Who is currently the closest equivalent to James Blake?
I miss them a lot. Specially Blake, his shots had a lot of variety. But hey, I’ve read on TTW that they were just mugs
I was thinking Rublev too - just purely how they both can hit the FH ball flat as anything in a dead straight line with minimal body movement. Bashilashvili is a close second but I feel as though his FH has more spin/arc than Blake or Rublev.
Nadal definitely bothered Blake, and he ended up with a winning record over Blake as well. I think the point you are trying to make is that Blake seemed to deal with Nadal easier than Federer on a hard court, and that largely has to do with Blake’s attacking style of play. Blake was a more aggressive returner than Federer, and Nadal (outside of 2010 and 2019 USO) never really had great serve. Blake could attack Nadal’s serve off the backhand in a way that Federer could not. Spin didn’t really bother Blake as much because he had a tendency to flatten out every shot regardless of spin (part of his high risk playing style). He also had more of a tendency to use his speed (which could rival Nadal) to dictate play in a way that Federer rarely did. Federer likes to use variety, employ surprise tactics, and out rally other players, and he just can’t do that with Nadal. Nadal’s speed combined with his heavy ball makes it more and more difficult for Federer to create openings or take control of the rally. Blake on the other hand just attacks every shot of Nadal’s (beginning with the serve), and he goes for more winners than Federer which makes a player like Nadal uncomfortable because he can never really settle in and control the rally the way he’s used to.Blake is a beast. I miss him and gonzo. I always find myself watching that blake v agassi 5 set classic. Not sure why but nadal didn't seem to bother blake either, blake just hit through him iirc.
Delpo is just like Blake, if Blake were 10x better.Delpo is the closest equivalent to Blake on tour currently.
JB hit an incredibly flat forehand, almost with side spin it was so flat.
Those saying Shapo hits like Blake are way off. Shapo hits a much much spinnier, loopier ball. He also bends his serve in much more, James just went for the flat bomb. Only similarity is that they both have a 1 hander.