home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 11, 2009

James Blake


J. BLAKE/S. Querrey
6-4, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Bit of an up-and-down match there? Second set got away from you?
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I think there's going to be a lot of up-and-down matches. There have been tons in my career. It seems like it's so rare that a match goes break early, win the set, break early, win the set. It's just not the way men's tennis is these days. There's always going to be ups and downs.
He actually did a good job of being down and still fighting and battling back. He was even down 40-15 in the first game he broke in the second. He really kept his head up and kept working, which is a good sign for a young player.
That will hopefully get him a lot of wins throughout his career, but luckily for me it wasn't good enough to give him a win today. I played pretty darn well in that third set. I took care of my serve very well, which gave me an opportunity to go after a few shots on those return games. It took one where they were all going in for me to take advantage and hold out.

Q. How are you feeling about your game right at the moment?
JAMES BLAKE: I'm feeling really good, especially the way I'm serving. I don't know exactly what my percentages were, but I served a pretty high percentage today.
If I'm making a lot of first serves on grass, that means I'm probably going to be getting a lot of forehands and dictating play. Once I do that, I get more and more confidence and can play kind of from anywhere in the court, can really go for my shots, which is a good feeling.

Q. Things seemed to have changed around very quickly again this year, from mid clay court season when you were quite down about things to the way things are now. How has it changed so fast?
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it's crazy. Just like a match that's going to be up and down, my years a lot of times are up and down. I think last year was almost an anomaly with how consistent I was all year.
I feel like a lot of times I'll have a good stretch where I'm confident, playing great. And you lose a little confidence and things could change so quickly. You're 2% more down on yourself and guys are going to beat you. If I was 2% off today, I would have lost this match.
Just having the confidence and going after your shots no matter what the situation makes such a big difference you're going to win a lot of those matches now. And hopefully it will continue, but I never know exactly to say it's definitely going to continue or tomorrow I can come out and really play a bad match and not know why and just lose a little confidence. You know, these guys will take advantage of that pretty quickly.
But the way I feel right now, I can keep going and keep playing my kind of tennis. If I'm being aggressive and playing the way I need to play, moving my feet well, I can hopefully play with just about anyone out here.

Q. Is that the difference, that you get a little bit too down on yourself?
JAMES BLAKE: Possibly. I mean, I'm definitely someone who is pretty hard on myself. If I don't play well or certain things are not going right, I will maybe let it affect me and let the negative emotions get a part of me. But I've done a pretty good job I think later in my career of putting it away quickly on the court.
There's always work to be done. I can always improve at that, and I think -- I've heard the advice for my years now: just to give myself a break, just let it go, just relax. Hopefully I'm getting better at that, and I'm trying to be a little more relaxed out there.
I think today was a good opportunity to show that. When I got down, lost that second set after being up -- what was it, 3-Love and 40-15 on the 3-1 game -- to lose that set, I could have gotten down on myself, but just, you know, very little reaction and just making sure that I'm worried about getting that third set.
That's something I've done better at now than when I was 21 or 22 years old.

Q. I think when people look at your game from the outside in in terms of on grass, they would deconstruct it and say everything is probably there to succeed.
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah. For me, the biggest problem up until this year has been the movement. I've never felt as comfortable as a lot of people would think I would be on the grass, maybe just because my kind of first step is one that -- I don't know if it's awkward or if I just end up slipping too much. I don't feel as comfortable with that, and I end up not knowing if I should slide because I probably could slide on it the way I'm moving, or if I need to try and stop and move back.
I'm getting better at it, for sure, but I could still improve. I think for me it's tough. I don't know if it is for the other people, but going from clay where you're purposely trying to slide and going to grass where I think I'm trying not to slide, I've never quite gotten the movement down as well as I would have liked.
Hopefully this year it will be better, but I understand how people could see that, you know, if I serve well, I feel comfortable around the net and I can attack and play a little bit of defense, that I could be able to be a good grass court player, but I need to be moving my feet well to be effective.

Q. Can I ask you about the Masters Cup when it comes to London this year, your experience of playing in China? What do you think of it coming here, and what can you remember were your main sort of memories of being involved?
JAMES BLAKE: For me it was a great experience, and I think it's something anyone involved in should take pride in. If you're invited to that, one of the top eight players of the entire year, it shows that you've accomplished a lot.
It's not something you can kind of just fluke your way into where you play one good tournament and you're there. You've got to have a pretty good body of work to get there for a year.
I was proud to get there that year and I played some of my best tennis. I made it to the finals. Roger stepped up his game.
I had a lot of fond memories just being around the other guys who were the best in the world that year. And to be a part of that and then to go out there and show you belong by beating a few of them, it was a really good feeling. I know if I'm there this year I'll be proud.
I think for me logistically it's a little easier to get here to London and playing here in an English-speaking country, very knowledgeable fans who have shown how much they care about tennis with the tradition of Wimbledon and here at Queen's.
I'd be excited to be a part of it no matter where it was, but even more so having it in London.

Q. Can you remember any sort of special memories of that week, the things they have you do?
JAMES BLAKE: Well, we have that traditional garb. We had -- I don't know what you call it, but the jackets they were wearing. We had to take pictures in those. It was -- it was very formal.
They were very generous in giving gifts and everything like that. The fans -- I don't think the fans at that point had seen a lot of that level of tennis. They were oohing and aahing a lot of times. That's something that's pretty funny. You realize if someone doesn't see tennis that much, hopefully the top eight players in the world are pretty impressive.
That was a good feeling. Here it will be definitely a little different. That should be good, I think, for the top players.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297