Hi J. Firstly, I would like to thank
you for broadening the scope of sports that young black kids feel they are able
to play. Too often, they feel that basketball and american football are their
only options. Now they can see that tennis is enjoyable and can be just as competitive.
Anyway, I play in some small-scale tennis tournaments and usually experience some form of insomnia for about 4 days before a match. I am worried that this may affect my game. I was wondering, do you expeience the same thing? And (I know everyone is different but...) on average, how many hours of sleep do you get before a match?
Thanks much, J.C
I usually manage to get a lot of sleep. It's something that I think is a very important part of training and staying in great shape physically and mentally. Getting nervous and losing a little bit of sleep the night before a match happens to me once in a while, very infrequently now that I've gotten used to it. But for it to happen for 4 days seems like something that could definitely affect your play. I usually try to get between 8-9.5 hours of sleep the night before a match.
First off I'd like to say that you absolutely rock! I'm a freshman in high school and I just seriously started playing tennis this year (I've played on and off for about four years.) I practice about six days a week and I run and practice my toss for my serve in my spare time. Tennis has practically become my life and I still don't feel like I'm doing enough. I've just lately started to take an absolute ton of private lessons and I can tell my game is really improving. I really want to be good at tennis, but I don't think I'm doing enough to reach my goals. I was wondering how often you practiced before you went pro and if you encourage weight training. My coach is fine with it but my mom doesn't want me to overdo anything and I was wondering what you thought. I'm going to try to come and actually see one of your matches in person (I can't wait!!!) Good luck with your scoliosis and your career! :) Oh and by the way you have the absolute coolest hair ever! ;)
It sounds to me like you are working very hard already. But hard work in tennis is very individual. It needs to be at a point where you feel comfortable with the work you have done, that will show when you step on the court as to whether or not you have the confidence to win. As for me, I probably hit 5 days a week when I was in high school for about an hour and a half per day. That would increase during the summer, and sometimes decrease if I had a heavy load of schoolwork for a little while. As for weight training, I would never encourage it except for very light weights until you have finished growing. It can sometimes have a negative effect on you if you lift too much before you are fully grown. I think the best type of exercises to do before you have finished growing is body weight exercises. Things like pushups, pull-ups, sit ups and things like that can be very effective.
Dear James, this is Lloyd. I sent u a question when i was 8 and now i am 9 and my county champion. Could you tell me how to handle with cheats when they cheat all of the time and get the point.Thanks
The way I always dealt with cheats
was as soon as I suspected they were cheating on purpose, I would call for a
linesjudge. If it was practice or something that didn't matter, I would just
treat it that way, as if it didn't matter. I would just worry about the practice
and usually feel sorry for them that they have to do that. I wouldn't let it
get you down, just don't ever stoop to their level and don't let them ruin your
efforts to enjoy the game.
My questions today are
regarding my serve, forehand and backhand. Lately, I have tried a variety of
grips for my forehand but none have worked out. However, at the moment, I am
trying a semi-western. What kind of grip do you use and how do you attack the
high balls? In regards to my backhand, I use the regular continental grip, but
it's hard for me to generate enough topspin to keep the ball in the court. What
should I do/use? Finally is my serve. When I first started, my serve was very
strong and was the key to my whole game. But as the years go by, it seems that
the speed keeps lowering. I don't think it's the wrist snap, but I think I am
not generating power from my legs. What should I do to increase the speed/ leg
power since I use a thrust launch similar to yours? What are some exercises
to help me get a stronger serve? Anyways, I am looking forward to your response
and I am looking forward to watching you play more. Keep up the great work!!
Your fellow tennis player and apprentice,
Ashish "Fez" Francis
Ashish, I think many of the things you are talking about are very individual aspects of your game. For me, I use a semi western grip on my forehand. To attack high balls, I just realize that I have to still have margin over the net and I'm able to swing harder since the ball is already above the net. For my backhand, I use a western grip, the continental grip that you are using is very difficult to create spin with. It is much better for slice or hitting flat, but if you are looking to create spin, maybe you should think about adjusting that a little bit. For your serve, one of the best exercises to do for your legs is the leg press. Lunges are also good, and plyometric exercises to create more explosion.
Hey James, I'm Kristin.
I talked to you on your brother's cell phone at the Houston tournament, but
you probably don't remember that. Anyways, I broke my finger a couple months
ago and got really out of shape. I was wondering if you could give me some good
tips on things to do to move faster around the court? Thanks!
- Kristin, 17, Houston
i remember talking to you on my brother's cellphone. sorry if i was in kind of a bad mood cause i had just lost and didn't feel too great. as for moving faster on the court, i think there are many different ways to get faster and you have to find the way you like and can stick with all the time. for me, one thing that i think helped me a lot was that i jumped a lot of rope when i was young. that is very effective to really get your feet moving. you see a whole lot of boxer's doing it and i think it can be one of the most useful tools for tennis as well.
Hi, I am nationally ranked junior player right now and currently go to a public high school. It seems to me like a lot of the girls I play against are home schooled and have an opportunity to play and train more than me. It is harder for me to travel because I have so much work to make up but I still manage. I can still compete on their level but I was wondering what your thoughts are on this subject and if it was the same when you played junior tournaments. Oh and by the way you are awesome and I love watching you play. :-)
danielle, when i was growing up there were plenty of kids that were home schooled, or went to tennis acadamies that catered strictly to tennis. so i was behind many of them, but i just knew that being well-rounded and going to public school was the best way for me. it will all even out when you get a little older and you know you've put in the work. it helps you to be a little bit fresher. they can very easily get burnt out from playing too much at such a young age.
Hey James. I just want you to know
that I'm your biggest fan in South America. I hope you keep on moving up in
the rankings till you hit the top spot. You are truly a great role model: down
to earth and positive. I'm following your progress currently at the Aussie Open
and you're doing great. Keep it up.
My question: In matches, whenever I lose a point, I tend to get down on myself. And from there on my mental concentration is just shot. What do you do or tell yourself to maintain a positive attitude even when you are down in a match?
Guyana, South America
keimo, i used to get very angry after every point i lost. that's natural to a very competitive person. but the best thing to do is realize that once the point is over, there is nothing that can be done to change it. the only thing you can do is prepare for the next point. the best way to do that is put the last point out of your mind and be ready to play your best tennis on each point.
My name is Meagan and I am a senior in high school, actually my tennis team met you and your brother at the Legg Mason a couple weeks ago, you guys are awesome, congrats on your win. Well, I am right now the #5 player on my team, so I am playing singles matches and don't have as much match experience as I would like. In one of my matches I was down 1-5 (we play to 10) and I was really frustrated. However, at 2-5 during the change over I just sat down and thought about how you lost your first set in the Legg Mason final 1-6, and came back to win it. I ended up coming back and winning 10-5, and it was awesome. However, in my last matches I haven't been able to get that inner fire to come back from behind. What makes the difference when you are down? I know to stay positive, but what is it that you tell yourself to keep yourself so calm and collected?
meagan, you are right about staying positive, that's very important. i think what helps for me is realizing that i can only control what i am doing and anything else i shouldn't worry about. if i just play the whole match trying to play my best and giving 100% effort then there's really nothing i have to be ashamed about. i hope on that day i can play well enough to win, and if not, i tried my best.
I'm a very serious tennis player and I get a lot of blisters on my feet and I know that you play a lot more than I do and I was just wondering how you keep your feet from getting so many blisters and so beat up? Thanks and good luck in the U.S. Open!
haley, sorry about the blisters. the only thing i have done is all the playing has made my feet very calloused. so i don't really get blisters anymore. i think the only thing to do when you get them is this stuff called nuskin. it won't make them totally go away, but i think it should help some.
I am currently a top 60 nationally ranked junior and I was wondering what you did as a junior player and how you made the transition from junior nationals to college to the tour. Thanks for your time, you are the best and I love watching you play!!
danielle, congratulations on your success so far in the juniors. my transition to college tennis was not as difficult as i expected. i did very well my freshman year when i didn't have too many expectations. the level of tennis was not incredibly different. as for the jump to the pros, that was more difficult than i ever could have predicted. i think that is the hardest jump for any player. the level of tennis on the pro tour is just incredible. every guy on the tour is very talented and they prepare for each match so well. it took me quite a while to make that adjustment to be so professional about my career. good luck to you.
My name is James and i have been a big fan of yours for a long time now even from your Harvard days. Anyway, in the past you have told me that the power on the serve comes from the wrist snap but TennisOne website did a service analysis and they disagree with you and say that notion about the wrist snap is a Myth. Why dont you read it and tell me what you think ?? and also I noticed that you use BigBanger alu power 16 string and i use it too and i love it. But i hit with such big power that i need to string it at about 71 lbs to control it. But the Luxilon tells me that this string should be strung at lower tension or it doesn't perform well and it can cause arm problems. I noticed that you string it at 67 lbs. Has it been ok for you to string it at high tension and did you notice any problems?? Thank you so much and keep up the great work.
jin, i haven't seen that website, but maybe they've done some analysis to prove me wrong. the only evidence i have is that my serve is about 120 miles per hour, and if i only use my wrist, i can serve about 110 miles per hour. so i still believe it's where the most power comes from on my serve. as for the luxilon big banger string, i haven't had any problems with it, if you have to string it tight, then just use what feels comfortable to you.
I have a friend who started playing tennis when she was 12, and she's now 13. She's dying to become a pro, but she thinks it's too late.. She's playing every day at home against a wall, and praticing 1 day per week on a court. Do you think she can become a pro, even though she started a little late? I really hope you will answer this :) Good luck for the end of the season, I'll be in Basel to encourage you!
sidsel, i really don't know if it's too late. it's difficult to make that assessment, but i would never tell anyone it's too late. but i would also never tell anyone to have the end goal of becoming a professional tennis player. the chances of that are always slim, no matter what kind of talent you have or what kind of drive you have. so i would encourage your friend to have fun playing tennis and not worry about being a professional, if it happens, it will happen, but there's no use in being disappointed if it doesn't happen.
I saw you play for the first time at the Davis Cup semi final in Paris, where I was working. I was probably the only french citizen in the whole stadium to support the american team -guess I lived too long in the US, makes me feel American somehow :)
I am amazed at how hard you hit your forehands. In fact, they "sound" harder than the ones of other players who look way bigger on the muscular side (no offense!)
Aren't you afraid of developing injuries related to this spectacular forehand?
Is there anything special you do in your training/practice routine, to prevent these kind of injuries from happening?
I'm looking forward to seeing you play in the future for your talent and your genuinely nice and positive attitude.
Good luck for the future.
anne, thanks for cheering for
me in davis cup. i'm glad i have a french fan or two. as for my forehand it
has always been my weapon when i played, but lately is has developed faster
and faster. the power on it comes mainly from the timing, this has always been
a strength of mine. it really doesn't put too much strain on my body, it's just
a natural swing, but when timed right
the "sound" that you mentioned is created and it travels faster than many others.
What kind of advice would James Blake
give to a younger person who wanted to become a professional tennis player,
but wasn't sure they had what it took. Thanks
art, the advice i would give to a young tennis player is always the same. have fun. that is the most important part, if it stops being fun, put the rackets down for a little while. it is just crazy to plan on tennis as a career at such a young age, so you need to worry about other things in life. if you realize that tennis is what you truly enjoy, and you have the ability to go far in the sport, it will become apparent as you get older. but you only have one childhood, so enjoy it.
My name is Lloyd. I am 8 and I am in the Warwickshire county tennis squad (England). I play 7 different sports but my favourite is tennis. How many hours a week did you train when you were my age?
lloyd, when i was 8 years old, i didn't play a whole lot of tennis. i was like you in the fact that i played a lot of sports for fun. i probably only played once a week when i was that age. it was usually just a fun hit with my parents or something.
hey james my name is liz i saw u @ arthur ashe kids day and i thought that u were a gr8 tennis player i have been following u through the years u have been playin. i was just wondering on how u get ur toss for ur serve perfect every time cuz i cant seem to get a hold of that. well i hope u get to write back a.s.a.p. *~liz~
liz, i don't necessarily get my toss perfect every time. there are some times that i have to catch it because i tossed it off line. but the way i stay so consistent with it just came from a lot of practice. that is something that a lot of young players don't ever think about practicing, but it will really help. the best example of this is pete sampras, his toss is almost always perfect. it's very easy to practice and shouldn't be too tiring or anything, so get out and work on it. good luck.
Hey James, it's Yussuf from Jamaica
here.. I play tennis for Jamaica and i am currently finishing up college at
Troy State University. I was wondering,what is your mind set and approach mentally
if you're playing a tornament with players you've beat before but lost to on
the previous meeting. Also, when will we get to see you around Jamaica..?? You
know i got you if you ever come down and, I see a few tennis stars went down
to Bahamas for the Knowles celebrity tornament, and i think Jamaica would also
benefit greatly from visits of a similar caliber. just Keep us in mind. Thank
yussuf, when i'm playing a player that i've beaten before, but lost to the last time, i just prepare the same way i do for every match. i think about the best way i can play to control the match. but knowing that i've beaten them before, that makes a difference in how i adapt on the court. if things aren't going my way, i try to recall how i beat that player in the first place, and recreate that. i'm not sure when i'll make it down to jamaica, my schedule is pretty busy these days.
Congrats on your Cincy title!! I watched both your singles and doubles first round matches. In particular, your singles match, against Pavel, was really exciting. You probably don't remember me, but I was the girl in the "Go James" shirt on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, one of the guys with you took a picture of me, after I watched you practice. I was wondering if you knew who he was. Also, I'm working on my one-handed backhand, any tips? I'm a lefty, but any advice would help. Thanks and good luck in DC!!
Kristin, 18, Notre Dame, IN
kristin, i did notice the people in the "go james" shirts. thanks for going to all that trouble. that was one of my best friends that took the picture. he just graduated from college and as a graduation gift, his dad let him travel with me all summer through europe and for the hardcourt season in the states. so he was just taking pictures of all the experiences he had. anyway, it's tough to give general tips on a backhand without seeing your form, but if you're just switching from a 2 handed backhand, all i can say is have patience. when i switched, it was extremely frustrating at first, but you just have to believe that it's a good decision for the long run.
Dear James Blake
James, you are quickly becoming my favorite tennis player. How do you fight off all those hot swimsuit models. Your bed looks awfully small to fit in at least two of those models, and how do you do it?? If you were a girl, i would kiss you, but i am a guy so that will never happen. Anyway, i am writing to you because i like to know what kind of excercise you do to keep your endurance up during the match and is thera any power pill or special drink mix you use during the match ?? Also, is there exercise you can do to increase your serve power, i see little guys like Sebastian Grojean hitting his serve at 120 MPH and i get jelous. Do you do any particular exercise you do to increase the serve power?? Anyway, i am looking forward to James Blake in the Season ending Master's series Final, one day. I think this year it will be difficult for you to make it, But i know you will definitely make it next year. Also, James Blake, the Aussie Open Grand Slam Champion doesn't sound too bad either. Take care, James from chicago.
james from chicago, i do a lot of training for my endurance on the court. i do some distance running about 3-4 times a week when i'm home as well as a lot of on court fitness exercises. then there are many middle distance sprints that i do like 200 and 400 meter sprints. as for exercises to make your serve harder, the main thing to get power on your serve in the wrist snap. if you watch the hardest servers, the wrist snap they get is amazing. all the rest of the motion makes a difference as well including having powerful legs, shoulders, and stomach.
my name is honey and i'm one of your fans from the philippines. i'm 20 years old and i just started playing tennis few months back. my trainer said i have the potentials but i get scared and really nervous whenever i get inside the court. what advice can you give me to get away with that fear? thanks and more power to you. and oh, i know you and andy are good friends, can you please tell him "good luck" for me? i'm also an A-Rod fan.
honey, if you get nervous when you get onto the court, i would advice you to try to just have more fun. don't worry about your coach telling you about potential or anything like that, just enjoy the game. if you can't do that, then there's a problem and let your coach or parents that you're not enjoying the game. when i'm having fun, i tend to not even think about nerves, so i hope it helps you as well.
I am a fan of yours, and as a matter of fact, i like the whole Davis Cup Team. Go Team Win! :-) Anyways, I have two questions for you. One: What do you do to get your feet going in a match? and Two: Can you give me Andy Roddick's Phone Number or E-mail address? I'm his BIGGEST FAN!
Thanks a Lot
Luv ya Bunches
Newport Beach, CA
gabby, what most tennis players do before a match is much more than most people realize when they see them go out and just hit for those 5 minutes at the beginning. generally i warm up for about a half an hour 2 hours before the match is supposed to start. then i get something light to eat. after that i get stretched and my ankles taped. then with about 15 minutes before the match starts i start riding a stationary bike, or jumping rope, or just running in place, and this is my time to myself where i think about my game plan and the task at hand. as for andy's phone number and email, i just don't know if he would appreciate it if i gave out his personal information on my website, but i know he's got his own website, so look for that, and he always appreciates his fans.
Just have few questions to ask you, and hopefully you'll have the time to respond to them.
1. How often do you replace your tennis shoes?
2. Have you ever thought about running a tennis camp?
3. Don't you think tennis is a great way to meet women?
Thanks for your time, and good luck with your tennis in the future!
brandon, i replace my tennis shoes about every week when i'm playing on hard courts. they get chewed up so quickly from the brand of tennis i play and how long i am playing for during a tournament. on clay courts, they last much longer, they just get worn down after about a month of wear. i haven't really thought about running a tennis camp ever, that might be something i revisit when my career as a player is winding down, but not right now. as for tennis being a good way to meet women, i guess it's one way, but i've actually never dated a tennis player or really any girl that knew a lot about tennis.
In many of my junior matches, I find that if one of my shots comes anywhere close to hitting the lines, my opponents often call the lines in their favor. When you played Hewitt, how did you keep your cool when your balls were obviously in?
-Meghan, 14, Pittsburgh
meghan, i used to know your frustration exactly. that happens a lot in junior tennis. if it's possible, you should always get a lines judge if you feel your opponent is not calling the lines fairly. but i used to get just as mad at those kind of calls. but as i got older, i realized that there is really nothing that can be done about it and you have to find a way to put it behind you or it will cost you even more points in playing angry. that won't help anything. it's very difficult to do when you feel you're not being treated fairly, but i think you can do it.
Hey James, I'm Erin. I recently saw you play and practice everyday except Thursday at the tournament in Cincinnati. I got your autograph and a pic of you with me. But anyways, I was wondering what kinds of things you eat on the day of one of your matches (like breakfast, lunch, etc.). Thanks!
-Erin, 17, Cincinnati
erin, on days of matches, it depends what time i play to determine what i am going to eat. i always eat plenty of chicken or some sort of protein the night before. then if i play early, i just have a light breakfast with some fruit, bagels and maybe cereal before i play. if i play later, i eat as big a breakfast as possible with eggs, fruit, toast, maybe waffles, whatever i can find. then for lunch i would just eat a small sandwich or something and a bagel or a tennis bar.
My name is Mario, age 15, from St Maarten (an island in the caribbean)
I saw your match on tv against Grosjean, and the intensity was just amazing you had your chances!!
but i just wanted to know were you a bit discourage at the end or was it fatigue? Anyway i think it was a great match for the viewers but probably not for you. You are terrific tennis player in so many ways and i want to thank you for the level of play ,energy,and love that you bring to the game. You seem to be a very kind and smart person but don't discourage yourself !! Me and all of us as fans are there to support u at all times ,we really appreciate you.We will appreciate you more for the years to come when you gain more experience!! that should be exiting to see.You and the williams sisters has inspired me in a way that is so amazing! I have a big opportunaty of becoming a pro tennis player.But there is some questions i would like to ask you...
At what age did you start playing tennis? when you were in your teenage years did you have any let downs?wondering and asking yourself would you make it to the top, will you really achieve your main goal? Because sometimes i do. I think is all about confidence witch i don't have a whole lot.
What is you're advice to me? what would you do if you don't have much confidence?
Tx in advance....
mario, as for my match against
grosjean, i was not tired or fatigued. he merely played too well for me on that
day. he is one of the top players in the world and was playing in front of his
home crowd. i wish i could have played a little bit better, but i did my best
out there and feel that i can beat him in the future. as for your other questions,
i started playing tennis pretty young, maybe around 5 or 6, but not taking it
seriously till much later. there were plenty of letdowns in my teenage years
including not even making it to nationals a few times. but every tennis player
has to lose a lot before they can improve to the point of winning more than
they lose. i never had a main goal of becoming a pro tennis player, so that
wasn't an issue. my goal was to keep improving and every match was just a goal
in itself. i just tried to win every match i was in and not worry about the
next. if you are struggling with confidence, i just want to tell you that the
best thing to think about is to only worry about the things you can
control. if you work hard, try your best and have some fun, you shouldn't be discouraged or lose any confidence. that is a lesson that was stressed by my college coach and i appreciate it always.
Well congratulations on doing so good in the US open. My name is Melissa and I seen you play at the Newport Tennis Hall of Fame this past summer. I walked right past you and did not get to get your autograph. Will you be playing there next year, maybe I'll be lucky enough to get it.
Do you do any type of relaxation exercises before entering tournaments to prepare yourself mentally? What type of diet do you follow?
Fall River, Ma
melissa, thanks for watching in newport, i will be back there next year. i don't do any relaxation exercises before a tournament, but i try to relax right before matches. i always take at least 5-10 matches to be alone and just focus on the task at hand and block out everything else. as for my diet, i don't eat red meat, but that's not for tennis, it's because that's how i grew up, so it's just normal for me. otherwise, i don't really follow any kind of specific diet.
I'm 12 - from Vermont and Connecticut
- and have just started playing and winning B12 Challenger tournaments in the
New England section. I'm tall and my coach says I have a 16 year old game. I'd
like to be a pro someday.
Where did you train when you were 12 to 16?
Can I make it staying in New England or do you think I have to move to Florida or California for yearround outdoor tennis with a big name coach?
jamie, when i was 12, i trained (if you can call it that) in connecticut at the tennis club of trumbull. at the age of 12 tennis was still just a hobby of mine, i played about 3 times a week at that age. i was also taught to have an older game as well though. but i really didn't worry about anything like that at that age. i urge you not to put any kinds of pressure on yourself like that. i was dreaming of being a tennis player at that age, but never really thought of it as an option. all i did was try to get better every time i stepped onto the court. and the inner feeling of competition and the fact that i absolutely hated losing just drove me to improve. please don't let coaches put any unrealistic goals in your head and at this age your main goal should be to have fun and improve. good luck to you.
You know, I've always wondered what is the process of becomming a touring pro. Where do you start out at? Do you really have to be more than just really good (lucky??).Please let me know where to start out at. Im in USTA, is that where I need to start out at? Thanks, I think you have great potential to be one of tennis's greatest legends, with that great court speed and agility and that huge forehand of yours....give it time and you'll be great!!
andrew z., the process of turning pro is not quite like other sports where you get drafted, or signed by a team. if you are playing in usta tournaments right now, that is a good start. if you have success in those, you will find opportunities to play in bigger tournaments (usually nationals). then if you continue to do well, you should try to play in some small pro tournaments called futures. if you play those, you can start accumulating atp points, these are what determine your ranking. you have to get enough of these to start being accepted into the draws of bigger atp tournaments. so good luck to you.
Hey James Blake,
I am a young kid who plays tennis at towergrove park. I am a really good tennis player and my coach tell me i am at pro level but i have a problem keppin my focus in huge matches. Like in this one tournement i played i was up 1 set and it was 5-3 in the second set for thefinals and i lost it i broke 3 raquets and i lost. I just need some words that will encourge me to stay focused and ur like my hero so i think i could learn how to from you thanks man
marlow, i'm glad you are a good tennis player. unfortunately there are a lot of talented players that don't ever play tennis anymore because of the mental strain it causes. tennis, like most sports, is mainly a mental game. the best players in the world always have amazing talent, but that absolutely has to be accompanied by amazing mental stamina. i don't know how to encourage you to keep your focus because that is something that is very difficult to teach. all i can tell you is to do your best on the court and try not to get too discouraged if you lose. as long as you do your best, you shouldn't have any regrets and that will hopefully keep you playing tennis for longer than most people.
my name is andy and i am from new jersey. i play tennis and was wondering where to place a volley when im serve-and-volleying.
andy, i'm glad to see there are still some serve-and-volleyers alive in the game. one lesson that i think would help you and many other young serve-and-volleyers is to not change the direction of the ball. if the ball is returned crosscourt to you, just block it right back in that direction. that makes a far easier volley than to try to change the direction and bring more variables into the stroke. good luck to you.
hey James :
ok , I'm switching from a two handed backhand to a one handed back hand, and I was actually wondering what kind of grip YOU use for your one handed back hand, what I doin right now is almost just and upside-down forehand grip ,and it's decent ,I mean I'm getting pretty decent topspin, but I'm having trouble with any ball higher than my chest, anything can help ! please!
Rapid city SD
josh, i understand what you're going through switching to a one-handed backhand. i use a grip that is similar to an extreme western forehand grip. those balls above your chest will most likely continue to be difficult for a long time. one way to help with that is work on your upper body strength. otherwise, a good play is to work on the slice from above your shoulders. that is a play i use somewhat effectively. no matter what you do, those balls always give one handed backhands a little bit of difficulty. there's no secret that i can give you, it will just take a lot of practice and try not to get frustrated, it will get better.
Hello James, congratulations on your first title. i have a question to propose,
My friends are better than me because they have been playing for about 5-9 yrs and iv only played 2 and a half, but i practiced close to 5 hrs every day and i moved my self to a 4.5 level player. But still they beat me. So how do you come close or beat some one ofa high level in tennis?
you must know from beating andre for the first time, can u give me any pointer....thanks...and good luck inyour later grand slams
anthony, that's a difficult question to answer. there is no specific way that i can tell you to just beat a high level player. all i can tell you is to play the game that is most comfortable to you and that will most likely give you your most success. good luck in beating all those players.
hi james! this kaye from the philippines. i've been a fan since i saw u play against andre agassi a month ago. u know, tennis is not that big here in our country but i really want to be a great tennis player. can u give me some basic tips on how to play well. actually, im just beginning to learn tennis. i'm really determined to learn this sport cuz it's not just fun to play, but it helps me a lot in losing weight. i want to become fit but im not really into working out thats why i choose tennis. i hope you will answer my question. uh, i would like to ask you some personal question, if its ok with u. um, i'm a andy roddick fan, too. in one of the messages that was posted in his community message board, they're talking about andy/mandy couple thing and james/cristina milian couple thingy. they said that ur dating cristina milian. im just curious thats why i'm asking you if it's true.. thanks for taking time to read my question and i would really appreciate it if you will take time answering my questions. luv ya to bitz!!=)_
kaye, thanks for being a fan all the way there in the phillipines. as for basic tips, i would just say to have fun on the court and watch the ball. the rest can be up to you and whatever makes you feel comfortable. as for if i'm dating christina milian, that's not true. i don't have a girlfriend right now and i'm not sure how that rumor got started. i really like the few of her songs that i've heard though, but that's as far as our relationship goes.
Hello Mr.Blake. I am Zach I am
not lucky enough to have goten to meet you hopefully i will though. But my question
is i am going into highschool next year and i was wondering what kind of serve
should i learn over the winter so people dont always hit a winner off my serve
and can you tell me a page were i can learn it and are u ever comming to chicago
Zach 14 Chicago
zach, there's no specific serve to learn over the winter. just use the motion that feels comfortable to you, and then it's just a matter of practice. a lot of hard work is what it takes. as for chicago, i was there last year for an event with todd martin, but i don't think i'll be back there anytime soon, but i'm always watching upn and cheering for the bulls, unfortunately, there's not too much to cheer the last few years.
Hey James. I was just curious as to how long you play during the average (non-match) day. What sorts of things do you do to improve? How much time is spent on tennis vs. improving fitness? I'm going to be a junior in high school and really am working on my tennis game. I love watching you and the other guys play on t.v. -- it really inspires me to achieve. Thank you for your time and good luck to you in the future! You're a great player!
Neil Koehler, 16
New York Mills, MN
neil, on a non-match day when i'm at home can sometimes vary. on average, i would guess i spend about 3-4 hours on the court practicing. that includes drilling, working on certain patterns and then playing points and serving. after that, there's usually about 45 minutes to an hour of sprints or on court footwork drills. then usually about 45 minutes of weight lifting. besides all of that, i have also started to do at least 2 days a week of distance running including about 30 minutes of jogging.