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Archive for the ‘james blake’ Category

Wimbledon Daze: Upsets

Posted by gauloises1 on June 23, 2010

Stick with me while I attempt to catch up on everything that I missed at Wimbledon while I was there. (And yes, I know I may be stretching the definition of ‘upset’ somewhat with some of these …) This is who we’ve lost so far that we wouldn’t have expected to …

Sam Stosur and Francesca Schiavone crashed out to Kaia Kanepi and Vera Dushevina respectively. That’s an entire French Open final gone right there. You’d almost think it was played on a different surface or something.

Verdasco lost to Fognini in five. And still needs a haircut.

Damn Croatians. You’re supposed to be the reliable one, Marin! Although why anyone thinks that, I don’t know. Anyway, I watched this match. It made me sad.

Oh, Boss.

Please don’t let that be your last Wimbledon, OK?

Grass is not Shahar’s best ever surface, it must be said. She lost to Angelique Kerber in three. Still, I’ve been vaguely touting Kerber as a thing-in-waiting, so there’s that.

Big win for bronzed god Daniel Brands, who took out Kolya in straights. Kolya is another one who doesn’t thrive on the grass at all, though. Plus that whole fractured wrist thing.

If a result doesn’t upset anyone, is it still an upset? I’ve decided that this qualifies on the basis that Robin Haase did the upsetting, which means he actually won a match. Shock face.

Not sure what’s the bigger not-really-a surprise, Mel losing in the second round or the fact that she made it.

And how about a big hand for our upsetters …

What depth.

Posted in angelique kerber, daniel brands, fabio fognini, fernando verdasco, florian mayer, francesca schiavone, james blake, jarmila groth, juan carlos ferrero, kaia kanepi, marin cilic, nikolay davydenko, robin haase, samantha stosur, vera dushevina, wimbledon, xavier malisse | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

So This Is Going To Be a Thing

Posted by gauloises1 on February 10, 2010

Apparently, yesterday’s photos of Jo were not a one-off. Today’s autographer: Marcos Baghdatis.

And to those of you missing Novak Djokovic, not to worry; James Blake is here to take up the slack.

Who’s going to be the velour fog by day five, I hear you ask.

Posted in james blake, marcos baghdatis, rotterdam | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

AO Day Three: Christ on a Bike, Delpo

Posted by gauloises1 on January 20, 2010

Juan Martin del Potro d. James Blake, 64 67(3) 57 63 10-8

Hands up who nearly died.

What a match. And I only watched the last two sets. How they managed to produce and sustain that level of play between them when Blake was suffering with a bad right knee and something with his shoulder and Delpo’s wrist was clearly hurting him, I don’t know, but it was a brilliant performance by Blake. As for Delpo, he was not exactly playing his best, but he fought for every point and eventually came up with the winners when it counted.

Because it’s what we do.

It left me feeling quite bad for Blake, actually. He played fantastic tennis and stayed mentally strong for over four hours and still, somehow, didn’t come away with the win.

Sorry, Linz.

Delpo seemed fairly upbeat in his post-match presser, saying he had “many things right” for his next match. I don’t entirely share his optimism, I must confess, but for now I’ll just enjoy him making it through this one.

At least he got an Elf!hug.

New celebration, please.

Posted in australian open, james blake, juan martin del potro | Tagged: , | 21 Comments »

Brisbane: Molik, Clijsters Set to Meet

Posted by gauloises1 on January 3, 2010

Little to report on the men’s side from Brisbane as heavy rain postponed the scheduled main draw matches. James Blake and Andy Roddick did manage to make it through in the doubles, though.

On the women’s side, Andrea Petkovic put out eighth seed and all-round unreliable Iveta Benesova, but the biggest news was wildcard Alicia Molik, making her return to the tour, who defeated Ekaterina Makarova 64 16 64.

I watched Alicia playing not long ago on livestream and was struck by just how much I love her game. It’s great to see her back on the tour and winning matches – albeit probably not for long this week, as she faces Kim Clijsters next who disposed of Tathiana Garbin 62 61. Clijsters and Molik are long-standing contemporaries and friends, as their post-match pressers demonstrate (Kim’s is here, Alicia’s here). I’m excited.

Bring it on.

Full Results:

Singles – First Round
(1) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 62 61
(7) Melinda Czink (HUN) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 64 36 63
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (8) Iveta Benesova (CZE) 67(6) 62 61
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 64 61
Vania King (USA) d. Sybille Bammer (AUT) 64 61
(WC) Alicia Molik (AUS) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 64 16 64

Singles Qualifying – Final Round
(3) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) d. Madison Brengle (USA) 64 64
Sesil Karatantcheva (KAZ) d. (7) Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 64 36 76(4)
(8) Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) d. Heidi El Tabakh (CAN) 46 20 ret. (left ankle sprain)
Ekaterina Ivanova (RUS) d. Kathrin Woerle (GER) 61 61

Posted in alicia molik, andy roddick, brisbane, james blake, kim clijsters | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Shanghai: Verdasco Out, Tsonga-Soderling To Meet

Posted by gauloises1 on October 14, 2009

Fairly fun day in Shanghai today with the obvious exception of del Potro’s withdrawal (Tommy Haas was also forced to retire after a set against Rainer Schuettler). The first and second seeds, Nadal and Nole, both came through; Rafa winning a thriller against Blake 64 in the third and looking increasingly like his old self, and Nole in fairly routine fashion over Fabio Fognini.

shanghai rafa nadal second roundshanghai novak djokovic second round

It’ll be Robredo and Schuettler next respectively. Probably the upset of the day was Fernando Verdasco, who really wanted a strong showing here to boost his London bid, falling to Ivan Ljubicic, 64 76(6). I flicked over from time to time and saw some truly horrible tennis from Verdasco, and some truly classic tantrums.

shanghai fernando verdasco second roundshanghai ivan ljubicic second round

But at least Verdasco’s better half had a good day, putting out compatriot and sixteenth seed David Ferrer, while La Monf survived his own bizarre tactics and lack of attention span to beat Hewitt 62 in the third.

shanghai feliciano lopez second round

shanghai gael monfils second round

Marat Safin went out to Tomas Berdych and then bitched about it, and a blockbuster match-up was set between Robin Soderling and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Both guys are hoping to nab a London spot. Should be big fun.

shanghai jo-wilfried tsonga second roundshanghai robin soderling second round

Singles – Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d J Blake (USA) 62 67(4) 64
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] F Fognini (ITA) 63 61
J Melzer (AUT) d [3] J del Potro (ARG) 75 21 ret. (right wrist)
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] S Zeng (CHN) 63 63 
I Ljubicic (CRO) d [7] F Verdasco (ESP) 64 76(6)
[8] G Simon (FRA) d V Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[9] R Soderling (SWE) d N Almagro (ESP) 64 75
[11] G Monfils (FRA) d L Hewitt (AUS) 46 64 62
[14] T Robredo (ESP) d [Q] F Mayer (GER) 46 76(10) 64 – Saved 3 M.P.
[Q] R Schuettler (GER) d [15] T Haas (GER) 64 ret. (right shoulder)
F Lopez (ESP) d [16] D Ferrer (ESP) 46 75 61 
T Berdych (CZE) d [WC] M Safin (RUS) 36 64 64

Doubles – Second Round
J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d [1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 64 64
[2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) 63 62
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) d T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) 75 36 10-4
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d [4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / A Ram (ISR) 57 63 10-7
[5] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) d F Lopez (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) W/O (Verdasco knee)
[6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Petzschner (GER) 62 76(3)
F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d [7] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 57 63 10-5
[8] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d B Becker (GER) / T Haas (GER) W/O (Haas – right shoulder)

Posted in feliciano lopez, fernando verdasco, gael monfils, ivan ljubicic, james blake, jo-wilfried tsonga, novak djokovic, rafael nadal, robin soderling, shanghai | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

USO Day Four: Nole, Blake, Isner Through

Posted by gauloises1 on September 4, 2009

No real surprises in the later matches. John Isner ended the fairytale for Marcel Ilhan in straight sets, and Novak Djokovic took out Carsten Ball, god’s gift to headline-writers everywhere, 63 64 64. I thought Nole could have made a much cleaner job of it; he seemed a little bothered and distracted and there was a bit of unnecessary racquet-smashing and yelling. Still he got the win and that’s what counts.


Philipp Kohlschreiber recovered from a bizarre mid-match bagelling by Somdev Devvarman to win in four. And a listless James Blake did his bit for the delayed night matches on Ashe by dropping a set to Olivier Rochus, and for a while there seemed like he could be on his way out. But he pulled it together with some dramatic and fine play in the third-set tiebreak and from then on was a different man, winning 63 in the third.


It was Olivier Rochus. You might want to calm down.

Posted in james blake, novak djokovic, us open | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

D Cup QFs: Team Gangle Pulls It Out

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2009

Croatia 3 U.S.A 2

marin i am the way

“I am the way, the truth, the light, and no-one comes to the Davis Cup semifinals except through me.”

Marin Cilic, the man in the teatowel shirt, performed the requisite tie-clinching that seems to function as a Croatian rite of passage today, beating James Blake 63 63 46 62. Blake fought hard, but I thought Marin played a really great match. With the exception of the end of the third set, where he had a wee bit of a nervy b and started making some bizarre shot selections, he stayed calm, focussed and went for his shots, making them more often than not.

Blake didn’t help his cause by getting irritated with the crowd – again.

blake pissed2

But really this tie was Croatia’s to win and they did it in emphatic style against tough opposition. And on to the semi-finals they go.

team croatia take a bow

And as a Mariner, I am, of course, delighted to see him having a D Cup hero moment. Now is there any chance that Mario could be fit for the semis so we could have more doubles hugging? Please?

Posted in davis cup, ivo karlovic, james blake, marin cilic | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

D Cup Quarterfinals: U.S.A vs Croatia

Posted by gauloises1 on July 9, 2009

I think – I hope – that this could be, along with Czech Republic-Argentina, the most exciting tie this weekend.


That’s a lot of lank.

usa team

And this is a lot of wank.

No surprises in the selection; Karlovic and Cilic for the Croats in the singles, Blake and Fish (I literally shudder when I type that) for Team America. I really hope this doesn’t come down to the doubles – which it really could – because then the prostitute murderers will settle it.

pmac blake

Keep your eyes on the prize, James.

You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blake beat Karlovic. I know his form has been dismal, but ironically the best run he’s had this year has been on clay. Plus it would really piss me off. And he likes doing that. Regardless, the match looks like being so dull that even the players will struggle to stay awake.


As for the other, am I mad to think that Marin has a good shot at beating Fish? The way I remember the one match they’ve played (the finals of New Haven), Marin could have taken it in two had he not wobbled going for his first title, and that was on hard. On the other hand, Marin has been making a habit of disappointing me of late. And as we all know, the question of how a given result will affect my mood must be factored into any comprehensive H2H analysis.

marin mardy

marin dc

My my.

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) v James Blake (USA)
Marin Cilic (CRO) v Mardy Fish (USA)

Ivo Karlovic/Lovro Zovko (CRO) v Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA)

Marin Cilic (CRO) v James Blake (USA)
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) v Mardy Fish (USA)

Posted in davis cup, ivo karlovic, james blake, mardy fish, marin cilic | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wimbledon Day One: Seed Spillage

Posted by gauloises1 on June 22, 2009

(stolen from naughty T, of course)

We didn’t lose too many seeds today, but a couple did take a tumble and land with a messy splat. Patty Schnyder went down to Ai Sugiyama, which is good as she can go and work on her book. Aleksandra Wozniak lost to Francesca Schiavone. And on the men’s side, we lost Feliciano Lopez to Karol Beck in five sets:


Stop! Hammer time.

And Queens finalist and perennial disappointment James Blake went down to Andreas Seppi in straight sets, in what the BBC website characterised as a “rather poor effort”.


Bye bye, Baldy.

Afterwards, James kept up his reputation as a tour intellectual and man of letters with the following wise words:

“There’s 127 people that are going to go home from this tournament a loser.”

Which, while technically true, is not particularly helpful.

Anyway, I saw Seppi at Queens eating something, which automatically makes me like him.



(Any other Elf fans out there worried that that Sunday Times list was cursed, by the way?!)

Posted in andreas seppi, feliciano lopez, james blake, wimbledon | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Queens: Suck It, Rest of World

Posted by gauloises1 on June 14, 2009

Andy Murray today became the first British man to win Queens since 1938 when he defeated James Blake 75 64.

muzz trophy


And it only took 71 years. Who says British tennis is crap?

The party line from the Murray camp seems to be that Andy is totally unaffected by all the pre-Wimbledon hype and pressure. I’m not convinced. He looked a bit more stressed than usual during this tournament – all the string-punching and consequent knuckle-bleeding – and a bit nervous today, especially at the beginning when he dropped serve immediately after breaking Blake.


Still, his first grass-court title. I’m delighted. Although even as a Murray fan, the media over the next week is going to be unbearable.

Good result for Blake though – his second final of the year after Estoril? And he was pure class throughout. Good show.


We give the foreigners the tiny trophies.

Posted in andy murray, james blake, queens, titlists | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »