James Blake is a good player but is not Slam material... [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

James Blake is a good player but is not Slam material...

Ace Tracker
08-08-2002, 09:59 AM
just IMHO, and I confess that I haven't followed Blake's game for long, but from what I've seen, I don't think he will ever be a force to be reckoned with in Grand Slams...a good player that will probably have a decent career and results, a la Andrei Pavel or MaliVai Washington for example, but hardly the Slam titlist and answer to Sampras and Agassi's retirement that the American Media is hopeing for...not trying to belittle the mentioned players' careers, but where Roddick's game still has lots of room for improvement, I think James is playing almost as good as he can right now...

Lindsayfan
08-08-2002, 10:58 AM
i dont think someone expects Blake to win a Slam...he's just a good player and a cute boy,not a phenomenon like Roddick

Nimi
08-08-2002, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Ace Tracker
just IMHO, and I confess that I haven't followed Blake's game for long, but from what I've seen, I don't think he will ever be a force to be reckoned with in Grand Slams...a good player that will probably have a decent career and results, a la Andrei Pavel or MaliVai Washington for example, but hardly the Slam titlist and answer to Sampras and Agassi's retirement that the American Media is hopeing for...not trying to belittle the mentioned players' careers, but where Roddick's game still has lots of room for improvement, I think James is playing almost as good as he can right now...

I completely agree :)

Pea
08-08-2002, 12:33 PM
If he wants to take it to the next level, I suggest he work on his footing. He has great shots, but he looked confused all the time when Juan Carlos ran him around.

tennischick
08-08-2002, 12:47 PM
not trying to belittle the mentioned players' careers, but where Roddick's game still has lots of room for improvement, I think James is playing almost as good as he can right now...

i disagree. both Roddick and james have room for improvement and actually James has shown more growth over the past year than Roddick. James a year ago had NO backhand. James a year later has an unreliable backhand. James next year will have a backhand with zing and consistency if he works on it. i'm not sure that he is Slam-worthy either but i think he will continue to steadily improve as he has been doing. nice discussion thread tho'. ;)

also i entirely agree with Pea. that's exactly what i said in the live thread last night as we were discussing the game. james just seemed confused. his footwork need to improve, also his strategising and occasional shot selection. sometimes he didn't expect the ball to come back. no professional tennis player ever assumes that the ball won't come back!

Andromeda
08-08-2002, 01:13 PM
James has only just started to play seriously on the tour. It would be a mistake to write him off this early. He is only twenty two and has a lot of years ahead of him. Look how long it has taken Haas to really start taking off. James has a similar game. He needs to work on his serve, and I agree with what tennischick said above about his footwork or lack thereof and his confusion. He has a lot of potential and he should not be written off.

TennisHack
08-08-2002, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by Ace Tracker
just IMHO, and I confess that I haven't followed Blake's game for long, but from what I've seen, I don't think he will ever be a force to be reckoned with in Grand Slams...a good player that will probably have a decent career and results, a la Andrei Pavel or MaliVai Washington for example, but hardly the Slam titlist and answer to Sampras and Agassi's retirement that the American Media is hopeing for...not trying to belittle the mentioned players' careers, but where Roddick's game still has lots of room for improvement, I think James is playing almost as good as he can right now...

You have got to be kidding me. This is only his second year on tour!! Of course he's not playing Slam-worthy tennis right now, but give him a few years and he could do some damage. TC had some good points with his footwork, and he also needs match confidence. He turned it on last night in the third set but couldn't get over his frustration at making so many unforced errors as well as hard serves & groundies.

Lily
08-08-2002, 05:30 PM
These young guys need time to develop (mentally, physically) There's too much pressure and media put on them. Roddick, Blake, Federer. They'll win a Slam when and if they're ready. And they're all improving, especially Blake just in the last year. Not everyone is going to be a Hewitt and win a Slam by the time they're 21. Anyway, someone said not too long ago that both Agassi and Sampras won most of their Slams after the age of 25. Patience!

mboyle1988
08-08-2002, 11:49 PM
As much as everyone on this board is unnecessarily vicious to poor Andy (that is ok because he is the second most popular tennis player on the planet after Agassi) he really is the best young player America has, and really has the game to win grand slams (ok not Roland Garros but all the others). James also has lots of room for improvement. I don't think that you can really write any player off as a threat until everything is said and done and they have retired. (especially the men's tour where upsets are the norm). GO USA~

Pea
08-08-2002, 11:54 PM
I thought this thread is about James.:rolleyes:

Merton
12-20-2007, 12:36 AM
BUMP.

Interesting thread. This was at the end of 2002, the media was looking for the successors of Sampras/Agassi. Andy was written off at the time since he didn't perform well enough in the slams in 2002 and James was the next big thing. I think that the prediction of the thread starter is safe.

Merton
12-20-2007, 12:38 AM
i disagree. both Roddick and james have room for improvement and actually James has shown more growth over the past year than Roddick. James a year ago had NO backhand. James a year later has an unreliable backhand. James next year will have a backhand with zing and consistency if he works on it. i'm not sure that he is Slam-worthy either but i think he will continue to steadily improve as he has been doing. nice discussion thread tho'. ;)

also i entirely agree with Pea. that's exactly what i said in the live thread last night as we were discussing the game. james just seemed confused. his footwork need to improve, also his strategising and occasional shot selection. sometimes he didn't expect the ball to come back. no professional tennis player ever assumes that the ball won't come back!

Injuries came to play after 2002 but James did improve in 2005-2006. The backhand got "zing" but "James backhand" and "consistency" do not belong together in the same sentence.

jan-moline
12-22-2007, 07:26 PM
The thread starter was quite prescient five years ago.

Asked to describe his game, Blake says he is a shotmaker. His game plan is to look for every opportunity to hit a winner. It's a low-percentage game and not likely to produce a winning run to a Major or Master Series title. When things aren't going well in a match Blake never seems to adjust his game and implement a Plan-B. You would think a Harvard-educated intelligent player would adjust better, wouldn't you? (A memorable exception to this tendency seems to be his memorable 5 setter against the Magician at the last US Open.)

Blake also lacks the mental strength and confidence to come back when he's down in a match. In the last couple years the support of the J-Block and/or his Davis Cup coach and team mates can keep him from mentally beating himself up. Absent that support the pattern reappears.

Blake has retained his childhood coach throughout his career. His loyalty is admirable. I occasionally wonder if he might have done better if he'd had some top rank coaching. The best players seem to seek and benefit from great coaching.

My final frustration applies to the entire American field. They have a stubborn resistance to improving their skills on surfaces other than hard courts. If players like Moya and Ferrer can learn to successfully adapt their game to hard courts, it's difficult to understand why the Americans can't also adapt to other surfaces. :confused:

It's fun to watch Blake when he's hitting alot of winners but I doubt we'll ever put him on a list of players who developed and maximized their natural talents.

prima donna
12-22-2007, 09:57 PM
Thanks for stating the obvious!

The sun rises from the east; anything you can do, I can do better than you.

keqtqiadv
12-23-2007, 12:21 AM
:lol:

Kolya
12-23-2007, 04:52 AM
Good thing for James is that we did improve a lot since 2002.

jcempire
12-23-2007, 11:07 PM
just IMHO, and I confess that I haven't followed Blake's game for long, but from what I've seen, I don't think he will ever be a force to be reckoned with in Grand Slams...a good player that will probably have a decent career and results, a la Andrei Pavel or MaliVai Washington for example, but hardly the Slam titlist and answer to Sampras and Agassi's retirement that the American Media is hopeing for...not trying to belittle the mentioned players' careers, but where Roddick's game still has lots of room for improvement, I think James is playing almost as good as he can right now...

AGREE. 5-SET MATCH IS NOT HIS FAVORITE

CyBorg
12-24-2007, 12:17 AM
Thanks for stating the obvious!

The sun rises from the east; anything you can do, I can do better than you.

Read the thread... carefully.

prima donna
12-24-2007, 12:39 AM
Read the thread... carefully.

It was just as obvious then as it is now. Learn to understand the beauty of irony.

dragons112
12-24-2007, 06:02 AM
just IMHO, and I confess that I haven't followed Blake's game for long, but from what I've seen, I don't think he will ever be a force to be reckoned with in Grand Slams...a good player that will probably have a decent career and results, a la Andrei Pavel or MaliVai Washington for example, but hardly the Slam titlist and answer to Sampras and Agassi's retirement that the American Media is hopeing for...not trying to belittle the mentioned players' careers, but where Roddick's game still has lots of room for improvement, I think James is playing almost as good as he can right now...

If he had a effective slice backhand it would relief so much pressure for him to be powerful. He would bein the top 5

Monteque
12-24-2007, 06:15 AM
He is the rusty material but not the rustiest:devil: just like all players of his generation except Roddick (Fish, Kim, Dent, Kendrick, Gineori, Gimel) so at least USTA still looking him as a rusty useful material.

FedererSlam
12-24-2007, 10:17 AM
IMO he hasn't got the mental toughness to win a slam. He is also very easily undone by variety because of his style of play.

dl05
12-24-2007, 10:40 AM
I dont ever think the tennis world expects Blake to win a slam anytime soon. He's definitely improved so much over the last couple of years( albeit his mediocre 2007 didnt exactly do him any favours ranking wise), but he's been a top player in those years nonetheless.

If you were to watch tennis for the first time, you'd probably question why he hasnt won a slam yet. I mean he has a ballistic forehand, superb footspeed and let's face it- is physically in extremely good shape. However, blake has very major flaws that hold him back in matches, particulary at Slam level:

1) Serve can lose it's consistency, and generally his serving % isnt that impressive anyway, so it really hampers him against the likes of Federer, Djokovic etc.

2) So mentally fragile in big matches IMO. Evidence being his extremely poor record in five set matches where he just cant finish the match off e.g. against Agassi and Haas at the US Open in 2005 and 07.

3) His shot selection is questionable. I do feel his game has become more structured in recent years(largely building on constructing the point with the serve and the forehand), but he is prone to very bizarre thought processes. Still has that flashy exuberance of 2002/03, which he still turns into sometimes.The backhand starts sparying errors etc.


Dont get me wrong, i think Blake is a good player and has done so well to break into the top 10 when you consider his personal tragedies and potentially life-threatening injuries, but i feel Blake will never be a 'great' player. However it's no disgrace, as he's living a career far beyond what people would've thought 5 years ago. Unfortunately for Blake, a slam is out of the question IMO.

nevenez
05-04-2011, 12:51 PM
just IMHO, and I confess that I haven't followed Blake's game for long, but from what I've seen, I don't think he will ever be a force to be reckoned with in Grand Slams...a good player that will probably have a decent career and results, a la Andrei Pavel or MaliVai Washington for example, but hardly the Slam titlist and answer to Sampras and Agassi's retirement that the American Media is hopeing for...not trying to belittle the mentioned players' careers, but where Roddick's game still has lots of room for improvement, I think James is playing almost as good as he can right now...

8 years later we can say that you were Right

barbadosan
05-04-2011, 01:06 PM
8 years later we can say that you were Right

For heavens sake, if by slam material you mean winning a slam, how many people HAVE been slam material since then, and after 2003??? It's not like there were dozens of candidates breaking down the door and winning slams, unless they were mostly called Federer and Nadal

OnyxRose
05-04-2011, 01:06 PM
Seriously, dude. Go read a book if you're bored.

nevenez
05-04-2011, 01:17 PM
For heavens sake, if by slam material you mean winning a slam, how many people HAVE been slam material since then, and after 2003??? It's not like there were dozens of candidates breaking down the door and winning slams, unless they were mostly called Federer and Nadal
For me Slam material means arriving at Slam SF with consistency.

tennisfan856
05-04-2011, 01:31 PM
8 years later we can say that you were Right

I am sure the poster whose last post was 6 years ago will appreciate this pat on the back.

Fumus
05-04-2011, 02:33 PM
I am sure the poster whose last post was 6 years ago will appreciate this pat on the back.

Especially coming from the poster who has contributed such great threads to MTF as "Boobs or Ass" and "What's your IQ?"

Mods, can we please lock these ancient troll threads so they never see the light of day again?

nevenez
05-04-2011, 02:37 PM
So you think i'm a troll?
Seems that people are making wrong assumptions.

guichard
05-04-2011, 02:39 PM
For me Slam material means arriving at Slam SF with consistency.
Even then it is what 4-8 players since 2003 if we are generous.

nevenez
05-04-2011, 02:45 PM
Even then it is what 4-8 players since 2003 if we are generous.
That seems a pretty good number.
Slams aren't for everyone, if they were for everyone this would mean that the general level was pretty low.

timafi
05-04-2011, 03:45 PM
NEVER was!

evilmindbulgaria
05-04-2011, 07:25 PM
His best chance was USO'05. I still can't believe he choked that final set to Agassi!

Sham Kay
05-04-2011, 07:56 PM
I am sure the poster whose last post was 6 years ago will appreciate this pat on the back.

I'm sure the poster sneezed his approval.

Sham Kay
05-04-2011, 07:57 PM
i dont think someone expects Blake to win a Slam...he's just a good player and a cute boy,not a phenomenon like Roddick
Hear that? Roddick a phenomenon, and not an eyelid was batted.

Good times.

Lopez
05-04-2011, 08:04 PM
Nevenez bumping old threads all over the place... What's up bro?