Friday, August 31, 2007

Tenth Time's the Charm

James Blake finally did it.

After deeming Wimbledon the place to shake off his demons, Blake came up too short at the All England Club in late June, having to save his magic for the Magician himself - Fabrice Santoro - in a thrilling night match at Arthur Ashe.

And though Blake's road only gets tougher with Stefan Koubek in the third round and potential match-ups with Tommy Haas, Nicolay Davydenko and Roger Federer looming, he'll take comfort in his victory over the Frenchman. But for Blake to win his first Grand Slam, he'll have to pull out some of the tricks he did Thursday night against Santoro.

Not only does the five-set win give Blake a new confidence (he's now 1-9 in such matches), but it also sends a message to the rest of the men's draw: James is ready for anyone.

Though Santoro, mostly a journeyman who's made his living by playing crafty (and oftentimes ugly tennis), is far from the league of Federer, Blake has to know now that he can (and probably will) be stretched to five sets again during this tournament.

2-9 anyone? James'll take it.


Todd and in Charge said...

Fabrice a journeyman?

I take issue with that -- he's an artist, a creative, smart player who uses cunning and guile to win.

Though I agree he's no Federer in terms of his overall ability to win GS matches.

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