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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-18-2010 08:15 PM
Re: James News! is reporting that James has some sort of endorsement deal with Full Tilt Poker to be a "Friend of Full Tilt."

I'm wondering what took so long for him to do this.
08-12-2010 04:48 PM
Re: James News!

Wow, good to hear that! But on the other hand, step by step we are closer to the end of James' career
08-11-2010 10:47 PM
Re: James News!

I was looking on the US Open website today for something, and I discovered that James will be one of the people honored on opening night!

2010 US Open Opening Night celebrates those who dream, succeed and inspire
August 5, 2010 12:27 PM

The Opening Night Ceremony for the 2010 US Open will celebrate those who Dream, Succeed and Inspire. The night will feature tributes to tennis greats Martina Navratilova and James Blake, wheelchair tennis star Esther Vergeer and USTA member Dori Samadzai-Bonner, who has embraced tennis since coming to this country from her native Afghanistan. The primetime ceremony will be hosted by Christiane Amanpour, host of ABC News’ “This Week,” and will feature a special musical performance by award-winning performer Gloria Estefan.

Navratilova, a four-time US Open singles champion and the most prolific winner in the history of the sport, recently defeated her toughest opponent in breast cancer. Born in Czechoslovakia, Navratilova sought political asylum in the U.S. in 1975, then changed the face of women’s tennis with an aggressive game and an inspirational desire to be the best. Navratilova brought this same zeal to her fight with cancer and will put an exclamation mark on her triumph when she climbs Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro in December.

Blake, a long-time US Open fan favorite and Davis Cup champion, grew up with scoliosis, which forced him to wear a back brace for 18 hours a day as a youth, and later made a triumphant return to the men’s tour after he fractured his neck in 2004 when he collided with a net post during practice. Blake has been a professional tennis player since 1999, when he left Harvard to pursue his dream of becoming a professional tennis player.

Vergeer, perhaps the most dominant female athlete in all of sports, has been confined to a wheelchair since the age of eight, when she lost the ability to use her legs after undergoing surgery for a spinal defect and brain hemorrhage. She began playing wheelchair tennis at age 12 and has not lost a singles match since January 2003, an incredible unbeaten streak of 390 matches. She will look to continue her inspirational streak by successfully defending her singles and doubles titles at the 2010 US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition, which will be held Sept. 9-12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Samadzai-Bonner grew up in Afghanistan, where girls were barred from taking parts in sports of any kind. She dreamed of coming to America and succeeded after a lengthy trip that brought her here via stops in India and Thailand. Now a resident of Montgomery, Ala., and a USTA member, she discovered tennis as a senior in high school and has been playing ever since. “Tennis instantaneously became my escape from the years of misery I lived through simply because I was born a girl,” she says.

Following the on-court tribute to the four inspirational individuals, seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan will perform the inspiring song, “Reach,” which was written as the official theme song to the XXVI Olympic Games. The song is a fitting capstone to this special night. Estefan’s own story is one of dreams, success and inspiration, as she immigrated to the United States from her native Cuba and came back from a life-threatening accident to become one of the most revered Hispanic female role models. Estefan has received numerous recognitions and honors, and in 1992, she was invited by President George Bush to serve as a public member of the United States Delegation to the 47th General Assembly to the United Nations. In addition, she was the first-ever Latin female to receive the BMI “Songwriter of the Year” award. Estefan sold over 90 million albums world-wide and has composed 15 of her own top-10 hits. She has written international hit songs recorded by renowned artists, such as Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
07-25-2010 11:29 PM
Re: James News!

James answered some fan questions today from the ATP facebook page -->

Q: Viki_cro: Is it easier to play now that you are out of spotlight, with andy, isner, and querry being american top3
A: That doesnít really change my outlook. Iím always trying to do the best that I can, regardless of what anyone else around me is doing. If theyíre playing better than me I can just tip my cap to them and try to get on the practice court and work harder and try to improve my game.

Q: jinglot25: What are your thoughts on lady gaga!!
A: [Laughs] I really donít have many! I donít know too many of her songs. I know that sheís always in the news and I think she does a lot of things to get attention, but she hasnít got a lot of my attention!

Q: jinglot25: What do you want to do after tennis? Go back to harvard?
A: Thatís a good question. Iíd love to go back and finish at Harvard. I donít know if Iíd like to stay in tennis. Iíd possibly love to open a tennis club in my hometown, Fairfield Connecticut, or maybe up in Boston where I know I could hopefully have a positive impact on kidsí lives. If I get out of tennis then I donít know what Iíd do. Possibly go into politics, but at a very local level if I did that.Ē

Q: Richard Remschel / Chiara Orlandi: What do you do in your free time?
A: I love playing golf. Iím still not very good at it, but I love playing. I play a lot of cards too, a lot of Poker and Hearts with the guys on the road.

Q: Clint Gay: What is your favorite fan moment from your career?
A: My first ever Davis Cup when we played India. Some of the kids that were watching made a big poster and it had my score from my first match and everything. My mom actually got it framed and I still have that poster from the sign that those kids made.

Q: Mecca Jan Lewis: Biggest perk of being pro tennis player?
A: Going to work in a t-shirt and shorts, thatís pretty good! Not having a real 9-5 job and getting to be comfortable most of the year.

Q: Mecca Jan Lewis: How do u give back?
A: Iíve got a foundation thatís a cancer research fund. All the money raised goes to cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital. Itís something thatís near and dear to my family. I feel like if you get the chance to attack cancer early it gives that person a fighting chance against it and hopefully I can save a lot of lives.

Q: Gina Christoforou: What is your proudest or most memorable moment in your career so far?
A: Probably the proudest and most memorable was winning Davis Cup in í07. Weíd been through a lot of wins, a lot of losses, but we really had that goal in mind for many years and to accomplish it together, and all of us be a part of it, really was special to me.

Q: Linda-Carlisle Cullen: With all your previous injuries, health problems etc. - how have you managed to stay so positive and return to the game time after time with renewed enthusiasm and determination ??
A: Well, I just know how lucky I am to be doing what Iím doing and to be given these chances. I know that at anytime it could be taken away with injuries, illness, getting older and not being able to compete at this levelÖ So I just realise how lucky I am and try to appreciate every part of it. What makes it easy for me is that I love the hard work; itís actually fun for me.

Q: Katerina Weekend Holiday: Who is your favourite female tennis player, in terms of game and personality???
A: Iíve got to go with Serena. Sheís a good friend of mine and if I didnít say it she might beat me up!

Q: Lina Horani: when you beat roger at the olympic games is this match your best in your whole career ?
A: Thatís one of the best matches Iíve played in my whole career, definitely. Roger is, in my opinion, so far the best of all time. So to beat him at such a big stage, where heís put all his efforts into preparing for that tournamentÖ For me to go there and beat the best in the world was something Iíll always remember and itís something that definitely proved I could play some pretty good tennis.

Q: Chris Fava: Why do u think its good luck not to shave your beard during a tourney?
A: I have no idea! I think itís just silly superstitions and they usually start with whatever I do at the beginning of the week and thatís just one that Iíve always had.

Q: Vikram Rao: what were you majoring in when you were in Harvard?
A: Economics.
03-10-2010 07:06 PM
Re: James News!

Biofile with James Blake

Published by Scoop Malinowski on January 3, 2010

Status: Former world #4 in ATP rankings. Member of 2007 U.S. Davis Cup-winning team.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 170

DOB: December 28, 1979 In: Yonkers, NY

Childhood Heroes: “Michael Jordan impressed me with how he got ready for every game. And he had to show everyone he was the best every time he stepped on that court. In tennis I liked all the Americans like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete, Andre, Jim Courier, Todd Martin. I liked Stefan Edberg too, how he carried himself on the court. My father really liked watching him too.”

Nicknames: “Junior. JB. Squirt Gun – luckily that was short-lived. On the Harvard team, most of the guys had nicknames. One guy gave most of the guys their nicknames. And my brother (Thomas) was Tommy Gun. So the first time I came up for a visit – I was 5′ 4″, a little kid – and so they called me Squirt Gun.”

Hobbies/Interests: “Play golf – I’m not that good but it’s a lot of fun. Play some basketball. Poker.”

Favorite Movies: “Braveheart, Good Will Hunting.” Musical Tastes: “R&B, rap, classic rock, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Notorious B.I.G, Tupac, Master P, Snoop Doggy Dogg, John Mayer, Brandy, R Kelly.”

Early Tennis Memory: “Hmmm, let’s see. Winning my first New England Open when I was 11, at Brown University in Rhode Island. I was really happy. At the time it seemed so important.”

Childhood Dream: “Being at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon or the French Open. Things I dreamed about. I’d go to the U.S. Open every year as a kid. One or two years I might have even snuck in! First Job: “Paperboy for the Bridgeport Post (age 10). I did it for five years. That was a lot of fun. My brother and I shared the route.”

First Car: “Hand-me-down from my brother, which was already bought used. A 1987 crimson Toyota Celica with dents all over it. The stereo barely worked. Put a sticker on it and called it The Harvard Mobile.”

Current Car: “Mercedes.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “The first time Thomas and I played doubles together was at the U.S. Open in qualies (‘97). We didn’t think we were gonna get a wildcard. So we were actually out on the first tee, ready to tee off, in Trumbull, CT. And I didn’t even think to call down to see if we got a wildcard. And we were playing with my coach and another Harvard teammate. And they said, ‘You might as well just call before we go out.’ So I call down and go back and tell them I think we might only get in nine holes because we have to be down in New York in an hour and a half. They thought I was kidding. So we have to run to the car, run home and change into our clothes. We flew down here. We ended up getting down and the match was delayed. We didn’t even think we were gonna play. We ended up playing a great match, we lost 7-6 in the third to Davide Sanguinetti and another player I forget his name. And it was a lot of fun.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “Try to get a gameplan pretty early. Before I go out to a match, I think about how I’m going to play and think about the feeling of winning it. I always want to think about that feeling. So it’s never a surprise. I don’t want to be surprised to win.”

Favorite Meal: “Just pizza.”

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Golden Grahams.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Double fudge brownie.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Was probably winning the Davis Cup. I was really proud of that because I had always dreamed of being a part of a Davis Cup team. And when you’re playing for your country it’s a really different feeling when you know it’s not just for yourself, your family or your bank account or whatever. It’s for something more important. And my first Davis Cup match was exciting for me to beat Leander Paes in 2001. Especially a couple of months after 9/11. ”

Most Painful Moment: “It might’ve been losing that match in 2001 to Lleyton Hewitt at the U.S. Open. More physically painful because I was throwing up and cramping on the court. And I really felt like that was when I was playing some good tennis and could’ve maybe gone further when no one really knew much about me at that point. And I was just breaking on to the tennis scene and it would have been nice to have that win.”

Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Americans in tennis – Sampras, Agassi, Roddick, Todd Martin – he was always kind of a favorite of mine. Randy Moss. Shaq – incredible. The Mets. Tiger Woods. Roy Jones Jr. Tyson back in the day. Just ran through people. Women’s tennis? I can’t say I follow it that much. But maybe I did like watching Steffi Graf. Seemed like a really great person and someone that was going to be nice no matter what happened. A great champion. Another great champion was Patrick Rafter. He’s a class act, someone I admire a lot. I played him three or four years ago in (3rd round at) Cincinnati (lost 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 after defeating Arnaud Clement and Julien Boutter). After the match, he was telling me, ‘You could have beaten me today. You could beat me on any given day. It’s just that maybe you didn’t believe you could.’ For him to say that to me…he didn’t need to. He could have just said he played horribly. He was worrying about playing the rest of the tournament, he had a million friends in the locker room, not like he needed one more. He was just helping out a kid that was struggling with his confidence. He really helped me a lot that day. Until then I didn’t feel that I belonged on the ATP Tour at all. After that, I started thinking, Maybe he’s right, maybe I do belong out here. Now I realize I can play with those guys. Patrick really made a difference in my career.”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “Was probably that same match with Lleyton, when I threw up in front of 10,000 people in Louie Armstrong (stadium). And then had my friends from college send me the links to where it was on the internet, the picture of me throwing up on the court, so [smiles]. That was probably my most embarrassing time.”

Closest Tennis Friends: “Mardy Fish is probably my best friend on the tour, he lives right around the corner from me. Then Robby (Ginepri) and Andy (Roddick) and the Bryan twins are all real good friends too.”

Funniest Players: “Mardy. He’s a riot. He keeps me laughing all the time.”

Toughest Competitor: “I’d say probably Andy Roddick is on my list of toughest competitors. Because he’s a guy that has a huge serve. And a lot of guys like that kinda take it easy if they’re holding (serve) easy. He never gives you free points. He works hard for everything. Never gives up. He’s an unbelievable competitor.”

Favorite Tournament: “U.S. Open is definitely my favorite. Being so close to home where I grew up. I’ve been a fan of this tournament since I can remember. Playing in the Pilot Pen (New Haven) is fun just because I get to stay home, it’s really exciting to have so many friends and family there too. And otherwise, foreign tournaments – I’d say the Australian Open. Because the fans are great. The people there, the beaches are nice, everything about that place is pretty fun. And we stay in a casino so that helps too [smiles].”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Honesty. Someone who’s gonna be with you from beginning to end no matter what happens. Someone you can always count on.”

02-11-2010 10:54 PM
Re: James News!

James is playing World Team Tennis this summer.
He was picked for the Boston Lobsters in today's marquee player draft. It looks like he will play 2 matches - one at home, and one away vs the New York Sportimes.

Marquee draft info -->
10-26-2009 05:11 AM
Re: James News!

Originally Posted by knightley View Post
James will be on LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON on Friday.
10-08-2009 09:12 PM
Re: James News!

I found an article on regarding the coaching change -->

Blake finishing '09 with Jones as coach
By Bonnie D. Ford
Updated: October 8, 2009, 11:13 AM ET

One of tennis' most enduring player-coach tandems may have run its course.

No. 24 James Blake, struggling to regain the form that kept him in the top 10 for much of a three-season stretch from 2006 to 2008, said he and lifelong coach Brian Barker mutually decided that Barker would stop traveling with him after the U.S. Open.

Blake is finishing the 2009 campaign with longtime friend Kelly Jones, a former pro who has worked with other top Americans, including Mardy Fish and John Isner.

Barker has coached the 29-year-old Blake for 17 years, helping develop him from an erratic, hot-tempered club player to an accomplished pro. Blake, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the second round of the China Open in Beijing on Thursday, told the parting was amicable and the strong bond between the two remains intact.

"It's not like we're ending our relationship," Blake said by telephone from Beijing. "We're still good friends, which will never change. Right now we both feel like I need to hear some things from a different voice. Kelly's been close to both of us for a long time, and he's a perfect fit for now. If things go well with him, everyone's happy. Brian wants nothing but the best for me. If they don't, then I go back to Brian and we know there's a reason I'm back. It was just time to take a little break and see how it goes with someone else.''

Blake splits his time between Tampa and his childhood home of Fairfield, Conn., near the town where Barker is based. The two say they will continue to work together when Blake is in Connecticut.

Barker said he encouraged Blake to make a change.

"I told him that the most important thing in his tennis career is to have a clear head and peace of mind for the rest of your life that you did everything you possibly could to get better, maximize your potential and not leave anything on the table," Barker said Thursday. "He eventually agreed that was a good idea."

Barker added that he and Jones have similar philosophies and expects Blake to "hear the same things in a different way ... Sometimes when you're not playing your best, the thinking is that you stir the pot. You put your hat on backwards. There are no guarantees, but you need to look at every option."

Blake came back from a serious neck injury, illness and the draining death of his father in 2004 to win nine ATP tournaments from 2005 to 2007 and hit a career-high No. 4 ranking at the end of 2006. Popular in the locker room, Blake attended Harvard for two years and his autobiography "Breaking Back,'' co-written with Andrew Friedman, cracked the New York Times best-seller list.

A perennial starter in an unusually stable U.S. Davis Cup lineup, Blake was part of the 2007 championship team, but he has yet to advance past the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event. Blake is 22-18 in 2009 and reached two finals -- on clay in Estoril, Portugal, and at the Queen's Club grass-court event in London.

According to Blake, Barker suggested that he step back late last season, "and I kind of squashed it, said I wouldn't want to do that, wouldn't want someone else around."

This year, Blake has been plagued by several small but troublesome injuries -- a rolled ankle, a sore knee, a broken toe -- that made it difficult to establish any match rhythm and contributed to early exits in several big events. His frustration level increased, and the hard-court season, when Blake normally prospers, offered no relief, either.

After a first-round loss at the Cincinnati Masters event in August, he and Barker renewed their discussion about whether it was time for a change.

"We were going through the same things over and over, and I was looking for answers that probably weren't there," Blake said. "It may not have had anything to do with the coaching. Going into the Open, we had both had come to the understanding that we were going to stop, but we didn't want to change anything during or before the Open, being so important. The comfort level between us is very good and will always be very good."

Blake, known for his high-risk, go-for-broke style on court, has taken heat in recent months for keeping Barker at his side rather than seeking different advice when his game seemed to stagnate. He has repeatedly emphasized his loyalty to Barker, and said Thursday that he wasn't affected by outside opinion in making the change.

"If they're talking about you that much, you must have earned that pressure that you've gotten," Blake said. "We never let it affect us. I didn't keep him just to spite people -- I'm going to do what's best for me. Now I've hit a point where I need to try something a little different. Kelly's a great coach and people he worked with clearly improved when they worked with him.''

Blake plans to play in three more tournaments -- Shanghai; Basel, Switzerland; and Paris -- this season.
09-17-2009 03:50 PM
Re: James News!

According to his official website: James will play Beijing, Shanghai, Basel and Paris to close out the season this year.
Good luck James!
09-12-2009 04:14 PM
Re: James News!

James will be on LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON on Friday.
08-07-2009 03:16 AM
Re: James News!

08-07-2009 02:55 AM
Re: James News!

^ Bummer.

I just read that the New Haven tournament director contacted James last weekend saying that they would have a WC for him if he needed more preparation before the USO (since he now only has Cincy left on his schedule). Not exactly surprising.
08-06-2009 08:43 AM
Re: James News!

Unfortunately out in Montreal due to foot injury...Hopes to come back in Cincy.
08-04-2009 08:38 PM
Re: James News!

There is a new post today on Peter Bodo's blog at that says James' Fila clothing line (remember that?) will be unveiled on August 27th at a Lord And Taylor store in Manhattan. It will be some sort of party co-sponsored by

See the post here:

It also says the line will honor his father -- I'm guessing some of the proceeds could go to the cancer research fund.
06-23-2009 10:31 PM
Re: James News!

Thanks for the post Tang; have to say I am a bit disappointed in the recent results of JB but c'est la vie. What I find a bit pitiful is his c'est la vie attitude about the losses. Sense of urgency or lack thereof sounds about right.
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