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View Full Version : James Blake Must Change His Game


Conquistador
06-22-2009, 05:49 PM
James Blake, a huge foehand, a true power player. He has not done much in his career, given his talent. I mean Blake has soo much talent its stupid. However James seems to try to show off his power way too much. Camping behind the baseline, James rarely goes towards the net. Jim needs to develop more of an all court game at this point in his career. Blake has the speed to do so. I was discussing this with another guy, Blake really needs to make an adjustment. With all his talent, he should have won multiple slam titles.

lambielspins
06-22-2009, 05:53 PM
Please. Blake isnt talented enough to win a slam amongst todays field. You are nuts if you think he is. Look at all the players who are more talented than Blake:

Federer
Nadal
Safin
Nalbandian
Djokovic
Murray
Gulbis
Cilic
Del Potro
Davydenko
Roddick
Haas
Kiefer
Tsonga
Berdych
Gasquet
Baghdatis
Monfils

If anything Blake has overachieved to do as well as he has in his career. He is now 29 years old, turning 30 in 6 months. He is at the end of a very respectable career that was never going to contain a slam title barring major fluke.

Conquistador
06-22-2009, 05:55 PM
Please. Blake isnt talented enough to win a slam amongst todays field. You are nuts if you think he is. Look at all the players who are more talented than Blake:

Federer
Nadal
Safin
Nalbandian
Djokovic
Murray
Gulbis
Cilic
Del Potro
Roddick
Haas
Tsonga
BerdychGasquet
Baghdatis
Monfils

If anything Blake has overachieved to do as well as he has in his career. He is now 29 years old, turning 30 in 6 months. He is at the end of a very respectable career that was never going to contain a slam title barring major fluke.

I dont know how you can think THOSE guys are more talented.

Nadal_Freak
06-22-2009, 05:56 PM
If James is so talented, why can't he play more than one way?

stoble
06-22-2009, 06:01 PM
Please. Blake isnt talented enough to win a slam amongst todays field. You are nuts if you think he is. Look at all the players who are more talented than Blake:

Federer
Nadal
Safin
Nalbandian
Djokovic
Murray
Gulbis
Cilic
Del Potro
Davydenko
Roddick
Haas
Kiefer
Tsonga
Berdych
Gasquet
Baghdatis
Monfils


Kiefer???? You have lost your marbles.

skip1969
06-22-2009, 06:01 PM
he was supposed to be unwell today during his match, but i think he's pretty much proven that he can only play one way.

lambielspins
06-22-2009, 06:07 PM
I dont know how you can think THOSE guys are more talented.

Berdych, Baghditis, and Monfils are way more talented than Blake. They are big underachievers who dont get much out of their talent, although Monfils is starting to change that. Gulbis of course has much more talent and potential than Blake. He is young now, but if he doesnt have a better career than Blake he definitely underachieved. Blake's only talent is bashing the ball and Gulbis can bash every shot with more power than Blake can so already Gulbis > Blake talent wise. Cilic likewise has much more potential and talent than Blake, and unless he underachieves should surpass Blake's career.

Roddick is more talented than Blake. Roddick's serve is a major talent whether you like it or not, and his consistency and ability to grind out points which Blake doesnt possess is also a talent.

lambielspins
06-22-2009, 06:09 PM
Kiefer???? You have lost your marbles.

Kiefer showed alot of promise when he was younger. It is easy to forget now but in the late 90s his talent and potential were very evident. If he hadnt been injured he would have been a top 10 player for much of his career. The guy can hit every shot very well and has very good athletic ability and court instincts too. Even way past his prime he reaches an Australian Open semifinal, something Blake has never done in a grand slam.

SempreSami
06-22-2009, 06:18 PM
If it weren't for what happened to him in 2004 I reckon he'd have achieved more.

tacou
06-22-2009, 07:16 PM
Kiefer is easily as talented as Blake, whatever that means.

Blake hits big, but some guys hit bigger.
Blake is damn fast, but some guys are faster.

the thing is Blake has a dumb game plan especially for someone so prone to extreme highs and lows. he's just not a smart player

anointedone
06-22-2009, 07:21 PM
Kiefer is easily as talented as Blake, whatever that means.

Blake hits big, but some guys hit bigger.
Blake is damn fast, but some guys are faster.

the thing is Blake has a dumb game plan especially for someone so prone to extreme highs and lows. he's just not a smart player

110% agree. I do think with a better game plan he would be a better player though. He should have hooked up with Gilbert right after Roddick foolishly ditched him.

jamesblakefan#1
06-22-2009, 07:27 PM
Please. Blake isnt talented enough to win a slam amongst todays field. You are nuts if you think he is. Look at all the players who are more talented than Blake:

Federer
Nadal
Safin
Nalbandian
Djokovic
Murray
Gulbis
Cilic
Del Potro
Davydenko
Roddick
Haas
Kiefer
Tsonga
Berdych
Gasquet
Baghdatis
Monfils

If anything Blake has overachieved to do as well as he has in his career. He is now 29 years old, turning 30 in 6 months. He is at the end of a very respectable career that was never going to contain a slam title barring major fluke.

I can agree w/ this list, except for maybe Gulbis and Cilic. Both are guys that basically have the same gameplan as Blake, they're just taller and more imposing w/bigger serves. But for the most part, I agree w/what you said in that he overachieved and never was going to be a multiple slam winner in any era. He did play college tennis, which is unheard of in this generation and says something about what was expected of his career professionally, since he didn't just go straight to the pros as a teen.

lambielspins
06-22-2009, 07:35 PM
I can agree w/ this list, except for maybe Gulbis and Cilic. Both are guys that basically have the same gameplan as Blake, they're just taller and more imposing w/bigger serves. But for the most part, I agree w/what you said in that he overachieved and never was going to be a multiple slam winner in any era. He did play college tennis, which is unheard of in this generation and says something about what was expected of his career professionally, since he didn't just go straight to the pros as a teen.

Awww but if you are saying they are basically the same as Blake except being taller, more imposing, with bigger serves wouldnt that sufficient to rate over Blake in talent? After all isnt height, being imposing, and being able to serve bigger more easily (part due to height) be part of "talent". Remember you dont have to be much more talented to be on a random total list of people who in ones opinion have more talented, even a bit more is sufficient.

jamesblakefan#1
06-22-2009, 07:45 PM
^^^Ok, ok, you got me there. I guess it shows how the mental game is such a big part of tennis, that Blake can accomplish a better career than guys less talented and still be too weak mentally to take it to the next level. Hopefully guys like Gulbis and Berdych pick it up mentally and maximise their potential.

lambielspins
06-22-2009, 08:04 PM
^^^Ok, ok, you got me there. I guess it shows how the mental game is such a big part of tennis, that Blake can accomplish a better career than guys less talented and still be too weak mentally to take it to the next level. Hopefully guys like Gulbis and Berdych pick it up mentally and maximise their potential.

I dont hold out much hope for Berdych at this point. He turns 24 this summer and he has been on a sharp decline ever since Wimbledon 2007. What is he ranked now. I think Wimbledon 2007 really took the starch out of him. He really believed in his heart I think he would be in the finals there, that would be his breakthrough, he won a warm up event on grass, his draw seemed to line up perfectly for him. However Rafa who most at the time believed simply got lucky with a cushy draw to reach the finals of Wimbledon 2006 made a big statement to the tennis World and Berdych himself at that Wimbledon and spanked Berdych in their quarterfinal, when Berdych had owned him on hard courts up until then. I think that sent Berdych into a funk he has never recovered from. There are guys coming up younger who hit the ball as hard or harder than him, and that only is further draining his confidence and enthusiasm. He still has the talent to make something more of his career but not sure if he is willing to dig deep enough or has it in him emotionally anymore.

Gulbis has time on his side. Some progress sooner rather than later would be encouraging though.

fuzz nation
06-23-2009, 07:12 AM
I'm not sure that I've ever seen anyone in the men's game quite so prone to mentally "checking out" of a match, even when he's playing well, as JB.

I'm not a mental health professional, but I coach kids and I've been a fan of the sport for pretty much all of my days going back to Bjorn Borg's era. A positive outlook on the courts is at least as big of an advantage as a solid backhand, etc., and when someone decides to beat themself out of a match, there's no saving them unless maybe their opponent turns an ankle or passes out from dehydration.

I saw James up close in Newport in what was basically his first year out on the grinder and he played a sharp first round match against the #1 seed. After losing a set, he regrouped and changed his attack enough to earn an impressive upset, so I was on board for a while. After his brief modeling career was done, his hot and cold tennis drove me nuts. Too often, he'd get down on himself against so-so opponents, sometimes when he'd be winning. At that level, if he, his coach, his brother, or even his mom didn't have enough of a clue to address his weak head... again, there's no saving him.

Oh, and while we're on the topic, I can't believe that the "J-Block" at the US Open couldn't come up with anything more than the "JAMES" chant for his matches. Maybe they both could stand a little more creativity in their approach to the game.

ATXtennisaddict
06-23-2009, 07:14 AM
Blake a touring pro, he'll never amount to much.

Accept it, you Blake fans.

cknobman
06-23-2009, 07:21 AM
James Blake's strategy and mental toughness sure dont reflect his "harvard smarts" and are more representative of Cledus going to Podunk ville junior college.

Rabbit
06-23-2009, 07:48 AM
The other day, during Queens coverage, the commentators on TTC were discussing Blake and other pros as it related to the topic of change. The subject came up when it was mentioned that for his whole career, Blake had no "Plan B" when things weren't going his way. He continued to play his game win or lose. One of the commentators said that pros were reluctant to change anything as that is how they became successful in the first place. I can certainly understand the point.

However, I really don't think that it would have hurt Blake when faced with losing a match to change his tactics. It's not like he's making a permanent change. But, for a set or two, you figure he'd think about maybe making the other guy play some.

With regard to Blake's future, you can stick a fork in him. He may have some Davis Cup left in him but as far as the majors, he's done.