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Blake In, Venus Out

Friday, May 8, 2009

Americans James Blake and Venus Williams


A wonderfully resurgent James Blake has found his footing and a seemingly new attitude - actually his old one - in Estoril, Portugal at the Estoril Open. Blake knocked Frenchman Florent Serra out of the tournament 6-4, 6-1.

With very little fanfare after quite a few recent early round loses, Blake has moved through this tournament as if previous court failings did not exist. It can't be easy to suffer so many loses and maintain the fortitude that originally took him to the top ten.

Whatever has or has not occurred, Blake is an exciting player that lifts the heat level of any tournament when he plays like he has this week. It is a pleasure to see.

This is a high for Blake, getting past the quarterfinal round on European clay. This effort has granted him a meeting with Russian Nikolay Davydenko whom Blake has a winning record against.

Post match Blake said, "This was a good match but I hope to continue that. Davydenko is a great player and he's especially dangerous on clay. But I feel I'm ready for this match."

"My game has gotten better and better all week and I'm really dictating like I want to on court."

In his interview Davydenko said, "Physically I'm not as strong as I can be but mentally I'm very tough. I've never had such a long time away from tennis in my career.

"But since I've come back I've been playing well. Everything's not about tennis anymore for me, I have family and other interests.

"Now, I hardly think about my matches, I just go out and play relaxed. For me, it doesn't matter how you are playing, it's your mental state. It's always in your head."

These two gentlemen set up the makings of what could be a tremendous match, I hope it turns out that way.


American Venus Williams and Russian Dinara Safina


In Rome at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia, American Venus Williams successfully toiled her way to the semifinals where she was defeated today by Russian Dinara Safina 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4.

Throughout this tournament Venus has shown the tough metal that we have come to know her for over the years. While it wasn't sufficient to pull out the championship in Rome, it should signal that she will be a tough competitor as the clay court season further heats up.

Post match Venus said, "She played well, continued to fight for every point. That's what you have to do on this surface," she said. "I congratulate her on playing good tennis the whole match."

Another aspect of Venus that we've come to know and expect - dignity.



Photos by:
Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images (James Blake)
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images (Venus Williams)


Posted by Shelia

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