Closest current equivalent to James Blake?

gully

Professional
Used to be a few of these types, right? Blake, Gonzalez, El Anouyi. Does anyone play this style anymore?

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papertank

Hall of Fame
In terms of flat hitting, forehand based players nowadays there aren’t a lot. I agree with Basilashvili as a good pick. Kyle Edmund has a good forehand but he hits with more spin and overall plays safer. Kyrgios is another that comes to mind but his game definitely revolves around the serve and not the forehand.
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
Thiem's pace off the fh is comparable, and his backhand is struck even harder. However their overall games cannot be more different.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
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.

Tsonga also used to crush his forehand but whatever nuclear generator he had on the fh side is burntout now sadly.
 

Yoneyama

Professional
Surely Rublev has a Blake forehand half the time.. flat and like a laser. Karen K. does when he gets a good strike in... I miss guys like Blake & Gonzo
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.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Wawrinka, who makes up for slightly less speed afoot with better groundstrokes off both wings and a heavier first serve.
 

TenS_Ace

Professional
I liked Blake UNTIL I read his book...Kyrgios is the new Blake..really doesn't give a ****..and has talent :cool:
 
As a few posters said, Shapo for sure, despite being lefty and having a heavy, big spin type fh, has basically the same purely offensive tactics.

I’ve honestly likened Shapovalov’s game to Blake’s for a while now. No willingness to play D, no plan B, same basic pace of shot, when on can be devastating, etc.

I honestly hope Mikael Usedknee was a great move as a coach for Shapo and can talk some sense into Dennis as far as learning to add some defense to his game , a reliable slice that neutralizes the pt,
more patience, etc. Blake’s bh has good looks but Shapo’s bh is way better imo but like I said, Shapo needs to focus all efforts on developing his slice, change of pace, consistency, etc. instead of his go-for- broke style. Use me hopefully shows him the ways.
 

captainbryce

Hall of Fame
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.
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.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
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.
 

BringBackSV

Hall of Fame
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.
Delpo is just like Blake, if Blake were 10x better.
 
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