Summer Schedule Announced
April 23, 2010 - James's knee is doing better every day, but unfortunately he still doesn't have a firm timetable for a return to the courts. Presumably he will be back for the grass court season, so he's announced his schedule for June, and that consists of Halle, Eastbourne and Wimbledon.
The summer schedule is also ready: Atlanta, D.C., Toronto, Cincinnati and the Open get the nods this year.
So even though James is shleved for he time being, we can still have some fun and raise some money for his charity; I have a JB autographed tennis racquet to give away. Email me at email@example.com with the answer to these three questions and a pledge to his charity and the racquet is yours (correct answers and the highest bid wins it):
1. What was the first tournament James won in singles (city and year)?
2. Who is James's favorite major league baseball team?
3. How many career ATP Tour level wins in singles does James have?
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April 12, 2010 - Unfortunate news from the JB camp late last week; he will probably miss the majority of claycourt season with a knee injury. He had to pull out of his exhibition Saturday night in Atlantic City, and rest has been prescribed for him for the coming month and a half or so. I'll pass along updates as I get them.
April 1, 2010 - Man am I getting old. No April Fool's Joke for the site this year. How lame is that? I will at least post on this first Day of April- a reminder that James will be in action with the likes of Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Marat Safin, and Andy Roddick next weekend. Read more here
.March 27, 2010 - Key Biscayne, FL - After a strong 3-0 and 6-3 first set start to Friday's match against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, things seemingly turned against JB rather quickly as he went down 1 and 2 in the second and third sets.
Tough to say a whole lot about the match without having seen it, but after producing 2 break point opportunities in the first set, James only had 2 chances to break in the second and none in the third. Meanwhile Belluci lost only three points on first serves in the second and third sets.
So with the 'Winter" hard court season over, it's time to hit the clay. James needs a wildcard to get into Rome, or he will need to play qualies based on his ranking. Then he's entered into Estoril and Madrid prior to the French Open.
March 25, 2010 - Key Biscayne, FL - A lengthy test for James in round one last night versus 18 year old Filip Krajinovic; the three set match clocked in at two hours 13 minutes, and the final scoreline was 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4. Another interesting post match press conference last night- you can read it here.
Next up is the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. That match will probably be tomorrow (Friday).
March 23, 2010 - Key Biscayne, FL - James arrived in Miami last night following an exhibition in Tampa with Jim Courier. He gets the second Masters 1000 event of the year underway tomorrow (Wed.) vs. the Serbian newcomer Filip Krajinovic, who received a wildcard.
I apologize I wasn't able to update the site immediately following James's last match in Indian Wells, a three set loss to Nicolas Almagro- four days worth of wedding duties and other work kept me away from my computer. But you'll forgive me right?
March 15, 2010 - Indian Wells, CA - A great win for JB last night in the desert. He took out the 13 seed, David Ferrer in straight sets 6-1, 6-4. No break points against and he converted on 3 of his break opportunities against Ferrer. A nice day's work.
Next up is Nicolas Almagro, who defeated Ivo Karlovic (a feat for which I'm sure James was none too upset). Before he plays that match tomorrow (Tuesday), he and Andy Roddick have another doubles match. They played a hotly contested first rounder the other day against Andy Murray and Ross Hutchins, which the Americans won 5 and 6. Today they get Nestor and Zimonjic.
Before we depart for the day, have a look at James's atypical 1st round post match interview. It touches on topics ranging from politics to his racket.
March 13, 2010 - Indian Wells, CA - James is in the desert this week for the first Masters Series event of the year- the BNP Paribas Open. Yesterday in his first round match he took care of business in short order, beating Daniel Gimeno-Traver 3 and 2 in 55 minutes.
Presumbaly things will be a little more difficult next round when he gets the number 13 seed, David Ferrer. Before he plays that match tomorrow, James and Andy Roddick are teaming up for some doubles action. They play on court one this evening against Andy Murray and Ross Hutchins.
March 6, 2010 - Saddlebrook - James is busy training in preparation for the first Masters Series event of the year- Indian Wells. Action gets underway Thursday.
It was announced this week that James will be playing in an exhibition in Atlantic City on Saturday April 10th, against one Mr. Pete Sampras. Read more here.
March 1, 2010 - Delray Beach, FL - Before we get to the important news for the day (see image above), a quick recap of the Delray Beach action. James went out to Ivo Karlovic in the quarters, losing 3-6, 7-6, 1-6 on Friday. Suffice it to say, Dr. Ivo is not James's favorite opponent to play.
Now to the good news for the day. At high noon, the Syracuse Orange assumed their rightful position atop the college basketball polls, and there couldn't be anyone more proud than Mr. James Blake. "I'm not sure what the pollsters have been thinking this season so far," said Blake. "I saw Syracuse first hand in December when they beat Florida handily, and it was clear the Orange are the best team in basketball this season, hands down. I look forward to seeing them get to Indianapolis!"
(ed. note - okay, maybe I'm embellishing here with the quotation, but that is a real picture of James wearing the Orange shirt!)
Next up for James: Indian Wells starting the 11th!
February 26, 2010 - Delray Beach, FL - James battles the big man this evening in Delray- he has Ivo Karlovic not before 5:30.
Yesterday JB beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 3 and 1. He had 2 breaks in the first and three in the second. Solid all-around performance and hopefully he can produce some break points this evening as well.
James and Robert Kendrick are also still alive in the doubles draw. they play last on Stadium Court tonight.
February 24, 2010 - Delray Beach, FL - Two points from victory last night, James finished off Taylor Dent today in Delray Beach 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Rain interrupted play as the two were at deuce in the 9th game of the set. It was a convincing win for James, who faced only one break point and cruised in the third set, winning 57% of the points played.
Next up JB has Robin Haase of the Netherlands. They'll play tomorrow.
February 22, 2010 - Delray Beach, FL - James isin southern Florida this weeke to play the Delray Beach tournament. He reached the final here in 2008, losing to Kei Nishikori. James will get underway on Tuesday evening when he plays Taylor Dent in the first round. February 19, 2010 - Memphis, TN - Hey there folks, sorry for the tardy update. Got back from Memphis late yesterday, so this is my first time back sitting at the computer.
There was a great atmosphere at the Racquet Club of the South Wednesday night. After a day session that saw John Isner and Sam Querrey advance, it was time for the best two American tennis players of the past ten years to take center stage.
James elected to receive to start the match. It seemed to me like he was muscling the ball a bit too much the first set and he made a larger chunk of backhand errors than normal, but overall the play was pretty solid. Unfortunately for James, Andy was playing great defense, and James's offense had a few too many holes- first set to Andy 6-3.
James served first in the second set. He went down a break in the seventh game I believe it was, but then rallied to break Andy twice and took the set 6-4. James's game really came around this set. He was swinging loosely and confidently, and making some nice runs into net. Andy came unhinged a little bit, making a few more errors than normal. Combine that with James getting some more serves returned and we were set for a great third set. The fans were really getting into it at this point.
Each player saved one break point in the third, and you rally had the feeling this one would end in a tiebreak. AS I'm sure you all know by now, it did, and Andy capitalized on three backhand errors by James to win the breaker fairly comfortably- 6-3.
So, another tough, close loss for James. He really is playing well, as so many of you probably saw in Australia vs. Del Potro. Hopefully he gets it all on track for Delray next week.
February 16, 2010 - Memphis, TN - James is in Memphis this week for the Regions Morgan Keegan tournament. He teams with Bobby Reynolds this afternoon in a doubles match and then faces number one seed Andy Roddick tomorrow night at 7pm in a featured match. James has only his own luck to blame for tomorrow's encournter; it was he who selected his own name at the draw. February 11, 2010 - Rotterdam, Holland - It was a quick exit for James in Holland. He lost in the first round to Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-2. Normally it's tough to tell much about a match just looking at the stats, but you have to figure this wasn't a pretty affair; James won only 41% of the points played, 58% of his first serve points, and produced no break point opportunities. In a typical ATP level match the total points won would be much closer to 50% and you should expect to win in the 70-80% range of first service points.
So, it's on back to the States for a visit to Memphis next week. That draw will be announced on Saturday.
February 8, 2010 - Rotterdam, Holland - James makes his first ever appearance at the Rotterdam tournament tomorrow, and he'll do it facing an opponent he's never encountered: Marcos Baghdatis. See the full draw here.January 27, 2010 - Tampa, FL - Hey there everyone! Time to share with you the second installment of our Pulitzer Prize winning series 'The Life and Times of James Blake's Entourage.' Last week we brought you the riveting tale of Kelly Jones, who fought his way out of the slums of Wales to become a renowned musician and the lead singer of the Stereophonics, before becoming James's new coach. Wait, that's the wrong Kelly Jones. Read here to learn more about the right one.
This week we will discover the story behind the man who is responsible for preventing injury to James- physical trainer Rory Cordial. Rory took time out from his schedule to answer some questions about his work with JB.
January 20, 2010 - Melbourne, Australia- If this match had been played at the U.S. Open (or perhaps at any other hour besides 1:30am EST- 5am EST), people would be talking about it for some time. James played yet another five set thriller at a Grand Slam, but the result wasn't what he certainly would have hoped for: a 6-4 6-7(3) 5-7 6-3 10-8 loss to Juan Martin del Potro.
This one started out fairly unevenly for both players. Neither got into a groove in the first set, but it was James who made a few more costly errors (mostly on forehands and volleys), swinging the set in del Potro's favor. The second was somewhat similar. It was del Potro's turn to commit some costly errors though, and he went down a break. James couldn't hold his own serve though, and the two headed for a tiebreak. After netting a forehand to start the break, James got into one of his vintage grooves. He played with confidence and purpose, ripping forehands and closing shots at net and won the break in solid fashion.
He carried the momentum into the third, breaking del Potro and holding serve for the set. And then my dvr stopped recording.
So we'll turn it over to Matt Cronin and the Aussie Open website for the tale of the final two sets and some post match reaction.
What I can comment on was the fact that James looked great playing after the patchy first set and a half. It certainly bodes well for the remainder of the season. He moves on to Rotterdam next, starting February 8. He'll need some draw help until he regains a seeded status. Nadal, Djokovic, and Tsonga are the top names there, so hopefully he can avoid them in the first round or two.
Speaking of looking good on court, James also debuted some new Thomas Reynolds by Fila duds in Melbourne. Have a look at some images of the new apparel. or, you can see a video on the Fila YouTube channel.
January 19, 2010 - Melbourne, Australia- A solid effort from James today in his first round match versus Arnaud Clement. Score was 7-5, 7-5, 6-2. I had a chance to watch it on ESPN360.com and the stats tell the story on this one; JB served at a 64% clip on first serves and pretty much controlled play from the first set onward.
Things will be a lot tougher on Wednesday in Australia when he gets the four seed Juan Martin del Potro. They play fourth on Hisense Arena. My guess is that will start sometime around 1am EST overnight tonight.
More on the new Fila duds James was wearing in a little bit!
January 16, 2010 - Melbourne, Australia - The Aussie Open posted its draw online today and James has the frenchman Arnaud Clement in the first round. Clement is in form; he just made it to the final of Auckland, where he lost to John Isner (congrats to John on his first title). A potential second round encounter would be the four seed: Juan Martin Del Potro. Interestingly, Del Potro pulled out of an exhibition today with a wrist injury.
Before we get going with the year's first major, I thought many of you would be interested to learn more about James's new coach, Kelly Jones. I recently forwarded him a list of questions, which he graciously and thoughtfully answered. Have a read here. Next week, we'll meet James's trainer Rory Cordial.
January 13, 2010 - Melbourne, Australia - Many of you may have read that Andy Roddick is bowing out of Davis Cup duty this year, and, well, the same can also be said of JB. Read more about the decision in this column by Peter Bodo.
January 7, 2010 - Brisbane, Australia - James's singles run in Brisbane came to an end today with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 loss to Gael Monfils. James dominated the first set, but Monfils was able to turn the tables in the second, so it came down to the third, where, unfortunately, judging by the stats, James struggled with his first serve (getting just 44% in) and wasn't able to capitalize on three break opportunites, so Monfils gets the W this time.
James will be sticking around though; he and Andy play in the semis on Saturday. Frenchmen Chardy and Gicquel are the opponents.
So a good start in singles this season. James now has a break before the start of the Aussie Open. Due to his current ranking of 44, he will need to get a little luck with the Draw Gods. We'll learn his first round opponent on January 15th.
A special congratulations to John Gulledge of Myrtle Beach, SC, the winner of the 2010 Tennis Package Giveaway! John is set up with a new racquet, tennis balls for all of 2010, a new J-Block shirt and James's book. Stay tuned for more giveaways this year!
Speaking of James's book, it's on sale and he will dedicate it to you! Lowest price ever- $25 U.S. or $22 Australia. See below for further details.
January 6, 2010 - Brisbane, Australia - So far this year James has played two singles and two doubles matches, and as my six year old has been telling me all too often lately, two plus two is four. James beat Florent Serra in a singles thriller and then teamed with Andy Roddick for their second win of the tournament.
In the singles match James got out to a solid start, taking the first set 6-3. However, his forehand wasn't firing as it did vs. Querrey, and a little more scrambling than usual was necessary, so set number two went to Gicquel 6-3. James went down a break midway through the third, but got it right back. The two traded fairly easy holds to reach a tiebreak, where James fought off three match points, before prevailing on his first and only M.P. Good stuff, unless it was 11:30pm and you were ready to go to sleep (as I was last night listening on AOS radio).
Speaking of Australian Open Series radio, thanks for the mentions of this website on your coverage during last night's match. The good folks behind that operation also took the time to send along James's post match press conference, so you guys can listen to that here (right click and 'save file or link as' to download the mP3 file). They also passed along this set of letters and numbers to me- I'm assuming it's a way to instant message them? mms://18.104.22.168/aoseries/ In any case, just head to the Brisbane site and click on the headphones icon where it says AOS radio to listen online.
Next up for JB is another Frenchman- Gael Monfils. He beat Florent Serra in three sets last night. The match will be played last on Pat Rafter Court on Thursday, which translates to an R.E.M. timeslot here on the east coast of America.
January 5, 2010 - Brisbane, Australia - A VERY positive start to the 2010 season for James to report this morning. After getting broken early in the first set, James got in a groove on his serve that carried him through the entire match, propelling him to a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win over Sam Querrey.
James faced and saved two break points in the second set (both in the same game) and none in the third, when he won 100% of his first serve points. He also fired 10 aces in the match, including six in the third.
Next up is a second round encounter with Marc Gicquel, which takes place on Wednesday around 12pm local time (which is around 9pm tonight here on the East Coast). James and Andy also play their second doubles match tomorrow.
January 4, 2010 - Brisbane, Australia - Greetings everyone! Hope the holiday season was a pleasant one for you. James has been in Australia for the better part of a week, starting off the season in Brisbane. It's the first time he's ever played the tournament, and so far so good- he and Andy Roddick partnered for an opening round doubles victory.
James's singles season gets underway on Tuesday when he faces friend and compatriot Sam Querrey. They play second on the featured court, which should be around 9:30pm EST tonight (I just used my fingers to count that out, so don't hold me to it). A full report tomorrow! In the meantime, check out James's 2010 schedule as it stands now.
Born: Yonkers, NY on December 28, 1979
Height: 6' 1"
Hometown: Fairfield, CT.
Lives and Trains: Tampa, FL at Saddlebrook
Coach: Kelly Jones
College: Harvard University
Agent: Carlos Fleming
For all you who wish to send JB cards and letters, they can be sent to:
Attn: James Blake
150 Alhambra Circle Suite 825
Coral Gables, FL 33134