Has James Blake sticking around hurt his legacy?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by HunterST, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    James Blake is one of my favorite players, but any real hope of him having a big success has been gone for a few years. Players and fans often talk about how players should retire when they're still close to their original ability to preserve their legacy.

    Do you think JB sticking around and losing fairly often to players ranked outside the top 100, and even 200, has hurt his legacy?
     
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  2. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    He has no legacy. It's his life. It's nice to know these pro's actually love tennis.
     
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  3. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Not sure what you mean by no legacy. He finished in the top 10 several years and is well known for overcoming a broken neck, zoster, and family problems.

    I do agree it shows he loves the game.
     
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  4. BeHappy

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    I mean he never won a slam or made a final. I have never heard a decent career described as a legacy. People will not be talking about James Blake in 15 years.
     
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  5. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    When someone is one of your favorite players, you have very little objectivity. Legacy? His legacy is a little thin, beyond being a nice guy who got into the top 10 for a short time. He's been off the radar for too long for anyone to really pay attention to what he's doing now.
     
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  6. President

    President Legend

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    The mural on the front wall of my tennis club is a massive picture of James Blake ripping a backhand. He will be remembered...
     
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  7. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    I love his style and like the guy but not sure what legacy he has to leave, other than the courage of coming back from that horrific injury.
     
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  8. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    That would be a very good mural indeed.
     
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  9. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    James Blake is a hometown hero underdog, and that's why guys love him. I personally love his game - super talented. It's a shame he couldn't have done more when he was at his best. I think his legacy is more about being a guy who made it through adversity and was a success.

    It's not like he is at the status of say a Lleyton Hewitt, as some other posters have alluded to.
     
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  10. Ace of Aces

    Ace of Aces Rookie

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    He will be remembered for his forehand. No matter how long he plays, the videos of him belting lasers can't be erased.
     
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  11. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    A big no. He has had a very fine career, but he does not have any kind of significant legacy per say he could damage in the first place. It is riskier for a great of the game who has won slams to stay around too long, and have their head to heads and how they look overjudged, but for a player like Blake it is meaningless. Everyone knows what he was in his prime, a very brief top 5 player, and solid top 10 player for a few years, who was fun to watch but was never going to win a slam. The expected struggle of a player who isnt truly special in his 30s really changes nothing of that.
     
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  12. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Saw him play live once on HC.
    The guy was an excitement machine.
    Wish his career hadn't been so affected by injuries.
     
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  13. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    legacy |ˈlegəsē|
    noun ( pl. -cies)
    an amount of money or property left to someone in a will.
    • a thing handed down by a predecessor

    So yes by definition Blake will have a legacy if he has children.
     
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  14. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    i think he should pack up playing but its up to him..often think why players carry on after they have..'jumped the shark' suppose they must just enjoy playing and competing at a lower level..

    look at hewitt, world no 110 or whatever..relying on wildcards to get into majors/masters events now..just had a gritty 3 set win in san jose angainst someone he would've wasted no problem a while back..

    Breaking News...tennis players like playing tennis :neutral: thats the whole thing, got to keep that waggon rolling etc...
     
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  15. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    Agreed. I just saw a match where Courrier beat McEnroe in some Seniors Championship Indoor tournament.

    Both were mere shadows of their former selves. Neither really needs the prize money. But they looked like they were having a lot of fun playing against each other.

    And that's what it's all about....
     
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  16. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Unfortunately for him, I think he may be remembered more for contributing to Agassi's legacy at the 2005 US Open.
     
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  17. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    If the OP considers returning to play a professional sport after horrific injuries his legacy, then it only strengthens his legacy to stay around for as long as he can.
     
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  18. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    No, simply because there is not much legacy to start with. There is no spot light on him to hurt or not hurt.
     
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  19. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    If he had quit in 2010 he would have retired a mid tier GOAT in line with Wilander or Edberg.

    Dragging it out has really hurt his GOATness rating.

    Playing Donnay with cheesy hats doesn't help either.
     
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  20. BuggyDub

    BuggyDub New User

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    He did tell Pam Shriver where to go. Wouldn't we all like to do that? I wish his career would have been more successful for him, but he should play until it's no fun for him anymore, or his body has finally had enough. Same thing for Hewitt.
     
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  21. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    If Blake at his age can make a final comeback like Goran Ivanisevic did; Blake will then have a legacy! But as of now; he just another tour pro trying to break back in to the top tier.
     
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  22. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Who cares about the legacy? He should do what he loves as long as he can.
     
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  23. Fiji

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    Not really..
     
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  24. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Every person leaves behind a legacy and James Blake's is more epic than most..

    While I think players should play as long as they enjoy it, this is an example of the later years overshadowing a brief but fruitful run. Ranked #4 in the world for awhile, YEC finalist, dangerous floater on fast courts. But I forget he is still on tour these days.
     
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  25. citybert

    citybert Professional

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    James Blake is the man, he should have no regrets with what he accomplished. And even was a college baller.

    Blake agassi USO QF is def a top 10 night match esp when you factor in emotions and crowd.
     
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  26. fps

    fps Legend

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    It's completely up to him, but I wouldn't say his career deserves to be described in terms of leaving a legacy. While off the court he's very interesting, in total he was a good player, and that's it.
     
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  27. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    Hewitt's tennis style is baseline grinding. Modern tennis is baseline grinding. So how is Hewitt's game different from the modern game?
     
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  28. President

    President Legend

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    James Blake could have been a great player and a major winner IMO with his tools and game, he got unlucky with injuries and was not a great competitor.
     
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  29. tipsytennis

    tipsytennis New User

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    He should retire, he has his time i think but if you're a tennis bettor you will know how much of a mug her can be. He's a decent player and enjoys the sport but he will never be a name we all shout about
     
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  30. President

    President Legend

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    James Blake also had a very exciting game that was great to watch, and an inspiring life story in addition to being a very good looking guy. It's no surprise he got a lot of attention, being the #2 American of his generation behind Andy Roddick.
     
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  31. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    more of a counterpuncher than grinder/retriever. still at baseliner at heart and while it's not as big a difference as blake's style, it still is pretty different from the dominant form. he doesn't push as much as most players do nowadays.

    furthermore, since his injuries you see him hitting flatter and through the ball more in order to close out angles and finish points earlier as his hips/legs aren't what they used to be. contrast him with Simon/ferrer types and there is a big difference in style. more aggressive shotmaking (davydenko-eque when playing well), more focus on winners (which results in more unforced errors).

    check out Hewitt Vs. Tipsy during the aussie open earlier this year for some good rallies because of the difference in style. i agree though, it's not like he is a net-rusher.
     
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  32. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    Blake was a fine player in his day, no doubt. But a legacy player is one who left an indelible mark on the game. Blake has never done that and won't unless he wins a slam before he retires. That'd be something to remember.
     
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  33. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    What legacy?

    I ask this as a James Blake fan.

    He was a good tour-level player, made 3 Slam QFs, had some wins over big players, got into the Top 10 and acheived a No. 4 ranking at his peak. 10 titles overall, composed of 9 250s and 1 500-level event.

    In my opinion, while this is a very good career, it is not the sort of career that is the foundation of a "legacy" that is in any way ruined by sticking around and dropping in the rankings.

    Will I think any differently of James Blake because of the less-than-impressive tail end of his career? No way. I'll remember him for his headband, his insane power, his pure speed, his controversial matches (Hewitt USO, Gonzalez at the Olympics), his Sideshow Bob-looking brother, and his ability to bother anyone when in "on" mode (which hardly ever lasted long enough).

    There's not enough of a legacy or aura or anything else that would be diminished by going out as a lower-ranked player.

    IMO, the queston would be better directed at someone like Hewitt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
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  34. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I've never understood the argument that a player who carries on playing as their results decline "damages their legacy". Any results they have made in the past are not removed by playing on.

    For example, I've heard some people say that Connors should have retired after 1984. Why? What he did up to 1984 will always be there whether he had stopped at the end of 1984 or carried on well into the 1990s, as he did. I believe that by squeezing every last drop out of his potential, surely he increased his legacy all the more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
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  35. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Agree with this.

    In fact, I think everyone saying "he has no legacy to damage!" just strengthens the idea. 3 years in top 10, finalist at YEC, and his Davis cup record are not accomplishments to sneeze at.

    Now, though, everyone thinks of him as a guy who "could never have won a slam." I doubt anyone would have said that during his better playing days.
     
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  36. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    While Roddick did NOT wait too long to retire, he does show how sticking around could hurt a player's legacy. Young Roddick was known as a huge hitter, biggest server, and a kid with a ton of talent.

    Now, a lot of people think of him as lacking a lot of talent on groundstrokes, less talented that other top players, etc. When players' abilities start diminishing, people remember them as less successful and talented than they would have if the player had quit closer to their prime.
     
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  37. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    First only people who really deserve a legacy in the minds of the public (and not your own personal goals) are special players. James is making the decision of doing something he wants to do and he knows that once he ever leaves it, it's almost impossible to come back. So he always has the chance to leave the sport, but he doesn't really have that same flexibility of coming back.

    Understand?

    For someone who has a james blake avatar, you seem to be really urging him to retire. A true fan would respect the player's own decisions and not generate threads pushing him towards your own fanatical interests.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
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  38. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    what is this legacy non-sense? since when do tennis players play for "legacy"? tennis was always about having a bit of fun and competing with yourself and one another.

    this legacy drivel is just a corporate media creation to sell more merchandise and give the guys with the biggest "records" brand power. some of the most talented tennis players have never won slams (Rios), yet these are the guys who enrich the sport so much. A highlight reel of his 'touch' shots is more of a legacy than knowing that XYZ player has a few slams.

    what about all of the french players? Tsonga, Santoro (Sampras called him a Magician) and others who fans love due to their celebratory tennis style. They enrich the game so much and make tennis worth watching. How many times have you tried to emulate Santoros slices when fooling around with your friends on a court?

    What about players like Benneteau who have poor win/loss stats but can entertain us with their all court style even against Roger (the GOAT) Federer at Bercy '09, Wimbledon '12 and Rotterdam a couple of days ago! Should he have given up years ago and deprived us of his beautiful tennis?! He is 31 and has yet to win a title (made 7 finals), forget going deep in a slam!

    While you guys are busy nerding out on stats and records (i.e. legacy), some of us are thankful for all of the 'real' tennis that is still played on tour and for the chance to be inspired in a way that makes us appreciate why we play this beautiful game.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
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  39. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

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    James has a wife and baby at home. Diapers and formula aren't cheap. He sucks at commentary. He must keep playing.
     
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  40. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    quoted for truth.
     
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  41. surfvland

    surfvland Semi-Pro

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    What legacy?
     
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  42. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Okay, this "he has no legacy" thing makes no sense to me.

    "Legacy" just means how a player will be remembered in the future. The question is simply if James Blake's recent poor results will make people remember him as a less talented and successful player than he was.

    It's cool if you think how he plays in the twilight of his career does not affect how he's remembered, but, c'mon, EVERY player is remembered in some way.
     
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  43. BeHappy

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    When I said he had no legacy, I still liked watching him play and he was an incredibly exciting player. A bit like Tim Henman.

    His USO match against Federer is one of the greatest matches in terms of level of play from 2 players at the same time I have ever seen. I think Federer broke James Blake's back in that match.
    I felt that in the 2006 TMC final and all their other matches onwards Blake just rolled over. Federer crushed Blake's confidence in their USO match.

    Blake's legacy among his fans will be his comprehensive domination of Nadal off clay.

    I was just making the point that I have never heard of a player like Blake or Henman (or even Ferrer who is having a similar career to Bkake, beating Nadal in 2 slam QF's) talking about having a legacy.
     
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  44. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Let's admit it, James isn't going to make into the hall of fame. and Pssssst, don't tell anyone but he needs the money to support his poker room habits..:)
     
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  45. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    because many people have short memories or start watching from the decline period of the player .....

    for instance, how many do you think would be impressed by sampras in 2001-02 .... great serve ok .. but can't return, can't stay with the younger guys from the baseline ......gets passed by them repeatedly at the net ... net play is a failing strategy against the new generation ... blah blah blah ..
     
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  46. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Well like I said, everyone has a legacy. My father has never played professional sports but he has two sons, a successful business, etc. That is his legacy. Blake's legacy involves him suffering one of the worst years a man can endure, then going on to return to his profession and having more success than he did before the suffering.

    Your analysis of the USO match is spot on. Wow. One of a few matches that randomly pop into my head whether I'm watching tennis or not. Anyone who says Fed played in a weak era just need to look at matches like this..James Blake could have beaten anyone in the world that day, except unfortunately than man he was playing. Beautiful match.
     
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  47. tata

    tata Professional

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    While Federer prevailed in most of their meetings, their matches were always entertaining. When I watch the highlights on youtube of some of their matches, I really wish tennis would return to the way they played it. All out aggression on fast surfaces.
     
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  48. MasturB

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    After last night's match, Blake's Legacy should be safe.
     
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  49. asifallasleep

    asifallasleep Professional

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    If there is a legacy it's his choke against Agassi at the Open and as a player who never realised his full potential by being stubborn, sticking with a coach for far too long, and not varying his strategy during matches. Seems like a nice enough bloke, but truly a one trick one dimensional pony. Rip everything and if you're on you win and if not you lose and thats it. For a Harvard man, he played a lot of dumb tennis in his career.
     
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  50. WhiskeyEE

    WhiskeyEE Legend

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    Most athletes don't care much about their legacy. They want to make money and play their sport.
     
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