First off, congratulations on your tournament win in Washington, D.C. Although I doubt you saw us, we were in the upper section across from your chair waving American flags to cheer you on. I hoped you like our cheers as well ("B-L-A-K-E Go Blake!" and "YEAH JB"). We also met you after the match at the interview tent for a picture with me and the flag.
I wanted to ask what you tell young aspiring tennis players who aren't ranked nationally but believe they can play professionally, like myself. Your speech about sleeping on the floor was inspirational. What was the one thing that allowed you to go from an outstanding college player to such a graceful ATP player. I was under the impression that you did not play much junior tennis. I guess I was mistaken.
Finally, what type of string do you use? FOX Sports Net, the company that aired the final here in D.C., showed your string job briefly but I was at the final while it was airing.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions. You truly are a fan's player.
john, thanks for the support in d.c. i appreciated all the fans cheering me on. i would tell a player like you to enjoy yourself and try to improve for the sake of bettering yourself. i never necessarily set my goal when i was young to be a pro tennis player. of course it was a dream of mine, but i was realistic in knowing that it probably wouldn't happen. so i just wanted to improve and continue to have fun, and that's what i did and had a great time the whole way. i would say my main goal at that time was just to get the most out of my talent, i think that's all we can hope for, and i'm still trying to do that. i wanted to be happy no matter what level i reached. as for what string i use, it's luxilon "big banger" right now, but i'm thinking about switching to gosen string. good luck.