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January 7, 2008

James Blake


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I won't say you exactly predicted it yesterday, but you certainly gave an indication that it would be a difficult match, and it certainly panned out that way.
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah. Fabrice is a great player. He's been around the Tour for a while and knows how to win matches and give the top guys headaches. He did that today.
Made a ton of gets that lot of guys wouldn't have made. Had great hands when he did get there and knew what to do with the ball, put it in tough positions. Maybe it was him, maybe it was the court, but it seemed so slow it was tough for me to put balls away.
I think I got a little bit ahead of myself. Maybe it was from not competing for a month or so, not having the patient and, I don't know, just the game plan to just go out there and be calm and continue hitting ball after ball to win points on going for it too early, or it could have been him playing well and forcing me into that. I don't know.

Q. Any aftermath from the Davis Cup? A little bit of letdown to get back up again?
JAMES BLAKE: I would have loved to have had a longer off-season, but I'll trade that for a Davis Cup win any time. I can't complain too much. I'm sure it may have had some sort of an effect on my off-season training. I feel good and I still feel fit. Definitely fitness wasn't a factor.
If I had actually been able to hold serve and come back and make it a fight in the second set I wouldn't have had a problem physically going three sets. I don't feel like I'll have any sort of problem going three out of five next week. I feel physically fine. It's just, yeah, maybe not being ready to compete this early.
I don't know what happened, but I have to give credit to him. He made me more work for every.

Q. Did the court play slower today than when you were hitting up?
JAMES BLAKE: Well, it's tough. Before when I was hitting it was kind of dodging rain. Hitting for a couple minutes here and there and not getting chance to play a full match like this out there it definitely felt really slow.
I think Fabrice will make a lot of courts feel slower than they really are, so it could have been him. Now having a week or six days to prepare for Melbourne I'll get a chance to hit a lot more on these courts and the courts there and see how I feel and if it'll still feel that slow and if I need to make an adjustment.
I generally don't adjust my game completely to the surface. I just try to play my game and find a way to make it effective on the courts. If I have to adjust I will.

Q. Where would that adjustments be?
JAMES BLAKE: Just being a little more patient, playing a little bit better defense knowing that I have time, maybe not going for winners so early on points and just letting them happen after two or three shots instead of just one.
Just continuing that patience. I feel like when I'm playing well I never feel like I'm rushed, and today I definitely felt rushed a few times, like I needed to go for too much.
That shows me I'm not playing my best tennis quite yet. I don't doubt it cn come back at any time. Maybe tomorrow on the practice court. You never know.

Q. How will you spend the rest of the week?
JAMES BLAKE: Just discussing that with my coach. Not positive, but probably stay here for a couple more days and maybe get to Melbourne on Thursday. Weather here is fine. I'm sure the courts are the same, so maybe just stay here and be comfortable for a couple more days and then get to Melbourne and get ready for that.

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