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View Full Version : Will James Blake have a career year?


vllockhart
01-27-2006, 10:18 AM
Andy Roddick thinks James will have a career year this year. He's been hit and miss so far. He won a tourney but has had 2 losses to guys he's capable of beating.

He seems to be believing in himself a lot better but still has a ways to go. He gotta keep his aggression up and tell himself that he won't lose. I'd just plotz to see him win a major and I think the stars could align that way for him soon if he can start to really routine these guys ranked below him. You have to get to the big matches consistently before you can start winning them.

Just a HUGE fan's humble opinion.

fantenam08
01-27-2006, 11:18 AM
I'm a novice when it comes to tennis, but my prediction is he will win a few more atp titles and possibly make it as far as the 4th round or Quaterfinals at the US Open. Possibly the second or third round at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. He will end a moderately successful year ranked somewhere in the teens, and with the satisfaction of enjoying the highest rank he ever had, and promises for a better 2007.

I'm also a Blake fan, love his tenacity, but he gets ahead of himself when he is playing, and costs himself vital points. He is mentally tougher, but I am afraid he will still fall short of his goal. I don't see him as a grandslam winner. The US open would be his best chance, and even there, he would have to beat either Roddick, Hewitt, or Federer first, and all those players have dominated him at tournaments.

fantenam08
02-11-2006, 02:15 PM
bump for Blake fans.

Ronaldo
02-11-2006, 02:33 PM
Still seems to give away too many points after overhitting. But gotta run what you brung to the match. Lucky to see his match with Agassi replayed in Hi-Def on new years eve. Final point summed it up. Predict it will stay an Instant Classic.

PM_
02-11-2006, 03:04 PM
well...he's already won a tourney in...just over a month. i would say he got a good start.

VictorS.
02-11-2006, 06:35 PM
It'll be tough for him to win a grand slam title this year. However, I think a Masters Series title is very achievable for him. In addition, if he can be consistent, win some titles here and there, and play solidly at the slams...there's no reason why he couldn't get within the top 10.

goober
02-11-2006, 09:57 PM
I think he will have one of his best years this year. I can't see him winning a slam or even a masters title unless he gets a very good draw from injury or unexpected losses on his side of the draw. He probably will win a more titles this year than any other year and will likely finish in the top 15.

Objective Danny
02-13-2006, 12:34 PM
He'll win a couple of big tournaments and be competitive in the Slams. Don't be surprised if he take home a Grand Slam Crown.

Moose Malloy
02-13-2006, 12:38 PM
I'd just plotz to see him win a major and I think the stars could align that way for him soon

He's 26, its a now-or-never time for him. I think the stars already aligned for him & missed his only chance to ever reach a slam final in New York last year.
He's just not mentally tough enough to do well in the majors(horrible 5 set record)
And losing in straight sets to Robredo in Australia without much of a fight, tells me how far his career will progress.

VictorS.
02-13-2006, 08:56 PM
He's 26, its a now-or-never time for him. I think the stars already aligned for him & missed his only chance to ever reach a slam final in New York last year.
He's just not mentally tough enough to do well in the majors(horrible 5 set record)
And losing in straight sets to Robredo in Australia without much of a fight, tells me how far his career will progress.

I disagree. Blake went to college unlike guys like Roddick and Federer. So I don't think he has the miles and stress that those guys have. It doesn't surprise me that he's playing his best at this age. He started (on tour) much later than the other guys. So it really wouldn't be a real surprise if he has his best tennis yet to come. You see guys like Agassi, El Ayanoui, Santoro, and Johansson playing well in their early 30s. Blake to me is a young 26.

Grimjack
02-14-2006, 07:04 AM
Blake had his career year last year. He made a GS quarterfinal, and didn't succumb to any major ailments. I think this is probably the ceiling for him. We just saw Ginepri's career year, too.

jtreed2000
02-14-2006, 07:54 AM
I agree with Ronaldo. He hasn't found the right balance of aggressiveness yet. He's obviously extremely talented, but doesn't pick the right shots a lot of the time. He will be a top 25 player as long as he wants just on raw talent, but I think he could be top 10 or even top 5 if he can get stronger mentally and learn to play a little smarter; he doesn't need to "go for it" the extra 10-15 times a set. He's very fast and has the shots on both wings, but he could develop more game at the net, just for some variety and to keep the other guy guessing.

Ripper
02-14-2006, 11:16 AM
Imho, Blake's game is all about ultra fast courts. Expect him to do well on those.

tennisnj
02-14-2006, 12:00 PM
I found this interesting website which lists the ages of all the male Grand Slam event winners from 1968-2005. While this may not deal w/James Blake directly, you can see at his age, some of the names of players who have won one of the 4 majors.

http://www.tennis28.com/slams/agerecords_winners.html

The site has a wealth of age related Grand Slam information.

Freedom
02-14-2006, 12:04 PM
I agree that a Master's title is a possibility for him, but a Grand Slam? Not with Federer, Nadal, even Nalbandian, in his way. I like James Blake, but there are just better guys out there.

Moose Malloy
02-14-2006, 12:09 PM
I found this interesting website which lists the ages of all the male Grand Slam event winners from 1968-2005. While this may not deal w/James Blake directly, you can see at his age, some of the names of players who have won one of the 4 majors.

Most of the players who win slams at 26 & over have already won slams before, are all-time greats, etc.
Among the oldest first-time winners who only won one:Gomez, Korda, Ivanisevic, Muster,Costa, Johansson.
I think the odds are against Blake.

tennisnj
02-14-2006, 12:16 PM
I agree Moose Malloy, I think he might be playing for Davis Cup glory rather then a Grand Slam championship.

gully
02-14-2006, 12:52 PM
Nothing against the guy, but he's never shown the fitness and, well, moxie to win a slam -- his game is very energy-INefficient, requiring a lot of high-octane play, and he just simply runs out of gas in some five-setters.

That said, I think James might pull off a Masters' event or two in his career yet. A week's worth of high-intensity best-of-three matches is not at all beyond his capability.

But a slam? Or even a run to a final? I don't see it. I think he played his best to get to a USO quarter last year -- on his best surface -- and he lost (but in a dogfight) to a 35-year-old Agassi.

Grimjack
02-14-2006, 01:12 PM
Nothing against the guy, but he's never shown the fitness and, well, moxie to win a slam -- his game is very energy-INefficient, requiring a lot of high-octane play, and he just simply runs out of gas in some five-setters.

That said, I think James might pull off a Masters' event or two in his career yet. A week's worth of high-intensity best-of-three matches is not at all beyond his capability.

But a slam? Or even a run to a final? I don't see it. I think he played his best to get to a USO quarter last year -- on his best surface -- and he lost (but in a dogfight) to a 35-year-old Agassi.

This guy gets it.

vllockhart
02-14-2006, 01:27 PM
Nothing against the guy, but he's never shown the fitness and, well, moxie to win a slam -- his game is very energy-INefficient, requiring a lot of high-octane play, and he just simply runs out of gas in some five-setters.

That said, I think James might pull off a Masters' event or two in his career yet. A week's worth of high-intensity best-of-three matches is not at all beyond his capability.

But a slam? Or even a run to a final? I don't see it. I think he played his best to get to a USO quarter last year -- on his best surface -- and he lost (but in a dogfight) to a 35-year-old Agassi.

I think the key word you used is "moxy" (moxie?? sp?) The down deep guts required to beat 2 or 3 top guys in a row to win a slam is still missing. He should have beaten Andre in straight sets at the USO.

I was at final of the Pilot Pen last August, and if the crowd hadn't been screaming for him, he would have folded.

But I still have to hope he'll get it one day soon.

gully
02-14-2006, 02:42 PM
Yeah, it is "moxie" -- "courage combined with inventiveness." (Not a word I use often, a little antiquated, but the one I was looking for.)

I like the guy plenty -- but I just think he has to hit too many great shots from too many places on the court over too many sets and matches in two weeks to win a slam. The odds are way better still for a guy like Agassi or Nalbandian who can rally with less physical expenditure, or for someone like Fed who can win dozens of points decisively and almost effortlessly.

With his game, James would have to become almost superhuman in terms of fitness, endurance, and concentration to go all the way to a slam.

gully
02-14-2006, 02:47 PM
I guess I might add that there's no shame in that. For all the bashing of Roddick and other perfectly successful pros on this board, one might think that a quarterfinal finish at slam or a top-20 appearance in the rankings was a sign of a dismal career.

I think he's done a lot with what he's got.

devila
02-14-2006, 03:18 PM
Blake's playing well and can win hardcourt events. He's not a top 10 player. The one talking about the top 10 is Blake's DC captain.

A player, with 20-40 titles and a slam win, usually has the ability to improve his speed, arm extension, fitness and variety.
It's not good enough to have only brains and some footspeed.

Roddick can play on different surfaces, and it looks like he's being bashed because he wasted his talent. The new forum members don't even know what he did between 2003-2005. He was distracted and his weight kept fluctuating, he almost fainted in 2 matches and had injuries.

VictorS.
02-14-2006, 07:15 PM
I think people put too much into the "age" of the player. Tennis is a mentally grueling sport. I think the reason why you don't see many guys do well after 25 yrs of age, isn't physical ailments, but rather mental exhaustion. Blake is just coming into his prime. I don't know if he'll ever win a slam. But I definitely think his best tennis is yet to come. And being that he played college tennis, he's a bit of a late bloomer in regards to the atp tour.

fantenam08
02-14-2006, 11:51 PM
Maybe he's just average. *shrugs shoulders* Being top 20 in the atp at this point is plenty to be proud of with the depth of talent. Its gonna take a miracle for him to break into the top 10. At this point, he's still losing to player's that he should be beating easily. He could possibly play well into his 30's, but each year there is a crop of new comers, younger, fitter and as hungry as he is. The clock is ticking...

jamaican fan
02-15-2006, 11:26 AM
Our boy needs to be mentally tough. Remember the Agassi epic at the US Open ? I admire his courteous demeanour , but he should have killed Agassi instead he let him back into his match , I am still reeling from the "I was glad to a part of this great match", he should have been in the final, cut out some of the niceness and get real hungry. He should utilize his speed, nobody can match this guy's speed- did you see his matches with Federer? He lost but had him on the run a lot of the times. James also is a bit skinny in the legs but getting more muscle might affect his speed -I'm guessing and the skinniness might be linked to his condition. Got to get the mental game together. He has so much natural talent with MS and all, don't you agree?

jtreed2000
02-15-2006, 11:51 AM
Loads of talent. It's in his head. If he cut down on some of the unnecessary aggressive shots he'd be a top 10 player. Instead of being happy to be there like a few said, he's gotta believe he can finish off a top player to become one.

Count Grishnackh
02-15-2006, 11:52 AM
Our boy needs to be mentally tough. Remember the Agassi epic at the US Open ? I admire his courteous demeanour , but he should have killed Agassi instead he let him back into his match , I am still reeling from the "I was glad to a part of this great match", he should have been in the final, cut out some of the niceness and get real hungry. He should utilize his speed, nobody can match this guy's speed- did you see his matches with Federer? He lost but had him on the run a lot of the times. James also is a bit skinny in the legs but getting more muscle might affect his speed -I'm guessing and the skinniness might be linked to his condition. Got to get the mental game together. He has so much natural talent with MS and all, don't you agree?


I agree with the niceness thing against Agassi but I think he lost because deep down he doesn't believe he can go to a slam final, yet. He's got a world class forehand but man can't he just hold back a little more? He's fast and his backhand is consistent enough to employ a patient strategy from the baseline and then let the forehand loose. I see that whenever he gets a forehand he tries to hit the outright winner from bad positions because he knows its such a powerful weapon. In the end it'll look good on sportscenter but he'll result in a loss. I think his main problem is that he tries to be too flashy and show off his forehand, it's a great shot but he needs to use it wisely. Then he loses to this Korean dude and its not Hyung-Taik Lee. Blake's game is a head scratcher.

vllockhart
02-15-2006, 11:54 AM
James should wear the new Nike shirt with his pic on it that I bought from TW. I'm 2-0 in my matches since I started wearing it to play in. :mrgreen:

dennis1188
02-16-2006, 04:13 AM
James should wear the new Nike shirt with his pic on it that I bought from TW. I'm 2-0 in my matches since I started wearing it to play in. :mrgreen:

Yeu-Tzuoo WANG (TPE) def. (#5) James BLAKE (USA) 6-3, 7-5

djones
02-16-2006, 04:15 AM
Probably not.

BabolatFan
02-16-2006, 05:09 AM
not likely...

devila
02-16-2006, 02:04 PM
James' forehand isn't one of the top 5 (unlike what John McEnroe and Leif Shiras claimed). He's not that talented, unfortunately.

mr.fitch
02-16-2006, 02:07 PM
He might possibly win a masters series title. As for slams, he'll go deep and would give a top player a good fight. A slam title, IMO, is a long shot.

chrismaylor
02-16-2006, 11:45 PM
he's getting old, it may sound crazy but I think this past US Open was his only shot at Grand Slam victory.




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superman1
02-16-2006, 11:50 PM
I don't expect him to be a consistent contender for Slams, or even titles, but I do expect him to get some great wins and make some deep Slam runs in his career. He's too determined to not have a satisfying career and to at least break into the top 10 eventually, even if only for a short while.

jtreed2000
02-17-2006, 12:45 PM
I agree w/ superman and devila. i think his FH looks big b/c he goes for so much, unfortunately many of them are misses. that mild inconsistency, and even nerves(?), are what's keeping him away from slam potential. he's gotta hang in there, settle down and develop a more consistent game.

fantenam08
03-17-2006, 04:01 PM
Absolutely. :mrgreen: I've never been so pleased to be wrong.

Moose Malloy
03-17-2006, 04:05 PM
I'm impressed, but I don't think he will end the year in the top 10. He still is prone to very bad losses(San Jose & Memphis)

He & Ljubicic were both 26 when they broke into the top 10, which is on the old side for that achievement.

Grigollif1
03-17-2006, 04:33 PM
I think James Blake, will problably be soon the Number one U.S player in the ATP rankings ahead of Andy Roddick, until th end of the year I believe. The real issue for Blake in my opinion , is how well he is going to do in the Red Clay. For the last few years he has done very medioacre in that surface, so for him to finish well in the top 10. He needs to do at least descente on clay in my view...

VictorS.
03-17-2006, 05:04 PM
It'll be interesting to see how he fares on the red clay. I wouldn't expect him to win any tourneys. However, if he can produce some decent results....I like his chances of finishing top 10.

I also think the grass court season will be pivotal. He hasn't really had any "great" results on the surface and honestly don't expect much from him at wimbledon. But if he can do well, that would really give him that edge he'll need.

arosen
03-17-2006, 05:22 PM
If only James were a little more...angry, hungry for a fight. He could borrow some "moxie" from someone like Nadal. James has the game to win a Masters title, noone seems to doubt that. He doesn't seem to have a desire though. The kind of desire that makes a player go the extra mile.

Grigollif1
03-17-2006, 05:31 PM
Victor S. I agree with you. But also, if he doesn't do well at all in the clay and have the kind of US open series that he has last year, winning title , being runner up and also getting to the US open semis, he could well go inside the top 5.

Arosen: I disagree with you. I think James Blake tends to get too angry when he gets to the finals, it is as if he wants to win soo much, that ends up making him tremble in the crucial points. So, it is the opposote in my view He needs play loose,and not worry so much just like he is doing now.