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View Full Version : Advice for the Game of James Blake


Jimmyk459
05-02-2008, 05:58 AM
I have recently been watching some video clips of Federer's best points. While watching these videos, many of Federer's best points involve an exchange with James Blake where he (James Blake) is absolutely DESTROYING the ball. He his hitting it easily a good 10 mph faster than Federer; however, Federer ends up being able to get to the ball every time and come up with some spectacular winner. While watching these particular points, I realized that James Blake hits that ball in smaller angles than ANYONE ELSE ON THE TOUR (IMO).

His shots are nevertheless effective against "most" other players due to the sheer velocity that he puts on the ball. The following advice for Blake applies to all surfaces and situations. HE NEEDS TO HIT AT SHARPER ANGLES!!! By doing so, he can open up the court and allow himself to put some easy shots away instead of KILLING himself on every shot.

Granted, I realize that James Blake hits a flatter ball than almost every other player in the top 50. Even so, if he can just add a bit of spin to produce a sharper angle on his shots, he will add a serious amount of variety to his game.

It doesn't matter how hard you hit the ball of the player on the other side of the net doesn't have to move to hit it back.

Any thoughts??? Am I being a complete idiot?? or am I dead on accurate?

(Please don't turn this thread into a "James Blake Chokes!" thread or a "James Blake has no mental GAME" thread) This is strictly a thread about things that he can do to IMPROVE.

Thanks guys.

coloskier
05-02-2008, 07:31 AM
I have recently been watching some video clips of Federer's best points. While watching these videos, many of Federer's best points involve an exchange with James Blake where he (James Blake) is absolutely DESTROYING the ball. He his hitting it easily a good 10 mph faster than Federer; however, Federer ends up being able to get to the ball every time and come up with some spectacular winner. While watching these particular points, I realized that James Blake hits that ball in smaller angles than ANYONE ELSE ON THE TOUR (IMO).

His shots are nevertheless effective against "most" other players due to the sheer velocity that he puts on the ball. The following advice for Blake applies to all surfaces and situations. HE NEEDS TO HIT AT SHARPER ANGLES!!! By doing so, he can open up the court and allow himself to put some easy shots away instead of KILLING himself on every shot.

Granted, I realize that James Blake hits a flatter ball than almost every other player in the top 50. Even so, if he can just add a bit of spin to produce a sharper angle on his shots, he will add a serious amount of variety to his game.

It doesn't matter how hard you hit the ball of the player on the other side of the net doesn't have to move to hit it back.

Any thoughts??? Am I being a complete idiot?? or am I dead on accurate?

(Please don't turn this thread into a "James Blake Chokes!" thread or a "James Blake has no mental GAME" thread) This is strictly a thread about things that he can do to IMPROVE.

Thanks guys.

You are mostly accurate. James tries to hit the ball past you with power, whereas Fed, Nadal, etc, try to hit the ball around you with angles. It tells what kind of courts you were brought up on. On hard courts, power tennis is a winning combination. On clay courts it is not, because the clay slows down the ball so much you can't power it past someone.

Richie Rich
05-02-2008, 08:58 AM
didn't know you guys were qualified coaches.

coloskier
05-02-2008, 09:50 AM
didn't know you guys were qualified coaches.

Actually, I am. But that is beside the point. All we are doing is discussing Blake's game, that's all.

edmondsm
05-02-2008, 10:07 AM
Any thoughts??? Am I being a complete idiot??


My only thought is that you are a complete idiot.:twisted: J/K.

Blake is very open about how he plays with a singular mind-set: be aggressive on every point. However, you have made a great point. I've heard that Blake actually has some interesting skills with the forehand. Appearently in practice he will occasionally change his grip and hit Sampras-like forehands. I know this doesn't translate into adding spin to the ball, but if he has the ability change up the forehand a bit then he should do so. Adding spin doesn't neccesarily mean less aggression. Just different aggression.

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
05-02-2008, 07:37 PM
Actually, I am. But that is beside the point. All we are doing is discussing Blake's game, that's all.

That's true, but the title of the thread suggests otherwise. Great points though..

Richie Rich
05-03-2008, 03:12 AM
Actually, I am. But that is beside the point. All we are doing is discussing Blake's game, that's all.

who in the top 100 do you coach then?

Grimjack
05-03-2008, 04:41 AM
Any thoughts??? Am I being a complete idiot?? or am I dead on accurate?


I'm going with "complete idiot."

James hits the ball hard, flat, and deep. This is his plan A, and his plan B. If plans A and B fail, he has no plan C. He just hasn't got that kind of variety, nor the time left in his long-in-the-tooth career to add it now.

Since hitting the ball hard, flat, and deep is his only plan, he MUST, due to the immutable laws of physics, minimize the short, angled shots. When you hit hard, flat, and at a short angle, what you get is a ball that goes ten feet out of bounds.

If you want to be the type of player that can feather it at delicate angles against pro-level competition, you need to start working on that strategy when you're a teenager -- not when you're pushing 30.

It's too late for James to blossom as a completely different type of player. He does one thing, does it fairly well, and has some success with it. It's never going to be a difficult puzzle for the best in the game to cope with, but it's been keeping him relevant for a while, and should continue to do so for a while longer.

JB would have to rework his stroke, his strategy, and his game completely to do what you're suggesting. I don't think he had the talent to do that in his prime, much less now. Leave well enough alone. Don't try to turn him into a slam contender. He was never born to be one. No shame in that -- few are.

arnz
05-03-2008, 04:46 AM
who in the top 100 do you coach then?

Man. why dont you just relax. Its just for fun.

Oh, and Federer needs a two handed backhand ;)

Lionheart
05-03-2008, 05:12 AM
who in the top 100 do you coach then?

does he need to coach anyone in the top 100 to be a qualified coach? If so, then there are 100 qualified coaches in the world....

cujays
05-03-2008, 05:41 AM
i really think james is a good player
hitting hard is his game
i think he need to come to the net more and even try the drop shot more