June 14, 2008 - Halle, Germany - A couple matches to report on within the past 24 hours. Yesterday James made it through his quarterfinal match against young German Andreas Beck 7-6, 7-6. That came after beating another two Germans in the first couple rounds. But a fourth German opponent proved too much today, as JB went out to Philipp Kohlschreiber for the second time in a couple years. So James' attempt to single handedly take out an entire German Davis Cup team came up just short.
The Championships at Wimbledon is next, but for those of you in England, you can see James in person for a book signing at Waterstones, Leadenhall Market in London on 19th June at 12.30pm. .
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June 12, 2008 - Halle, Germany - James is into the quarterfinals in Germany following a three set win over Benjamin Becker yesterday. After a day off today, he'll step back onto the court tomorrow against German wild card Andreas Beck.
June 10 2008 - Halle, Germany - James got the grasscourt season going in fine fashion today, winning his first round match at the Halle tournament over Bjorn Phau 6-4, 6-1. Have a loook at the draw here. AS you can see, James is the second seed in the tournament behind Mr. Federer.
Sorry for the lack of updates of late, but there's a reason! Expect some big 'ole changes in the near future!
May 29, 2008 - Roland Garros, France - Unfortunately another early exit from the French Open to report today. James lost to Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a little over two and a half hours (see the match statistics here). So the better than normal claycourt results this season didn't extend onto the clay of court one today for James.
Now it's back to the States (presumably) for a few weeeks before the grasscourt season gets underway in Germany.
May 25, 2008 - Roland Garros, France - James started the year's second Grand Slam off in fine fashion, notching a straight set win today over Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-1, 7-6. It's tough to judge from the statistics how this match went- witness the fact James had just 15 winners (of which 10 were aces) vs. 48 unforced errors. Normally that wouldn't exactly be a recipe for success for James, but he did win 111 points vs. 87 for Scuettler and had five total breaks to Schuettler's two. So it's on to round number two and a date with either Greul or Gulbis, who are playing now.
Here are James' post-match comments and hopefully we'll be able to gather some pictures from the match later today.
May 23, 2008 - Roland Garros, France - Hello everyone, and Happy Last Day of School to those of you who are celebrating that today. We can all get ready for the next Grand Slam event starting next week. It's French Open time and the draw was announced today. James is the 7th seed (with Andy Roddick out, James moves up a notch in the seeds) and he has the veteran German Rainer Schuettler in the first round. You might recall this fellow made it to the Aussie Open final a few years back and has been a solid performer his whole career. James is in the third quadrant of the bracket, with the young but impressive Gulbis as a potential second round opponent. At the bottom of James' section is Djokovic.
James finished off the ARAG World Team Cup competition yesterday with a loss to Sweden's Robin Soderling. So James' claycourt preparations are now complete outside of the practice he will get in France. Look out for the French Open starting Monday on ESPN 2.
May 21, 2008 - Dusseldorf, Germany - James notched another nice clay court win yesterday, beating Argentine Guillermo Canas 7-6, 6-4. Odesnik dropped his singles match to Chela, so the team result comes down to today's Odesnik/Reynolds vs. Ker/Prieto doubles match.
Outside of his opening round loss in Barcelona, this seems to be the most promising lead up to the French Open for James that I can remember. The year's second Grand Slam gets underway next week in Roland Garros and coverage will be on ESPN2 and ESPN 360.
Oh yes, and a big shout out to James Blake fan Lindsay Gottlieb, who was named the new head coach of the UC Santa Barbara women's hoops team. Wish her luck in her first ever head coaching gig!
May 19, 2008 - Dusseldorf, Germany - Some unfortunate news to pass along at the outset of the ARAG World Team Cup- Andy Roddick had to pull out of this competition (and the French Open) due to shoulder issues and the Bryans also had to pull out due to injuries. So in stepped Wayne Odesnik, and he proved to be the savior for the U.S. on the first day of competition agains the Czechs.
James got the USA underway against Berdych. He came up short in two tiebreaks. Odesnik turned the table on the Czechs though, beating Ivo Minar handily. Then James and Wayne took care of business in the doubles match, coming back from an 0-6 first set drubbing to win 7-5, 10-8. The Americans play Argentina tomorrow.
May 15, 2008 - Hamburg, Germany - Despite losing yesterday in singles, James lives on in Hamburg via the doubles draw. He and Mardy Fish are teaming up for the second consecutive week, and this go-around they have made it all the way to the semis and a date with the Bryan Brothers tomorrow. For those who missed it, James lost to Tipsarevic in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 3-6.
May 10, 2008 - Rome, Italy - James' consistent run to quarterfinals this year has yet to be derailed by the clay (he's now reached the quarters or better in 7 of 9 tournaments). James did bow out yesterday though in Rome to Stan Wawrinka (who has since reached the finals) 6-7, 7-6, 1-6. The dirtballin' continues this coming week in Hamburg, where James is the 7th seed. He has a first round bye and then gets the winner of Tipsarevic and Beck.
May 7, 2008 - Rome, Italy - James came up a winner against both the clay and the paesano today in Rome. He beat Andreas Seppi 7-6, 3-6, 6-1. So James gets a round of 16 date with Verdasco, who took out N. Lapentti today in three sets. It also happens that James is pulling double(s) duty this tournament as well, playing with Mardy Fish. They got a win yesterday over the Braziliam squad of Melo and Sa, and next face the number two seeds Nesto and Zimonjic.
May 4, 2008 - Rome, Italy - The draw is out and James has probably the toughest dirtballin' Italian out there in the first round- Signore Bye. Signore has made a name for himself over the years in Rome with his incredible play in the first round, but ultimately always fails to advance. Hopefully James can prevent him from making it to round two once again. If James can advance, he has the winner of Santoro-Seppi in round two.
May 1, 2008 - Somewhere in Europe - Not even sure that James got his bags unpacked in Barcelona before it was time to move on. He arrived on Tuesday and played yesterday, losing to Denis Gremelmayr 1-6, 4-6. Denis Gremelmayr you ask? Well, apparently the dude took a set off Federer on clay just recently (a result that escaped my radar), so maybe it's not all bad. In any case, it's onward and upward from here. James next plays Rome.
April 28, 2008 - Barcelona, Spain - Low and behold, James finds himself in Spain this week. A previously unannounced stop off in the Catalan capital to (presumably) get his clay court season started a bit earlier than normal. Or was he so turned off by his golf game this past weekend that he had to get out of the country? In any case, James is a wild card and the fourth seed, meaning he gets a bye his first round. I believe James will start playing on Wednesday.
April 25, 2008 - Aventura, FL - New week, new sport for James. This weekend he's traded in his Nike tennis duds for some sporty looking Nike golf attire in the name of charity (hence the pink bag). James is playing alongside Paula Creamer in the Stanford International golf tournament outside Miami. And it appears Paula is tied for third at the moment, so James might now know what his next career is! Actally, he's not caddying for her, but is her playing partner, so there must be some chemistry. James and Paula missed the cut by a stroke at -8.
April 20, 2008 - Houson, TX - A tough loss for JB today as he wraps up the first leg of his domestic schedule. He went down today to Marcel Granollers-Pujol 4-6, 6-1, 5-7. The match, already a lengthy one, was delayed in the second set due to an unfortunate incident where a fan passed out. During that second set, James took control, and was up 3-0 in the third, but was unable to maintain his lead, eventually losing the second time the Spaniard served for the match (first at 5-4) at 6-5. Read the AP recap here.
So a little time off for JB before he moves on to the red clay of Europe, where he is scheduled to play Rome, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and then the French.
April 18, 2008 - Houston, TX - James took care of business yesterday in his match vs. young American (as in 15 years old young) Ryan Harrison. 6-3, 6-2 was the linescore and the contest was over in a taught 49 minutes. Read a match report and a few quotations from the participants here.
That gets James into the quarterfinals of the tournament and a match against Calleri of Argentina. Tip off is 6pm CST. This is the 6th consecutive quarterfinal or better for James, the most consistent streak of his career.
April 17, 2008 - Houston, TX - James was back in action in Houston last night after a big Davis Cup weekend. He had a shot at a little revenge as well, playing teenager Kei Nishikori, who beat James in the final at Delray Beach a couple months back. This go around, things went a little more according to James' plan- he won 4 and 4. Judging from the percentage of points won, James was in control of this match, although there were quite a few breaks of serve as you'll read in this article.
So next up is another talented teenager, American Ryan Harrison. He's, gulp, 15 years old. As in, born in 1992. As in, the word grunge means very little to him and Jim Courier would be considered old school. That match is tonight at 6pm CST.
April 14, 2008 - Winston Salem, NC - A Happy Monday to everyone! Got back late last night from Winston Salem. Some nice results huh?
Let's start off the recap with Friday's matches. I arrived in the middle of the second set of a much more competitive match than I was expecting between Andy and Llodra. I was very impressed with Llodra's singles game, especially on a fast court like that. He was really able to hang close to ARod throughout the match, but Andy played the breakers better than the Frenchman, winning 6-4, 7-6, 7-6.
The best singles match of the tie was easily James' encounter with Paul Henri Matthieu. 'Wow' is all I can say. These guys were just mad bombin' for five sets. The pace on the groundstrokes was just incredible. Both guys were on and the crowd was amped, especially in the fifth set. James went down a quick break (0-2) to start the 5th, but fought back. He went down another break at 4-5 and was down 40-15, but fought off two match points and ended up winning 7-5. Not bad huh? Congrats to James for that one. Read his post match interview here.
So it was up to the Bryans on Saturday to pull off the win so me and my friends could party like rockstars on Saturday night with the team. Man, did Mike and Bob let us down. :) Per usual, any Bryan Brothers match is entertaining, and this one was most certainly that. But you have to say Llodra and Santoro really took it to them and deserved to win (I was particularly impressed with Llodra again). After a first set that could have gone either way in the tiebreak, the French took control and won in four.
So it came down to Sunday's matches. I thought Mathieu was going to give Andy a good run, but this one was over early. Roddick took care of business, winning 2, 3, and 2.
Now on to the important stuff. JB set us up with some fab tickets (2 rows behind the USA bench). You probably didn't realize it, but the players aren't really there to support one another while they are playing. They are really just using their iPhones to text their friends, girlfriends, and each other (even though they are sitting next to one another). And I have the proof. Here's Mardy texting Bob. And Andy texting James. And James in the locker room texting Mike. And Mardy texting Stacey. And Andy texting Brooklyn. And James texting his mom. I jest. Well, only in part.
April 10, 2008 - Winston-Salem, NC - It's Davis Cup time again (when isn't it?), and the boys are back in North Carolinah. Winston-Salem to be precise. The French are the opposition this go-around, and their team consists of Aussie Open finalist Tsonga, Gasquet, wait...this just in...Tsonga is out with a knee injury and Gasquet has blisters...so it's Andy vs. Llodra to start and then JB vs. Mathieu in the second rubber. The Bryans will face Llodra and Clement in doubles. Quite the lineup change for the French!
I'm driving up tomorrow for the weekend, so hopefully I'll have some of my own photos and personal thoughts to share throughout the weekend.
April 2, 2008 - Key Biscayne, FL - JB's Revenge Tournament got cut short today courtesy Rafael Nadal. After getting wins over Santoro and Stepanek (after having previously lost to both), James wasn't able to turn the tables on Nadal after last week's loss to the Spaniard. I didn't get to see this encounter, but it certainly started off positively, with James winning the first set 6-3. According to his post match interview, James started to be less agressive after that and you can see that it cost him- he lost 3-6, 1-6 in the final two sets.
Nevertheless, James' reduced schedule for the start of the year (no Vegas or Memphis) appears to have paid dividends, as this is the first time in his career he's done so well in these back-to-back Masters Series events.
No rest for the weary howwever- James is off to North Carolina in short order for the Davis Cup tie against France next week. He plays Friday against an opponent to be determined. I'm looking forward to being there for that one.
April 1, 2008 - Key Biscayne, FL - James got a measure of revenge today in Miami, beating Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 to make the quarters of Miami for the second time in three years. You might recall Radek took out James in the final of LA last summer. Today James jumped on the Czech player early in both sets earning breaks (he had to get another break in the second to clinch the deal). So next up is the winner of Nadal and Mathieu, which will be played later today.
March 30, 2008 - Key Biscayne, FL - To borrow a phrase from the NCAA tournament, it was 'survive and advance' today for James in Miami. On top of the tough playing conditions (90 degrees on court plus lotsa humidity), James was battling a stomach bug. Oh yeah, and Fabrice Santoro, every player's favorite opponent, was on the other side of the court. Add all that up and you'd imagine James might have preferred another case of the shingles rather than stepping onto the court today.
Nevertheless, James played well enough to make it past the Frenchman in three sets 6-3, 6-7, 6-4. Suffice it to say, the match wasn't exactly a thing of beauty. By the third set both players were conserving their energy to the point where you felt like saying 'I could take a point off these guys.' Well, at least that's what I was thinking.
Next up is Radek Stepanek, the crafty Czech who beat James in the final of LA last summer. James will be earning some quality rankings points this week, so look for him to hopefully move up past Gasquet to 8th place.
March 28, 2008 - Key Biscayne, FL - James got his first win at the Sony Ericsson Open in a couple years today, beating Italian Andreas Seppi in straight sets 7-5, 6-3. Now he gets Fabrice Santoro, took out Ljubicic today in three. Check out the full draw here.
A few pre-tournament festivities for James the other day to report on. He hosted the kickoff party Wednesday night, and earlier in the day squared off against Maria Sharapova with the new Topspin 3 game for Wii.
March 21, 2008 - Indian Wells, CA - All good things must come to an end, and this time it was James' undefeated streak against Rafael Nadal that took the hit. Rafa scored a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win over James last night in a well played, and at times exciting match.
It's fair to say James dictated play throughout the first two sets of the match. He had command of the first set of the match but had two sloppy games that cost him. The first was giving back his break of serve (after being up 4-1) and the other was when he had Nadal down 0-40 (I believe) at 5-6, and he made a number of forced/unforced errors to lose the game. Nevertheless, James steadied himself and played a great second set, breaking Nadal right out of the gate and taking care of business on serve throughout. The third set was a little more evenly played, but late in the match James' second serves and a few approach shots did him in. Rafa hit a few cold winners off those second serves, and I can think of a few mid court balls that James either missed or didn't play deep enough. That said, Nadal was extremely solid and played more offense than normal in the match.
On the plus side, James' demeanor was completely positive throughout the match and he really seems to have achieved a zen like state in his matches these days. Or was I just out in California too long, and now I'm making cornball statements like that?
So another quarterfinal result and Miami is up next.
March 20, 2008 - Indian Wells, CA - James was on top of his game from the outset yeterday evening in the desert. He jumped all over Frenchman Richard Gasquet 4 and 2, setting up a showdown with World Numero Dos Rafa Nadal. Rafael didn't have it so easy yesterday; he was down and out to Tsonga in the third set beore staging a great comeback to win 7-5. So hopefully he is still feeling the effects of that match when he and James hit the court tonight at 7pm PST .
The match will be televised on Fox Sports Net- don't miss it!
March 18, 2008 - Indian Wells, CA - A convincing straght set win for JB yesterday over Carlos Moya: 6-3, 6-4. After losing five of six against Moya in his early career, James has now turned the tables and won six of the last seven meetings between the two players (one was a walkover though). James took 58% of the points yesterday, a healthy percentage.
A delectable matchup awaits- vs. Richard Gasquet, the 8th seed, and French Davis Cup team member. Hopefully it will be the TV match on Fox Sports Net tomorrow afternoon. He destroyed Chela yesterday 3 and 2.
The Indian Wells site has just posted James press conference after his second round win. Check it out here. You can also now see James' appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last week here.
March 16, 2008 - Indian Wells, CA - A three set win for James last night over Marc Gicquel 6-3,6-7,6-1. The win gets him to round three (he had a first round bye), and an encounter with Carlos Moya, who took out Robby Ginepri yesterday. That match will take place tomorrow (Monday). In case you were looking for the Pacific Life Open on ESPN, you're not going to find it there this year, as Fox Sports Net has taken over broadcast duties this year.
March 12, 2008 - Indian Wells, CA - James is rested and well in California awaiting the start of the Pacific Life Open later this week. He has a first round bye, and then faces the winner of the Starace - Gicquel smackdown. Rumor has it 'ole Potito made some comments about Marc's sister the other day, so this one could be nasty. I jest. I've never seen either of these two play, nor would I be able to pick them out in a crowd. Kidding aside, this is a great opportunity for James to earn some rankings points, since he went out fairly early (third round) last year.
James did a little pre-tournament publicity last night in Los Angeles, appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Either later today or tomorrow, you should be able to see James' appearance from last night online: http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing
March 7, 2008 - Just a quick post to let everyone know that James is still hopeful he'll play Indian Wells next week. He's resting up at home and, well, not a whole lot else to report. If you have 41 minutes to spare, you should check out the speech he gave at Google a few weeks back. Hear how he anticipates having a wife who will put him to work in the fields, and how his domination of the 4th/5th grade dodgeball game was one of his greatest accomplishments. It's all here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK8uOgGSLp0
February 25, 2008 - Tampa, FL - James had to pull out of Memphis today due to a lingering knee injury. So not only do your #1 Tigers lose to Tennessee, but James has to pull out of your tournament as well- tough week for you Memphisians(?) Memphisters(?) Memphemonites(?). Hopefully JB is ready to turn it back on in the desert in a few weeks. February 23, 2008 - San Jose, CA - Playing what he called "probably the best match of my life," Robby Ginepri got the best of JB last night in San Jose, posting a 6-2, 6-2 win. Judging from the stats, JB didn't have much working for him last night. He suffered five breaks of serve in the match and won only 40% of the points played.
So it's on to Memphis next week before the two big U.S. tournaments, Indian Wells and Key Biscayne.
February 22, 2008 - San Jose, CA - With his win last night over Jesse Levine, James now finds himself in the quarterfinals or better for his last three tournaments, the fourth time he's ever done that in his pro career. Anyone know when else?
Up next is his weekly match with Robby Ginepri. James won a Willy's burrito last week from Robby with his 4 and 4 victory in Delray Beach. They play tonight at 7pm PST for a Wahoo's fish taco.
February 20, 2008 - San Jose, CA - James took care of business in under an hour last night, beating Sam Warburg 6-3, 6-1. No break points against for James, nine aces and he won 60% of all the points; adds up to a convincing win. Up next is young American Jesse Levine. They haven't played for pay before, but I'm fairly certain James has practiced against Jesse, as he's been invited to a Davis Cup tie or two before. That match is tomorrow night.
Today James has in interesting engagement of sorts. He's the featured speaker in the authors@google program. Google, (I'm sure you've heard of them?), invites distinguished authors to come speak in front of the Google denizens. And I'm not joking when i say distinguished; past speakers have included President Carter, Vice President Gore, legendary sports author Frank Deford, and a writer I happen enjoy, Malcolm Gladwell. So James gets added to the list today! You can see the speech/Q&A session online later this week or early next week at: http://www.youtube.com/user/AtGoogleTalks
February 18, 2008 - Delray Beach, FL - A promising weekend finished off on a sour note yesterday for JB, as he lost to a young Japanese player in three sets. Kei Nishikori, an 18 year old who trains at the Bolletieri Academy, brought the goods after James won the first set 6-3; Nishikori closed out the match 6-1, 6-4 to take the title. Read the Miami Herald's take on the match here.
So it's off to San Jose, where James plays Sam Warburg in the first round tomorrow at 7pm.
February 15, 2008 - Delray Beach, FL - Quick update before I take off for a weekend visiting the alma mater. James took care of business in the form of Paul Capdeville last night 1 and 4. Judging from the stats, looks as though JB pretty much dominated the night's proceedings, winning 4 of 5 break points, saving 7 of 8 break points against, and taking 60% of the total points played. Just to give you an idea, a close two set match might only have 4 or 5 points difference out of 110 total points or so. James won 67 of 112 last night, meaning he was in command of most games. Up next is Kunitsyn tonight around 8:30, 9pm EST.
Okay, I'm off to Syracuse now- wish them luck vs. Georgetown tomorrow (12pm EST on ESPN)! Not sure if I will get a chance to update the site until late on Sunday. Follow the action at the ATP website.
February 13, 2008 - Delray Beach, FL - After an interruption in the first set last night due to rain, James got in his first round singles match today in Delray Beach. He took out American Robert Kendrick 7-5, 7-5. Next up is Chilean Paul Capdeville tomorrow night at 7pm.
James is actually on the court as I write this, playing doubles. He and Kelly Jones are down a set to Querrey and Kendrick.
For those of you who can't get enough JB, you can watch him live at the Delray Beach tournament. Head to their website to find out how. On the tournament homepage you can also see James do one of the more cheesy video promos I've seen of late. :)
February 10, 2008 - Vienna, Austria - Another Davis Cup tie is in the bag for the United States. After Andy and James swept the singles on Friday, the Bryans took care of business yesterday, winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and that sealed the deal. The Bryans pulled singles duty as well today, splitting the final two matches for a 4-1 overall victory.
So next up is a tantalizing encounter with France in Winston-Salem, home of the most raucous Davis Cup crowd in recent memory. April 11-13 is the weekend to circle on your calendar. Gasquet, Tsonga, Llodra and Clement make up that formidable team.
February 8, 2008 - Vienna, Austria - Andy called it 'the worst court I've ever played in Davis Cup,' and James shared with me yesterday some similar sentiments, but that all amounted to naught as both players came away with hard fought victories today in Vienna. Andy won in five sets over Melzer and James took care of Koubek after being down a set and 5-2. So the Bryans have a chance to clinch the tie tomorrow against Knowle and Melzer. Melzer was treated for leg cramps in the 5th set of today's match, so hopefully the Bryans can take advantage of their day off today. That match gets underway tomorrow morning at 8am EST. Tape-delayed Versus TV coverage in the US starts at noon.
In all likelyhood, the winner of this tie gets France next round. They are up 2-0 over Romania.
January 24, 2008 - en route to austria - So I finally had a chance to watch the JB - Fed match last night. As I had surmised from the onslaught of fanmail James received following the encounter, it was a thrilling battle played at a high level. I think the one thing I took away from watching it was that James was really playing at the same level as Federer throughout the match. What I mean by that is- whereas in all their previous meetings there was always a noticeable portion of the match where James was just not in it (hence quite a few bagel sets), that just wasn't the case this go-around. To use a cliche, James was fighting tooth and nail for the whole match. I guess you could say James' being down two breaks in the third was close to being out of it, but really he was still playing well, got one break back and never looked defeated. My two cents' worth, take it for what it cost ya.
As you'll notice from the dateline of this post, James is en route to Austria for the Davis Cup. As much as he loves Davis Cup, I don't think 'thrilled' is an adjective you'd use in describing his thoughts about the situation. Didn't they just win the cup? I for one am still actually recovering from the hangover I had in Portland on that Saturday night. But, I guess that's the way it goes and James will have to watch the Superbowl amongst a cadre of European football fans. Double entendre intended.
To quench your JB thirst until the Davis Cup, head over to high school athlete-focused Stack website for a few JB interview clips (1) and (2).
January 23, 2008 - Melbourne, Australia - I'm afraid to say I haven't had a chance to see the match yet, but from the fanmail that flooded James' inbox this morning it appears James and Roger put on a great show for tennis fans today. It was a straight set loss for James 5-7, 6-7, 4-6, but there were quite a few 'Good On You' emails sent James' way for competing as well as he could against one of the all-time greats.
So for now, I'll turn the match report over to the Associated Press. You can read James' post-match press conference here. I should have photos up in the next day or so as well.
January 21, 2008 - Melbourne, Australia - More stellar tennis produced today on Margaret Court Arena courtesy of one James Blake. He took out the youngster Cilic in straight sets 3, 4 and 4. If you were like me and were watching on ESPN2, you didn't get to see a whole lot of the match other than the first set, because they kept cutting away to the Federer and Hantuchova matches. But James was in control throughout, so I was sorta glad they didn't cut back to it and jinx him. Do your minds work the same as mine?
In any case, a good win is a good win, and James fought off the elements (wind and nearby volcano eruption which produced thick ash and flying cinders) and an opponent who has some serious game (he took out Gonzalez the previous round). Next up for JB is Roger Federer. Head band, nike clothes, dark hair, dates that chick Mirka- you know the guy I'm talkin' about right? Yeah, JB is taking him to school on Thursday morning at 3:30am EST. In the meantime, read what James had to say after the match today here, including his thoughts on his NY Giants making it to the Superbowl.
January 18, 2008 - Melbourne, Australia - Hope everyone out there had a chance to watch this match- it was a doozie. First off, it marked James' first ever 2-sets down win. It also happened to be his second ever five set win. 5' 9" French tennis pros beware! James is now 2-0 against you!
The scores were 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6, 6-2. James was down TWO breaks in the 4th at 1-4, before rallying for the set. He never lost focus or determination; in fact he showed a steely resolve that you have to think is in large part attributable to his Davis Cup win over Youzhny. So congrats to him.
I hope to have pictures and interviews from the match tomorrow, but for now it's off to bed for me. Before I depart, I have to pass along a movie recommendation to you- go see the Danish film 'After the Wedding'. Incredible acting performances, a powerful and affecting story, and suprior filmmaking. But don't take my word, read more about it here.
January 17, 2008 - Melbourne, Australia - James' dominant play carried over from Tuesday into his second round match vs. Michael Russell. After a slow first set start (down 0-2), James came out guns a blazin' and proceeded to win 24 of the next 29 games played. That translates into a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 one hour and twenty five minute smack down . The encounter was televised on ESPN2, and it basically amounted to a JB highlight reel. He was hitting his trademark winners, but he also mixed in some ridiculous circus shots- like a jumping behind the back return off a smash. Okay, so he lost that point...
So what's next? Well, that would be a third round encounter with Sebastien Grosjean on Saturday. The Frenchman won a five setter last round over Haase (of the Netherlands, not Tommy Haas).
One other item of note, some of you may have caught James' recent comments about betting in the game. If not, read them here.
January 15, 2008 - Melbourne, Australia - After admittedly having a few bad practices leading up to the Aussie Open (not to mention his loss in Sydney to Santoro), I'm happy to report a straight set win for JB in the first round over Massu. Scores were 3, 2 an 2. Check out the match statistics here.
Next up James has the American veteran Michael Russell, one of James' vanquished '07 opponents at the US Open. That match will be tomorrow (meaning Thursday in Australia).
January 14th, 2008 - Melbourne, Australia - James is up fourth on in the Vodafone arena on Tuesday, meaning sometime overnight Eastern Standard time. Coverage is on ESPN2.
January 11, 2008 - Melbourne, Australia - Aussie Open draw is out and, well, let's just say it could have turned out better for James. He has both of last year's finalists in his quarter, Fed and Gonzalez, as well as Ljubicic and Almagro in his immediate vicinity. Oh yeah, and his first round opponent isn't exactly a pushover- Nicolas Massu. Other than that, things are peachy!
January 7, 2008 - Sydney, Australia - Happy New Year folks! Wish I had some better news to start off the '08 season for you, but I'm afraid it was one and done for James in Sydney this year. After winning the title here the past two years, Fabrice Santoro got a little revenge today for his five set loss at the '07 US Open to James. Score was 7-6, 6-2. Read more about the encounter here. There were some terrific pictures taken at the match today; I'll get those up on the site as soon as possible.
Born: Yonkers, NY on December 28, 1979
Height: 6' 1"
Current ATP Tennis Ranking (Entry): 15
2007 Year-End Ranking: 13
Hometown: Fairfield, CT.
Lives and Trains: Tampa, FL
Coach: Brian Barker
Agent: Carlos Fleming
For all you who wish to send JB cards and letters, they can be sent to:
or you can email him via me at firstname.lastname@example.org