Blake insists US tennis not on the decline [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Blake insists US tennis not on the decline

WhataQT
09-29-2006, 09:31 PM
Blake insists US tennis not on the decline
By Martin Petty

BANGKOK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The previous generation of American tennis players are a tough act to follow, but James Blake insists standards will not drop now that Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi are out of the picture.

"It seems most people think it's not going well because Agassi and Sampras have retired but I don't think there are any other countries in the world with two players inside the top 10," Blake told a news conference.

"Andy (Roddick) is just 24, playing great tennis... I've continued to improve, and there's no sign of that stopping. I like the way American tennis is looking right now."

New Yorker Blake, 26, admits it is difficult following in the footsteps of multiple grand slam winners Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras, but says he and Roddick are up to the challenge.

"I think it's a tough situation we're in," he said. "American tennis fans are a little spoilt. Agassi, Courier, Sampras, Connors -- that's the best generation of tennis players from one country ever.

"They're so used to having an American in a grand slam or masters final every time and it's tough to compete with that."

Roddick was the only American man or woman to reach a grand slam final in 2006.

Blake, ranked ninth in the world, has won three tour titles this year at Indianapolis, Las Vegas and Sydney while sixth-ranked Roddick has won once at the Cincinnati Masters.

TOUGH ACT
Blake -- who advanced to the Thailand Open quarter-finals on Thursday after his second straight sets victory in 24 hours -- said the new generation of U.S. players was coping well with the pressure.

He said if world number one Roger Federer takes a stumble, he and Roddick will be in with a shot at the major titles.

"A lot of people are making Andy and I out to be the next Sampras or Agassi," he said.

"It's a tough act to follow. We're doing our best and handling the pressure.

"Andy has as good a chance as anyone other than Roger (Federer) to win grand slams and I'm in that boat of guys who have an opportunity if Roger finally falters or has off days."

Blake said world tennis had moved on since the days when Americans dominated the sport, and the lack of U.S. title winners was a sign that the global game was fast improving.

"It's tough because everyone expects Americans to be a success no matter what in this sport," he said.

"There are too many guys from other countries now, making it tougher to deal with.

"But outside the dominant two players in the world, Andy and I are right there," he added.

El Legenda
09-29-2006, 09:41 PM
Blake is a huge :retard:

Naranoc
09-29-2006, 09:43 PM
Well he would, wouldn't he? Still, there's always Young in the future. :D

GlennMirnyi
09-29-2006, 09:44 PM
He's wrong. But it would be hard to get any better than Sampras and Agassi.

neenah
09-29-2006, 09:44 PM
"It seems most people think it's not going well because Agassi and Sampras have retired but I don't think there are any other countries in the world with two players inside the top 10," Blake told a news conference.

Spain has Rafa and Robredo.. Unless I'm understanding his statement wrong??

GlennMirnyi
09-29-2006, 09:46 PM
Spain has Rafa and Robredo.. Unless I'm understanding his statement wrong??

Even Blake knows Robredo isn't a real top 10. ;)

euroka1
09-29-2006, 10:03 PM
James is the nicest of people saying the nicest things about his teammates. But you never hear much said in the opposite direction. He deserves all of his success.

DrJules
09-29-2006, 10:06 PM
"It seems most people think it's not going well because Agassi and Sampras have retired but I don't think there are any other countries in the world with two players inside the top 10," Blake told a news conference.
[/B]

Considering only one other country has 2 players in the top 10, Spain, and no country has 3, I suppose he has very valid point that the US is doing well.

If people say the US is doing badly what does that say about every country other than Switzerland, who have the world number one, and Spain, the only other country with 2 top 10 players?

DrJules
09-29-2006, 10:09 PM
Even Blake knows Robredo isn't a real top 10. ;)

It will be interesting to see how many matches/sets Robredo wins at the year end masters. Sadly I feel like Gaudio and Coria he is probably just making up the numbers and will be outclassed.

markom
09-29-2006, 10:14 PM
Considering only one other country has 2 players in the top 10, Spain, and no country has 3, I suppose he has very valid point that the US is doing well.

If people say the US is doing badly what does that say about every country other than Switzerland, who have the world number one, and Spain, the only other country with 2 top 10 players?

soon it`ll be again spain2 , croatia 2 , usa 1

GlennMirnyi
09-29-2006, 10:16 PM
It will be interesting to see how many matches/sets Robredo wins at the year end masters. Sadly I feel like Gaudio and Coria he is probably just making up the numbers and will be outclassed.

If everything goes right, he's not even going there. Maybe as an alternate.

gogogirl
09-29-2006, 11:55 PM
Hey All,

I agree w/James as it pertains to the number of players the Americans have in the top ten. It is what it is.

Surely - it's fair for some to have debates about whom they think should be there - but two Americans are. If some don't like the game of this or that player - or the player himself - then that's ok too - but should it cloud all judgments? I believe that for the most part, a player deserves to win or lose any given match by the way the match played out - so in totality - the rankings will show where they end up and where they deserve to be.

Where are the James Blake fans on this board? Are there any? I see threads made about this player's win or that one's - but not James'. Didn't he win today? And isn't he trying to qualify for the last eight?

As it pertains to his match against Safin last Sunday and their matchup tomorrow - it will be a toss up IMO. James and he went to two tie breaks in Washington - and J. B. won the one last Sunday. I agree that Marat didn't play with the intensity he displayed against Roddick - but wasn't he out there trying to win? I saw the match and he was trying to win. There were just a few points that separated the two in both sets and just like in Washington. And wasn't J. B. trying to win last Sunday? If neither were - then they should have offered up a walkover. In other words - here lately - they play each other tight; which makes for an interesting match.

I don't know who'll win - but I love tennis and have no diversions - as it pertains to whom I like and don't like. Don't we all just want to see good tennis? Why are some so hard up that they have to love this one and hate that one? I don't get it and never will. And not to say that we don't have our faves, but it is not about life or death or 'Healing The World.'

May the player that plays the best tennis and has whatever else it takes to win tomorrow - to include all the luck in the world - win. And I'm pulling for James since Marat has no chance to make the last eight.

Btw - I like Marat a lot, and to me - Malisse - reminds me of him when he jumps in the air to hit a ball - and both like - a.k.a. Rios.

Neely
09-30-2006, 12:44 AM
Generally I agree with Blake that US tennis should not worry too much now that Agassi and Sampras are gone since it would be difficult for every other upcoming generation to deal with such a burden of successful players before their time (look at Germany with Kiefer and Haas who have Becker and Stich all over their careers, due to public expectations. It can be ugly). I'm not well informed about the state of American junior tennis though, this would be another question if you look what could next come when Blake and Roddick are 30 or already retired. Predications about how Young or Jenkins could fare the next years are hard to make.

"It's tough because everyone expects Americans to be a success no matter what in this sport," he said.
Correct

"But outside the dominant two players in the world, Andy and I are right there," he added.
Not right there, but at least top ten which only Spain as the other nation can say it holds two players in the top 10.

16681
09-30-2006, 12:55 AM
I think why people think U.S. Tennis is in decline is because back some years ago there weren't the number of countries that even had tennis players that there are now. Plus the quality of play from other countries' players have really improved. It isn't so much that the U.S. has declined as it is the fact that other countries have caught up to us and even in some cases maybe they have past the U.S. in talent at this time.

euroka1
09-30-2006, 01:20 AM
Generally I agree with Blake that US tennis should not worry too much now that Agassi and Sampras are gone since it would be difficult for every other upcoming generation to deal with such a burden of successful players before their time (look at Germany with Kiefer and Haas who have Becker and Stich all over their careers, due to public expectations. It can be ugly). I'm not well informed about the state of American junior tennis though, this would be another question if you look what could next come when Blake and Roddick are 30 or already retired. Predications about how Young or Jenkins could fare the next years are hard to make.

Sam Querry is the one to watch!

MarieS
09-30-2006, 01:36 AM
'80s: connors and john mcenroe (combined 16 GSs I believe)
'90s: Sampras,Agassi, Courier, and Chang (combined 27 GSs)
2000s: Blake and Roddick (combined 1 GS)

By definition, American tennis is on the decline. What's Blake's point again?

atheneglaukopis
09-30-2006, 03:05 AM
'80s: connors and john mcenroe (combined 16 GSs I believe)
'90s: Sampras,Agassi, Courier, and Chang (combined 27 GSs)
2000s: Blake and Roddick (combined 1 GS)

By definition, American tennis is on the decline. What's Blake's point again?This is what I was thinking exactly.

Merton
09-30-2006, 03:21 AM
It is impossible to have every generation as successful as the Sampras-Agassi-Courier-Chang one. Something similar happened to the US tennis before, when Connors and JMac were no longer at the top. I think that the US men didn't get a slam from US Open 1984 until French Open 1989.

TennisAgenda
09-30-2006, 03:48 AM
James Blake is a loser and I believe he and Roddick are in different categories. At least Roddick has ONE SLAM and reached FOUR FINALS in the past FOUR YEARS. What has Blake done? Oops I forgot to mention Blake has NEVER gotten past a slam quaterfinal. Blake has NEVER won a Masters series titles. I believe to win slams its a building process and as for Blake he just can't seem to get past the quaterfinal stage. He's talented sure but he sure is stupid on the court. His serve is crap, he hits returns and goes for winners on every single shot. He doesn't think on the court. And he's not as good as Roddick. I think the American media are a bit desperate here. Its obvious that Roddick and Blake aren't as talented as Federer. I won't include Nadal because I believe he's just a clay court specialist. Yeah he won some hard titles last year but so what. That was last year. This year 7 of Nadal's losses were on faster surfaces. And six were on hardcourts. I also do not believe Nadal is the most talented out of all those young players. I believe he is good. But I think Murray or Gasquet will turn out to be the superior champions in the end.

DrJules
09-30-2006, 08:06 AM
'80s: connors and john mcenroe (combined 16 GSs I believe)
'90s: Sampras,Agassi, Courier, and Chang (combined 27 GSs)
2000s: Blake and Roddick (combined 1 GS)

By definition, American tennis is on the decline. What's Blake's point again?

Actually by decade for those players:

70's: 11 (Connors 5, McEnroe 1, Smith 2, Ashe 1, Tanner 1, Gerulaitus 1)
80's: 10 (Connors 3, McEnroe 6, Teacher 1)
90's: 22 (Sampras 12, Agassi 5, Courier 4, Chang 1)
00's: 6 (Sampras 2, Agassi 3, Roddick 1) - still 3 years to go in decade.

In reality a decade like the 90's are unexpected with one nation so dominant in a global sport and even more so now the sport is even more global.

Even if you consider grand slams from 00 onwards only the 9 won by Federer exceed the total number of grand slam titles won by US players. Spain and Argentina despite their supposed strength in tennis in the decade 00' have only won 4 and 1 respectively.

tangerine_dream
09-30-2006, 04:54 PM
The only reason the media thinks US tennis is in "decline" is because the Americans are no longer dominating as we've done for generations. That hardly means we're in "decline." Having two guys in the top ten is pretty good, imo.

MisterQ
09-30-2006, 06:03 PM
Actually by decade for those players:

70's: 11 (Connors 5, McEnroe 1, Smith 2, Ashe 1, Tanner 1, Gerulaitus 1)
80's: 10 (Connors 3, McEnroe 6, Teacher 1)
90's: 22 (Sampras 12, Agassi 5, Courier 4, Chang 1)
00's: 6 (Sampras 2, Agassi 3, Roddick 1) - still 3 years to go in decade.

In reality a decade like the 90's are unexpected with one nation so dominant in a global sport and even more so now the sport is even more global.

Even if you consider grand slams from 00 onwards only the 9 won by Federer exceed the total number of grand slam titles won by US players. Spain and Argentina despite their supposed strength in tennis in the decade 00' have only won 4 and 1 respectively.

Thanks for the numbers. :)

But to be picky, Chang won his slam in the 80s. ;)