being honest at the beginning of this year, saying, Yeah, that was a bad match but, you know, what can you expect, you got to think about the bigger picture and think that you're going to just try and get better. If this is the case, you're going to have to find a way to be happy with it. If that's how good a player you are, so be it. Kept getting better and better. All you can do is work as hard as you can. Just like he said before this match, Go out there, we're proud of you no matter what, do your best, no one's going to no one's going to think anything but you gave your best today. I went out there, I gave my best, and today it was good enough. I hope it will be on Monday as well.

Q. What did you think going in, given what you've been through, given the kind of summer you're having, now you're coming in, playing Nadal, what did you think were the stakes? What was on the line? What did you see was on the line in this match personally?

JAMES BLAKE: This is the first one, you know first two matches I felt like there was a little bit of pressure on me. People had seen how well I did in New Haven. I was playing great. My friends were so psyched and so happy and really thinking, "All right, now it's the Open, he's going to do even better, everything's going to go great." So I felt like I did have a little bit of pressure on me, not that I shy away from that, I really enjoy that, I think it's an opportunity to do something great.

But today I went out knowing that I had no pressure. Nadal has proven himself on clay, on hard courts, that he's going to be around for a long time. And, I mean, him and Roger have just really dominated this year. And so I went in with nothing to lose. But I also thought, you know, this is I thought a little bit about, you know, being bad luck in the last three weeks, the only people I lost to were Andy and Roger. And now thinking, "All right, now I got to play the No. 2 guy as opposed to I played No. 1 and 4 already. I want to see if I can beat one of them."

I think it helped me knowing that I had played really close with Roger, played really close with Andy. Just, you know, looking back to those matches and people telling me, you know, this could be good. It just shows you can play with them. Now I guess I believe them.

Q. Not to get too heavy on you, exactly what are you doing with the Red Cross? More specifically, what did you think about the government's reaction to the hurricane?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, what I'm doing is I've already had I believe 10 racquets put up on my website to be auctioned off. I'm very fortunate to have some great fans that apparently as soon as they announced that the other day on USA, the bids had been going at around $400, and immediately they went up to $1,000. So I'm hoping to raise all that money is going to the Red Cross. I'm going to donate a portion of my winnings here, for sure, to the Red Cross, depending maybe how I do. Hopefully it will keep getting bigger and bigger as I get further and further.

But in terms of the government's reaction, I know probably not supposed to talk politics too much, especially to the press, but I feel this is a crisis that deserves a lot of attention, and if possible more attention. I don't want to contradict our President too much, but... Actually I'll leave it at that. Don't want to contradict our President because, you know, we have to follow him and follow his lead.

Q. How much more self belief did you have today versus when you went out and played Lleyton or Federer here; that you could actually bring your entire game, the whole arsenal, consistently throughout a whole match?

JAMES BLAKE: It was definitely a different feeling because in those matches and I feel like if I had this match three years ago against a player like Nadal, I don't think I would have won it because I think after playing that first set, playing really well, solid, winning it, then losing that second set, I might have panicked and said, I really got to raise my level, I got to do something different, I got to change it.

After that second set today I didn't feel like I needed to change. It's one set all. Why do I need to panic? He should be panicking just as much as I am. So I went out and played the same, played as solid as I could, got a break middle of that set. I didn't feel I didn't feel like there was so many crazy thoughts going through my head. As soon as I got a break in the third set, I didn't start thinking, What if I actually win this? What's going to happen? What am I going to do? What am I going to tell my friends? I didn't start panicking and getting ahead of myself. That's something you can't really teach. You can't really go out on the practice court and get. That's just playing tennis.

For me, it took a little while. It took maybe some life lessons. But it's something I'm proud of now that I do a lot better than I did a few years ago. It makes as big a difference as anything else in my game, as big a difference as practicing my forehand, as big a difference as hitting my second serve a little bit better, just having that belief in myself and the confidence just to play my game. It's going to show, I think, hopefully in my results. But definitely I see it in my game being improved based on just having that belief in my game.

Q. In that third set you were just about flawless with your serving. I'm not sure you lost a point on serve in the third set. How much of it was you serving better or him beginning to be concerned that he couldn't handle your serve and going for too much on the returns?

JAMES BLAKE: I think it was me serving about as well as I could. I think, when was it I looked at that ATP players' weekly a few weeks ago, you look at the return stats, and Rafael Nadal is No. 1 in every single one, whether it's first return points won, second return points won, break points converted, he's No. 1 in all of them. So I knew it was going to be tough.

The first set I served great; I won that set. Second set I didn't serve very well; I lost that set. Kind of seemed as my first serve went, the match went. I served great in the third and fourth sets. I won those sets. It seemed like if I just kept serving well, I was going to get my looks at his serve. That's the one thing you can look at in his game that possibly can keep improving, is his serve. And so he gives you looks at it. It's not like playing Andy where you can get down a break and then really have no chance at times if he's serving well.

Rafael gives you looks. He spots it well, but he doesn't overpower you with it and he kind of beats you you end up missing quite a few just based on how he backs it up. He can really hurt you if you just float it into the middle, he can take that forehand and start whipping you around. But I'm going to get looks at that.

If I take care of my serve and have some confidence to go for shots on his serve, it looks to be in my favor. That's why once I started serving well, got past that second set where I just had a tough serving set, it felt great. And I hope that can continue.

Q. How much of the belief is coming through what you went through in the last year? How much would have happened with experience on the court anyway?

JAMES BLAKE: Tough to say if it would have happened with just experience on the court. I'd been on tour for a while and it hadn't happened quite the same as it did after last year. I think I do owe a lot of it to having a new perspective, to if I lose a match, it's not the worst thing in the world. And just go out and play your best, and I know, you know, that one of the last things I spoke to my dad about, and when he told me that he was proud of me, you know, that was it for me, him telling me that that's my idol, that's someone I respect more than anyone in the world. I was so proud and in awe of him. For him to say he was proud of me, I know now that he was proud of me no matter if I win or lose, but as long as I he always taught me the work ethic and doing your best and acting appropriately.

I feel like I did that today. Whether I won or lost, I gave 100%. I acted according to the manner that I know he would think is appropriate. So if I won or lost this match, I'd like to think that he was proud of me. It's just icing on the cake that I won it and played as well as I did. If I didn't have that and, you know, just kind of knowing that in the back of my mind, I don't know if it would have come just from playing tennis. It comes from kind of life's lessons, I think.

Q. How much do you think of your father? When you're out there, do you think of him, do you reflect back on times with him?

JAMES BLAKE: You know, I always thought it was weird for people to say, but I do actually think of him every single day. And I never thought that was possible, but I do.

In terms of thinking of him out on the court, it's not often, but sometimes things aren't going well and I want to throw my racquet, I want to get a little upset, I want to get down on myself, I want to think, you know, how rough it is, how bad it is because I'm down a set and a break or something, I'll think about it, and I'll think about the fact that he never complained when he had cancer. He didn't complain when he was having surgery, when he was having chemo, when he was having radiation, he didn't complain. He would always keep a positive attitude, keep real upbeat.

You know, if he can do that through something like that, I'd feel like much less of a man if I started complaining too much about being down a set and a break or losing a couple matches in a row.

So I think about him at times on the court then and hope it's going to help me on the court as well, the fact that, you know, if I'm down a set and a break, I better keep a positive attitude. That's a lot better than getting down on yourself, focusing on the negative and pretty much giving up. I'm never going to give up in a match. I've tried to never give up in a match before, but I know I've given less than 100% unfortunately. I've never done that this year and I don't think I'll ever do it again.

Q. Can you talk about the last point in the last set, that amazing shot?

JAMES BLAKE: It was out (laughing). I don't know if they'll show that on the replay or whatever, but it was called out. I was just hitting it back, screwing around. It was already called out. I think he was actually arguing the call because he thought it was in. But I saw it. I mean, I looked and but if they hadn't called it out, I probably wouldn't have made that shot because I would have been a little nervous. I really thought it was out, too.

Q. Was it overruled?

JAMES BLAKE: No, they called it out. As soon as they called it, that's when I went back and just kind of screwing around hit it between my legs.

Q. How much time do you spend in Tampa?

JAMES BLAKE: I spend kind of whenever I'm training, whenever I get a chance to go back there, I'll go back there. I'll probably go back to Connecticut after this, but as soon as I hang out with my friends for a couple of days, I'll head back to Tampa. I'll be there a lot during the off season.

Q. Percentage wise?

JAMES BLAKE: Percentage wise, 15 weeks out of the year.

Q. Who do you train with?

JAMES BLAKE: Who do I train with, Saddlebrook, Mardy Fish is there, Jeff Morrison, Graydon Oliver, Xavier Malisse, all guys live around there.

Q. Any time with Pat Etcheberry?

JAMES BLAKE: I've done a couple workouts with him, but I mainly train with I get workouts from a friend of mine named Mike Nishihara and a guy named Zach Lamark (ph).

Q. There were reports you called Andy. Is that true?

JAMES BLAKE: I actually forgot. I was supposed to call him for a scouting report, but luckily my coach has seen Rafael play a whole lot. I got a scouting report from him. It slipped my mind to call Andy. I did check however many voice mails I have now, and one of them is from Andy, so I got to give him a call back this time and make sure to thank him. I'm sure it's a message first congratulating me and then making fun of me for something I'm sure I did wrong on the court. I'll get back at him and I'm sure it will be a similar message where I make fun of him.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

09-04-2005, 07:01 PM
Bless him, he's so happy :)

09-05-2005, 12:17 AM
Monday Order of Play

Arthur Ashe 11.00 AM Start

1. Women's Singles - 4th Rnd.
Nathalie Dechy (FRA)[15] vs. Lindsay Davenport (USA)[2]

Not Before 1:00 PM
2. Men's Singles - 4th Rnd.
Andre Agassi (USA)[7] vs. Xavier Malisse (BEL)

Not Before 3:00 PM
3. Men's Singles - 4th Rnd.
James Blake (USA) vs. Tommy Robredo (ESP)[19]

Go James!!! :bounce:

I like both players but I will go with James this time :)

09-05-2005, 04:00 AM
Deb, thanks for the press conference. James played the best match i have ever seen him playing, his execution was flawless :D I am also a Rafa fan, but i was not sad at all about this result, Rafa raised his level relative to the first 2 rounds but james was just too good. One statistic that did not catch much attention is James' unforced errors, they were very low, especially considering that Rafa was on the other end, james' controlled agression was executed perfectly :worship:

09-05-2005, 05:30 AM
fight up, james :lol:

09-05-2005, 06:14 AM
C'mon James!! Would love to watch the matchup with Andre :D

09-05-2005, 08:11 AM
C'mon James!! Would love to watch the matchup with Andre :D

So do I. :kiss: That will be the great match for all tennis fans! :yeah:
IMO James will win without too many resistances! :)

09-05-2005, 03:03 PM
Good Luck to James today! Keep up your level of play please!

09-05-2005, 04:17 PM
So do I. :kiss: That will be the great match for all tennis fans! :yeah:
IMO James will win without too many resistances! :)
Yup an awesome match indeed :yeah:

09-05-2005, 09:41 PM
The Tommy match is making me nervous. Tommy's a good player and I'm afraid that James might suffer from Gilles Muller syndrome: knock off a giant only to crash and burn in the next round. :scared:

James seems to have found his mojo (thanks, American Express, for making everyone overuse this word now :sobbing: ) in this second set so hopefully he can make like a tree frog and just hang on. :p

09-05-2005, 10:49 PM
good james :yeah:

09-05-2005, 10:50 PM

09-05-2005, 10:51 PM
GO JAMES I LOVE HIM!!!one!!1!!

09-05-2005, 10:53 PM

Quarterfinals ... woot!

09-05-2005, 11:38 PM
Well his interview after the match was just great! If anyone sees a transcript please post? Now good luck in the QF's!

09-06-2005, 12:16 AM
waiting... :angel:

09-06-2005, 01:07 AM
WAY TO GO JAMES!!!! :woohoo: What a great match!!! I thought he played great, I think he has a really really good chance to beat Andre.

09-06-2005, 01:13 AM
Well done James!!! :woohoo:

And now good luck against Agassi, you can do it!!!

09-06-2005, 03:08 AM
YAY. :yippee: My tape ended at 2-1 in the 4th set but James was playing very well, especially to break Tommy in the 2nd and in the 3rd :yeah: Now for the match we've all been waiting for.. :D Go James!!

09-06-2005, 03:34 AM
Press conference:D:D
THE MODERATOR: Questions for James.

Q. Down a set, down a break, first time you really trailed in The Open, what were you thinking about at that point?

JAMES BLAKE: Same thing I've been thinking about like with my coach in talking is, after all the matches I played last week or two, the toughest part about playing these matches I think is not getting ahead of myself when I get ahead. And if I get down, not just kind of really throwing in the towel and saying, "I've been playing well, so I should really win this," being so down on myself.

We've always talked about being up a set and a break doesn't mean anything. Being up two sets and a break doesn't mean anything. You've got to keep moving for it. I just tried to apply that the other way. Being down a set and a break doesn't mean anything. Being down a set point, just keep playing my game.

I felt I wasn't moving my feet too well up till that point. I got that point. Then the next game he got a little tight, I felt like. I think he double faulted once or twice. Once I realized I was in it, started moving my feet a little better, going after it a little more, just trying to take it into my hand as opposed to trying to at the start felt like I was pushing and leaving it in his hands, and he took advantage of that.

Once I got it into my hands, I felt like I was dictating better and just things seemed to happen a lot better when I'm going for a little bit more at that point, going for my shots.

Q. Do you feel at all like this is just fate, you're meant to be here after everything that's happened?

JAMES BLAKE: You know, I know I'm not in a Hollywood script, otherwise I probably would have won a lot more this year. I just think, you know, this is all the hard work I've been putting in, all the time I've spent on the court, in the gym. It's just, you know, I've always known I had a chance to go deep in a major or go and win a tournament and play with these guys because I can put together a good set here, a good match here. It's just a matter of putting it all together.

And I think now it's kind of the culmination of the maturity I have to not be down a set and a break, down a set point and just kind of, you know, play a real loose point and say, "Forget it," worry about what's going to happen after the match, am I going to go back to Tampa, just not thinking about things like that. Thinking about getting that point, getting back into the match, and just playing my game.

So I don't think of it as fate or anything. I think it's a lot of hard work.

Q. You often spoke admirably of Andre Agassi during this tournament. Now you have to play him.

JAMES BLAKE: I think I'll still speak admirably of him before the match, after the match, if someone interviews me during the match, I'll probably say nice things about him. He's really a true gentleman, one of the friendliest guys in the locker room. That's something that's impressive when you don't need to do that because you're one of the legends of the sport. You've got everything you can ever dream of, but he still knows how to treat people. And that's something that I really admire.

He's helped me with scouting reports, helped me when I go out to Vegas, he hooks me up with hotels. He's just a great guy that will help out young guys with anything, leading by example, you know, leading by his words. He's someone that you can tell your kids to look up to and be proud of it.

That's kind of the goal I have as a tennis player and a public figure. He's obviously had a lot more success on the court. But he's also a great human being. I'm proud to be a competitor with him.

He's been my biggest win in my career so far to date. Hopefully it will be again. But I don't think either of us are going to go out there and hang our heads in shame after the match. I think we have a similar attitude. We're going to go out there, leave it all on the court. He's been through this so many times 35 years old, his 20th Open. I don't feel like he's going to be nervous. He's going to go out there and just let it rip. I'm going to try to do the same.

I don't think I'll be nervous either because I know I got nothing to lose. Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals of the US Open, I'm sure as heck not going to go home and say I had a bad tournament. I'll probably be disappointed right after the match, but other than that, I'm going to go down swinging, giving a hundred percent. Once I get over the initial loss, I'll think about some of the good things that have happened this year, some of the good things that happened this tournament.

But, you know, if I win, I won't be surprised either. I won't get ahead of myself. Similar to today, if I get up a break, if I'm up two sets to one and a break, I'm not going to start getting head of myself, thinking this is Andre Agassi, the legend, I'm going to beat. I'm just going to try to keep the same maturity and the same focus and perspective I've had so far this tournament and this whole year.

Q. If I asked you last week who had a better chance of a wildcard, you or the Mets, what would you have answered?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, I think they confirmed my wildcard a little while ago, but I think the Mets are not looking so good right now, unfortunately. About a week ago, when I wore that Beltran jersey on the court, they were looking pretty good. Maybe I jinxed them by doing that. Maybe I jinxed them by going to batting practice over there, too. I don't know. They're not looking so great any more. I still got faith they'll turn it around hopefully.

Q. You were a member of the Harlem Junior Tennis League as a young kid. Is there anything that you are still using today that you learned or picked up there?

JAMES BLAKE: Absolutely. One of the first things I ever learned there and have kept since then is my work ethic,
because my dad was a volunteer there. He's the one that helped teach me. Just they had kids working there. I'm pretty sure my brother and are the only two professional athletes to come out of there. They're really just trying to make good citizens.

They still worked us so hard every Sunday when we'd go down there. We'd come home from that just beat from doing sprints, from doing pushups, from doing situps, from jumping rope. It wasn't about turning you into pro athletes. It was just about learning how to work hard and enjoying it, seeing the progress, seeing that, okay, the first day you did it, you could do 30 pushups, now a month later you can do 40, ad now a month later you can do 45. Seeing that progression, being happy with it, happy with whatever success you have. If you're the best one there and you're doing the most or if you're one of the worst ones there, but you're still improving. Just comparing yourself only to yourself, not to the others, and working hard and enjoying that progress.

And I still do that today because I don't want to go out here and compare myself to Roger Federer, I don't want to go out here and compare myself to someone that's in the quallies here. I want to just do the best I possibly can. That's something I learned at a pretty young age.

Q. For most of the first two sets, the groundstrokes were in and out. Wild forehands. About the time that he began to get some nerves at 5 3, your groundstrokes kick in. Did you make an adjustment there?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I think the biggest thing was up until that point, I really felt flat footed. I don't know what it was. I didn't come out feeling nervous. I didn't really I guess that could have been part of the letdown, you know, after having such a big win two days earlier.

But I just didn't feel like my feet were moving. I felt like I was getting almost to the ball and then just kind of blocking it. Getting over to my forehand, just blocking it, not making all the little extra adjustment steps that you have to make, that you see guys like Hewitt, Nadal and Agassi make that are so important. And I wasn't doing that.
It's something that's so easy. And I thought about it. It's so easy to think of and to realize you're doing it. But sometimes it's still hard to adjust. Because you know if you step in and you get in the right position, you're going to go for it. Then you start knocking down the back screen a few times. You got to stick with it until you get in position and hitting the right shot.

I started moving my feet once he felt the nerves. I started going after my shots a little more. I said, "You know what, I have to do this. I'm not going to win otherwise. He's not going to keep getting tight. He's not going to give me each set. I have to kind of earn them."

And then I started doing that. I started moving my feet. Then it just felt it's something that's so easy once you start doing it. It seems so simple. It seems like you should have been doing it all the time. I wish it was that easy, but it's not always that easy to do.

I managed to do that. Managed to start moving my feet a lot better. The rest is history.

Q. A brief comment about the two backhands down the line which I think caught him surprised.

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I mean, my plan for most of the match was to take my backhand cross court to his backhand and attack his backhand because it's tougher for him to hurt you with his backhand, I think. But once I did start moving my feet well, I felt great. They were a little bit further up in the court, so I felt good.

I knew he'd been sitting on that. I mean, he knew my game plan. I knew his game plan was going to be attack my backhand. So he caught me a couple times by surprise, and I caught him a couple times by surprise just thinking, you know, he's looking for me to keep rolling it cross court, looking for me to keep rolling it cross court. Let's take the freebie. I felt good about it. I felt it worked.

Q. You talked about the maturity of handling the situation. How much can you draw a correlation between what you have been through this last year and that change in perspective about things? Has it been strange to kind of have your life story boiled down to this little Hollywood type comeback? Does it feel accurate, realistic to you?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I definitely think most of my maturity, different perspective, comes from last year and everything I went through. It's not something I could have learned on a practice court or even in a match really, I don't think. It was just a matter of seeing that there is more to life. There is also a finite career that I have in front of me. I'm not going to play forever. I'm not going to be this healthy, this fit, this strong for the rest of my life. I only have a certain amount of time.

It gave me the hunger to want to succeed and want to continue working as hard as I possibly can to take advantage of this career. It also gave me the perspective that there's more to life. So when I'm down I'm not going to panic, I'm not going to get nervous, I'm not going to throw my racquet and whine and cry and say "Why me" or anything like that, because there's a lot worse things in life than loses a tennis match. I think that really helped.
It really does it seems real now, but like when I'm out on the court, I'm really just thinking about the match. But it takes a little while to set in. You know, right after the match, just to look up to my box, look up to my friends and think how much they've helped me get to where I am, it doesn't seem real. Because, I mean, I want to give back to them so much. I want them to experience this happiness, but I always have guarded hopes of it. I really never expected to be giving back this quickly and showing them such a good time and having this many fans come out and support me. I just wouldn't have expected it this soon.

It seems somewhat surreal at the time. But now I just think about it and I think, you know, there's no reason for it to feel surreal because I've done all the work. I've put in my time. I've done everything I feel like I should to be in this position.

Q. Before last year, did you feel at any point looking back you maybe got away from the process and became more focused on the results, and that can be sometimes a trap in itself?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I think I've gone through that, I don't know the exact dates, but I know that year I kind of started coming up, then I did real well. I ended up the year in the 20s or something. Then the start of that next year is when you have all those points to defend and everything. It's your first time really doing that, really having all those high expectations. Is it going to keep going up? That's when I started thinking, "All right, I'm playing a guy 60 in the world, 70 in the world, I should win. All I have to do is play pretty average."

I learned pretty quickly it took me a little while, I'm not that bright. It took me a little while for me to realize that's not going to work, playing 90%, playing just average isn't going to win against anyone on tour.

I took some rough losses. I feel like I was back at the point where I realized that and made my adjustments, that no matter what someone's ranked, if they're ranked below me or ahead of me, they're trying to beat me. I'm going to have to go out there and prove to them every single time I'm there to beat them. I'm not there to just push and hope they beat themselves. I was getting back to that point. I felt like I was really starting to play well again before I got injured last year.

For that year, about maybe half a year, three quarters of a year before that, I'd say I was focused on the wrong things. I was just worried about kind of hanging on. As opposed to just really getting better, really improving every single match and playing my game, I was just trying to kind of hang on to what I had done the year before that.

Q. Do you remember the first time you ever saw Andre Agassi play tennis?

JAMES BLAKE: Geeze, I don't know. I think it must have been here. Yeah, I think I saw him here back when he had those lime green shorts hanging out of the denim shorts. I think I got a pair of those, too, the denim ones. Not the lime green ones, I couldn't pull that off. The denim shorts, I remember that. He had the long hair, the earring. People didn't know if his name was Agassi or Agassi. I remember that, being in school and talking about how talented he was.

Q. What grade were you in?

JAMES BLAKE: Man, had to be like fifth or sixth grade. Yeah, I was probably like 10 or 11 years old. What was he, he was 25. I guess I probably started kind of late because he was probably in his early 20s by then, taking the world by storm already.

Q. Against Nadal you played almost a perfect match. Do you think to beat Agassi, you will have to play again a perfect match?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, well, I didn't go into playing Nadal thinking that way. I thought I was just going to play within myself. I think too many times in the past I've gone out playing a guy that's ranked that high thinking I have to play a perfect match and going for too much and playing kind of into their hands and letting them play a little conservative and me beating myself.

I didn't do that against Nadal. I maybe played a perfect match, but it felt like it was within myself. I didn't feel like I was going for too much. I felt like I was going for my shots when I had them and not overplaying.

That's the same thing I'm going to try to do against Andre. I'm going to try to play within myself. If he comes up with shots that are too good, I'll tip my hat to him and say too good. If I do need to adjust, if I'm getting beat, if I'm down a set and a break, he's really beating me that way, I might have to adjust and figure out some other way to play.
But I'm always going to try to keep playing within myself. I'm not going to go out just trying to blast winners from every corner just because it's Andre Agassi. I'm going to try to play my game.

I think that's a better barometer to find out where you are. Instead of going out and if you have that one unbelievable day where everything's going in, you still don't really know how good you are because you were that good on one day, but it's not going to keep up. If you lose and were going for everything, you don't know how good you are because you didn't play your game. I want to go out and find out how good I am playing my game.

Q. For the two matches, you had the support of the crowd. When you play Agassi, how will you feel the crowd will respond to you or Agassi?

JAMES BLAKE: Well, I think it's I hope it's a very fair crowd. I think my friends are definitely going to be here. But I know he's got fans all over the world, especially here. He's won here. I mean, he's such a legend. He's got so many fans that I think they're also going to be cheering very vocally for him.

But I think we're both respectful of each other, I think. So I think the fans I hope the fans take a cue from that and are cheering winners, not really cheering the errors or the double faults or anything like that. Just fair about it. That's all I hope for, but I really don't know because it's going to be a night match, I think. People have a Heineken or two. They get a little rambunctious. They might scream a little too early. I might make a get, he might make a get they didn't expect.

I am sure that is going to happen. He's dealt with it a million times in his career. I've dealt with it a few times here already. I don't think we're going to be affected too much by it. He's an unbelievable professional. I'm never going to be angry at a New York crowd. I don't think either of us will be affected negatively.

Q. How important is it for you that people begin looking at you differently in terms of a tennis player who wins big matches?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, that's always what I've wanted people that's the kind of respect I want. I don't want respect just because I'm in the Nike ad or just because I've got some sort of an endorsement deal or something. I want people to look at me as a tennis player, as a legitimate player that's won a lot of matches that they don't want to see in the draw next to them. I'm doing my part these last couple weeks to try to prove that to them.

I think it's been a lot of fun for me because the first time I came up, it was all about proving myself, proving I belong on this tour, proving I belong among these top guys. Then obviously I fell back and then got injured. Now I'm getting a chance to do it again. That was what this year is going to be about, kind of enjoying myself but also proving that I can do it again.

Most people only have to prove themselves once. I'm getting a chance to do it again. It really is a source of pride for me that I've been able to do it again because I don't know if a lot of guys would have enjoyed going to Tunica, Mississippi, Forest Hills, playing a couple challengers when they're ranked 200 in the world just to get back to this point. But I did that. I'm really happy about it.

I think people will now see that. They'll see that I'm not just going to take wildcards and just worry about, you know, my prize money or my image or anything like that. I'm not afraid to go down to challengers and play in front of 10 or 12 people. I just love playing and I love proving that I belong. I feel like I'm doing that again.

Hopefully here I can prove that I belong even on the big stage. Up until now I hadn't been this far in a Grand Slam, so people might have said I couldn't do it on the big stage. I've played some pretty big Davis Cup matches, but I think now I'm trying to prove myself in a big way. It's going pretty well so far. I think it helps with the new perspective and new kind of maturity that I think I've found.

09-06-2005, 05:34 AM
Thanks deb for the PC :)

Q. You talked about the maturity of handling the situation. How much can you draw a correlation between what you have been through this last year and that change in perspective about things? Has it been strange to kind of have your life story boiled down to this little Hollywood type comeback? Does it feel accurate, realistic to you?

It gave me the hunger to want to succeed and want to continue working as hard as I possibly can to take advantage of this career. It also gave me the perspective that there's more to life. So when I'm down I'm not going to panic, I'm not going to get nervous, I'm not going to throw my racquet and whine and cry and say "Why me" or anything like that, because there's a lot worse things in life than loses a tennis match. I think that really helped.

J. Corwin
09-06-2005, 05:45 AM
James :worship: good luck in the quarters, but not too much! :);):angel:

09-06-2005, 07:30 AM
James seems to have found his mojo (thanks, American Express, for making everyone overuse this word now :sobbing: ) in this second set so hopefully he can make like a tree frog and just hang on. :p

Sorry for my ignorance,what's mojo? :scratch:
Well done James, :bigclap: I will cheer for Andre in the next match though. :p

09-06-2005, 08:30 AM
Hi, I'm a big fan of James. I heard that he has three half-brothers and one half-sister but he never talks about them. Can anybody give me some more info on this subject?

09-06-2005, 08:36 AM
james :worship:
pls take the title

09-06-2005, 11:32 AM
Well done James!!! :woohoo:

And now good luck against Agassi, you can do it!!!


Best of luck, James!!!

09-06-2005, 11:38 AM
Thanks Debstah for posting the press conference. He is a class act for me.

09-06-2005, 02:29 PM
you're welcome, guys :D Definitely, he is a class act. One of the most articulate guys on the tour IMO :)

Wow did you guys know that James is only the 2nd wildcard to ever make the USO QF? The other.... Jimmy Connors in 1991. :worship:

09-06-2005, 05:13 PM
you're welcome, guys :D Definitely, he is a class act. One of the most articulate guys on the tour IMO :)

Wow did you guys know that James is only the 2nd wildcard to ever make the USO QF? The other.... Jimmy Connors in 1991. :worship:
LOL well I can't say that Jimbo ever had much class! I really hope that James continues his quest here. Love and faith as I said before! ;)

09-06-2005, 07:11 PM
Mihret, I don't know all the details of his life but I'm friendly with his mother's first son from her previous marriage. We used to play tennis together -- very nice guy and very proud of James.

09-06-2005, 08:36 PM
James must be reaching new heights of greatness to now have his own hate threads in GM. :lol:

Keep on :drive: James. :D

09-06-2005, 08:38 PM
Let me guess, it's the same people who hate Roddick who are making these rubbish threads.

09-07-2005, 12:33 AM
Wednesday Order of Play

Arthur Ashe 7.00 PM Start

1. Women's Singles - Qtr. Finals
Elena Dementieva (RUS)[6] vs. Lindsay Davenport (USA)[2]

followed by
2. Men's Singles - Qtr. Finals
James Blake (USA) vs. Andre Agassi (USA)[7]

Go James!!! :bounce:

09-07-2005, 02:37 AM
Wow did you guys know that James is only the 2nd wildcard to ever make the USO QF? The other.... Jimmy Connors in 1991. :worship:
:rocker2: Rock on James!

09-07-2005, 11:29 AM
Hey, I just saw there was an article on James on www.tennisreporters.net but you have to be a subscriber to read it. Does anybody have access?

09-07-2005, 03:12 PM
here you go. Gee, she sounds like an awful human :o
Blake on his girlfriend, Hewitt 's marriage
Mary on papa Pierce, Hrbaty's shirt

FROM THE US OPEN – Oft-seen in James Blake's box this week on TV has been blond bomber Jennifer Scholle, his new squeeze. Blake met the 23-year-old University of South Florida grad at a Tampa Bay Bucs game last year, not long after his father died and he came down with shingles, forcing him to watch the Open on TV at home.

"I met her last year at one of the lower points," says Blake, whose face was partially paralyzed from the viral infection caused by stress.

The two-month-old romance took a while to heat up. They stayed in touch, even when Blake returned to the tour in Australia in January, then started to hang out together in Tampa when he came back stateside.

"She lives pretty close to me," says Blake, 25. "She's just really a special person. I'm happy she saw past my freakish face at the time and had such an open mind

09-07-2005, 05:21 PM
i hope james doesn't let his respect for andre get in the way of their match, he's definitely playing well enough right now to beat him, he needs this win so much more than andre does and i hope he takes advantage of this opportunity. good luck james!! :kiss:

09-07-2005, 07:43 PM

09-07-2005, 11:21 PM
I am such a big Agassi fan, but today I am torn by who to root for. My second favorite is Blake. So I tried to think who needs this more? Andre, the 35 yr. old man who is just searching probably for just one more grand slam to be one step above the others who got 8 slams as well. After coming over a horrible loss in RG and that bad back. I think, "Wow, I really hope Andre wins so he can be one step above them."

Then I think about Blake and his horrible year. He definetly deserves to win this slam as well. I would never have thought after all that last year he would come back better than ever! See how I am torn between my favorites?

I guess the only thing I can do is hope whoever wins tonights match goes on to win the slam itself.

Good Luck to both men. :hatoff:

09-08-2005, 12:35 AM
James must be reaching new heights of greatness to now have his own hate threads in GM. :lol:

Keep on :drive: James. :D

well robby seems to be getting them now too! he's been proving peoel wrong all week lets hope james can do it too! robby v james :)

09-08-2005, 03:22 AM
James leads 6-3 6-3 :woohoo: