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Hall of Famer James Blake Shares His Unfortunate Experience As A Black Man Encountering Police Brutality

Friday, June 5, 2020

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James Blake, Andy Roddick, Tommy Haas and Juan Carlos Ferrero Warm Up A Cold Night In Houston, TX Competing For The Oracle Champions Cup

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Oracle Champions Cup Presented By RBC Wealth Management at the 2019 Oracle Challenger Series in Houston, Texas was definitely worth coming out for.  The four legendary players that competed in the event, James Blake, Andy Roddick, Tommy Haas and Juan Carlos Ferrero, provided a very high spirited competition drawing in the crowd and entertaining them all through the night.

At various points during the evening, whether the players were entering or exiting the stadium, the crowd members that so desired got autographs, photos and sheer pleasure from simply being in the midst of these guys.

James Blake and Juan Carlos Ferrero opened the competition against one another with Ferrero taking the win.  Next up, Tommy Haas and Andy Roddick hit the floor with Tommy Haas taking that win.  Both segments were exciting and highly challenging, keeping the crowd cheering.

The Final competition pitted Tommy Haas against Juan Carlos Ferrero in a single set of action that would clearly earn the winner the Champions Cup.  And that winner was...  Tommy Haas.

This win placed Tommy Haas in an undefeated season on the Invesco Series QQQ circuit and claim the season-long points title on the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30.

Haas, the former world No. 2 and silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, finished the 2019 Invesco Series QQQ season with a perfect 10-0 record, winning titles in Newport Beach, Calif, Maui, Hawaii, New Haven, Connecticut, Los Angeles and in the season finale in Houston Thursday played indoors at the Tudor Fieldhouse at Rice University. Haas is the first player in the 15-year history of the Invesco Series to be an undefeated year-end points champion.

“I didn’t really think about it,” said the 41-year-old Haas of his season-long effort finishing atop the Invesco Series QQQ rankings. “Every time I come out, I try to play as good as I can and I enjoy myself as well. If it ends up with a win, great. I try to just compete. If the other person is better than me then so be it. This year, it’s been working pretty good.”

Despite being retired from playing tennis full-time on the ATP Tour since 2017, Haas said that fitness is still important in his life, as he said it should be for all people to get out and exercise.

“Fitness, in general, is so important,” he said. “Even as you don’t play competitive sports anymore or whatever it is that you do, you have to keep doing something every day if you can. It’s easier said than done but even for me, I don’t go out and play tennis every day, but I try to do some kind of activity. The body just needs that otherwise you get stiff. You sit around all day; you don’t do anything. Especially when you want to come out here and try to move quite well. Line yourself up to the shot the right way and still try to have some core strength, and the leg strength, so you got to stay with it.”

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2012 US OPEN DAY 4: Serena, Sloane and Blake Advance, Venus And Tsonga Are Out

Friday, August 31, 2012

(L-R) Serena Williams, USA, Sloane Stephens, USA, James Blake, USA, Venus Williams, USA and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France all shown post-match on Day 4 of the 2012 US Open.

American Sloane Stephens, the youngest player in the top 50 at age 19, defeated qualifier Tatjana Malek 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in Louis Armstrong stadium Thursday in a three-set match filled with momentum shifts and heavily contrasting styles of play.

After a slow start in the second set, the easy power and athleticism of Stephens dealt with the variety of spins and shots coming off the Malek racquet to advance to the third round, tying her best showing at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center.

Heading into his second round match against Marcel Granollers, James Blake knew it wouldn't be easy going up against the 6-foot-3 Spaniard. He'd lost to him before in the title match on the clay courts of Houston in 2008.

And so it was here, under the lights of Louis Armstrong stadium, where Blake's best tennis came through again, as he defeated Granollers 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the third round here for the first time since 2010. Already waiting for him in the next round is a tall order, literally, as big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic will face off against him.

Serena Williams advanced a few steps in from the baseline and celebrated the point, bent over two balled fists and screaming “Come on!”

During her 6-2, 6-4 win Thursday over Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the second round of the US Open, many members of the crowd echoed this cry, trying to push the three-time Open winner on an afternoon when she fought through unforced errors – 24 in all -- inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

In a huge upset, and a major head-scratcher, 23-year-old Martin Klizan of the Slovak Republic, ranked No. 52 in the world, took out the No. 5 seed Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Tsonga looked out of sorts for most of the match, enough for many to wonder about his health, to try to explain a lackluster performances at such a significant venue.

The big serving Tsonga showed less firepower throughout the match than his unheralded opponent, who has had most of his success on the pro tour on clay court Challenger events.

Klizan, more aggressive and determined throughout, had 5 aces to Tsonga’s 4, and hit 32 winners to Tsonga’s 28.

The second-round blockbuster between sixth seed Angelique Kerber and two-time champion Venus Williams was hyped as one of the matches to watch at the US Open. With a 12:19 a.m. finish on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the matchup lived up to its billing, as Kerber outlasted Williams 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 in a gripping battle.

The clash began with five straight breaks of serve, before the left-handed Kerber ended the streak in the sixth game to lead 4-2. Williams was unable to find a rhythm, hitting 36 percent of her first serves into play, committing five double faults and winning two of 14 points on second serve to lose the first set in 31 minutes. The American dropped all four of her service games.

Post match Venus said, "Today I felt American for the first time at the U.S. Open," Venus said. "So I've waited my whole career to have this moment, and here it is.

"I was fighting her today and, unfortunately, myself," Venus said afterward. "I couldn't put more than two points together without making a few errors. I didn't help myself out today."

"When you're ready, you're ready," Venus said of Roddick. "If I was out there and people were killing me, maybe time to hang it up. But I just have to find the answer within myself. I'm playing my game and eventually [the shots] will land."

Source: usopen.org
Photos By: Getty Images

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2012 US OPEN: The Williams Sisters, Megan Moulton-Levy, Madison Keys, Nicholas Monroe and More On Day One Of Doubles Play

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On Day Three of the 2012 US Open, Round One of Men's and Women's Doubles began and were completed as follows:


Venus Williams, USA and Serena Williams, USA
Megan Moulton-Levy, USA and Lindsay Lee-Waters
6-4, 6-0

Racquel Kops-Jones, USA and Abigail Spears, USA
Dominika Cibulkova, SVK and Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Madison Keys, USA and Jessica Pegula, USA
Akgul Amanmuradova, UZB and Monica Niculescu, ROU
6-2, 6-2


Nicholas Monroe, USA and Donald Young, USA
Michael Llodra, FRA(7) and Nenad Zimonjic, SRB(7)
5-7, 6-3, 6-4

Raven Klaasen, RSA and Alex Bogomolov, Jr., RUS
Tatsuma Ito, JPN and Go Soeda, JPN
6-1, 6-3

Dustin Brown, GER and Christopher Kas, GER
defeated by
Leander Paes, IND(5) and Radek Stepanek, CZE(5)
3-6, 3-6

James Blake, USA and Sam Querrey
defeated by
Treat Conrad Huey, PHI and Dominic Inglot, GBR
 6-1, 7(9)-6(7)


Sloane Stephens, USA and Rajeev Ram, USA
Bethanie Mattek-Sands USA and Horia Tecau, ROU
6-2, 5-7, 1(10)-0(8)

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2012 US OPEN: New Dad James Blake Makes Good Use Of Wild Card, Advances To Round 2

Monday, August 27, 2012

American James Blake during first round match against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia  on Day One of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Native New Yorker and hometown favorite James Blake, now 32 and playing in his 12th US Open, and a new dad as of June, toughed out a lengthy, momentum-killing rain delay and defeated Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the first round in Louis Armstrong Stadium Monday.

After coming out a bit flat to start the first set, Blake and Lacko traded a slew of unforced errors. As the stands began to fill up with late-arriving supporters, Blake slowly found his rhythm. The 24-year-old Lacko – who hasn’t won a match since losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round at Wimbledon – continued to struggle.

In the first set, after serving his first perfect game of the match to tie the score at 5-5 and breaking Lacko with a cross-court Hail Mary return that just grazed the line, Blake grabbed a 6-5 lead. He served out the set 7-5 with a perfectly placed ace clocking in at 125 mph.

Blake cruised in the second set with the crowd behind him. The American capitalized on an early break of Lacko, and he built an insurmountable lead, finishing the set in 28 minutes.

That momentum vanished after a two-hour rain delay. The veteran Blake appeared stiff when he returned to the court, and he allowed Lacko back into the match, giving up his serve and essentially handing the Slovak the third set.

After trading early breaks in the fourth, Blake survived the brief scare, finally claiming the win on his fourth match point, as he confidently stepped around a backhand and crunched a forehand down the line.

source:  usopen.org
photos by: Getty Images

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2012 US OPEN SERIES: James Blake and Sloane Stephens Win In Washington

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Americans James Blake and Sloane Stephens both opened the 2012 U.S. Open Series Citi Open Tournament in Washington, D.C. with three-set wins.

No. 3 seed Sloane Stephens and James Blake survived three-set fights in their opening matches at the Citi Open on Monday.

Stephens defeated Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3, 2-6, 6-1, while Blake rallied from a set down for only his second tour win of the year, advancing to the second round with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph over No. 5 seed Pablo Andujar.

Stephens lost the final three games of the second set, including two on her own serve, but opened the third by breaking Karatantcheva twice for a 3-0 lead. The 19-year-old American tacked on two more breaks to advance.

"It was just a matter of a couple of loose points and some weird calls and things that happened," Stephens said of the rough middle set. "I was just a little more consistent in the end and I think that's what carried me through."

Stephens reached the fourth round at the French Open and the third at Wimbledon this year. The Floridian narrowly missed a berth on the U.S. Olympic team, and since Wimbledon has made first-round exits in her last two tournaments. There was no denying that avoiding an unwanted hat trick crossed her mind.

"You just can't ever lose three in a row, that's all," Stephens said. "That's not even an option."

The 32-year-old Blake's 2012 campaign had been a losing one entering Washington, site of his first title 10 years ago. Coming off knee surgery in November, he lost eight of his nine matches this year.

"I think I was a little falsely optimistic earlier in the year," Blake said. "I really thought I was able to get out there and compete. I don't have the ability to compete with these guys unless I'm 100 percent. . My legs feel great now."

That showed starting in the second set as Blake used his return of serve and eight aces to carry the day.

"Second set, right from the start I started feeling good, got a rhythm and never let go of that," Blake said. "I felt like I was in the games. I was sort of dictating most of the time and that's the way I want to play."
 source: AP

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From The Blog "Sam's Passing Shots": Veteran Sportscaster Sam Crenshaw Discusses "Questions To Be Answered In Atlanta"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As the curtain goes up on the BB&T Atlanta Open, the questions that come rushing forward seem too numerous to count..First there is a tournament field that includes the top ranked American Mens players in the world, four of which will head back to the All-England Club for the Olympics in two weeks.

The early commitment from Andy Roddick was big for the image of this event. Roddick won his first career ATP title in Atlanta and remains popular despite a recent drop in rankings. A-Rod is looking to ramp up his game before heading back to England.

Mardy Fish is two-time defending champion of this event, and after dealing with health matters in the Spring, looks to be ready to go for a threepeat. Fish passed on a spot on the Olympic team and is expected to play at Washington instead. Atlanta will be he most talented field he will face until after the Olympics.

Then there is John Isner.The UGA alum and two-time runner up here is coming to town on the heels of a strong showing at Newport. A great week in front of a supportive crowd could give him the boosted he needs headed back to the scene of a disappointing early exit at Wimbledon.

There are still more questions than answers about players like Ryan Harrison. The first time Olympian is coming off a semi-final run at Newport.. Donald Young is bound for London too, but is in the throws of a 13 match losing streak. Perhaps playing before the home crowd will help he regain the form that made him a hit at the US Open last year. The more interesting story coming to the Atlanta tournament for me has to be Brian Baker, who at this time last year was ranked #752 in the world. The one time junior phenom is now an overnight sensation at age 27 and ranked 76 in the world.Look for a few folks to drive down from Music City to see Baker play in Hotlanta.

But the biggest question may be the new venue for Atlanta's ATP event. Atlantic Station is a shopping, entertainment and residential development in the heart of the city. It is an idea that is so fresh and outside of the box that some are wondering how the traditional tennis community will treat it.With over 150 thousand card carrying league tennis players in the metro Atlanta area, this is a city that has long been know for choosing to play rather than watch. Let's see if they will accept and embrace a new approach to professional tennis, not just for Atlanta but for the entire nation. Instead of Tennis Anyone it time to say Tennis Everyone...Enjoy the tournament Ya'll !!!!

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(VIDEO) ATLANTA OPEN: Blake Discusses Career Win And... Baby Daughter Riley Elizabeth!


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Well Work It Out Blake! Round One Of The Atlanta Open Is Match Win No. 350 For Blake

American James Blake in full swing as he captures his 350th match win at the BB&T Atlanta Open.

Thirty-two-year old American James Blake earns his 350th career win in round one of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Tuesday after a 2 1/2 hour rain delay.

Rock it out Blake!

Blake, who took out the No. 6 seed Ryan Harrison 1-6, 6-3, 7-5, comes into the Open with with a world ranking of 110, an injured shoulder and is recovering from knee surgery.  Blake said, "My knee hasn't been that far off, but it's been far enough off that it's affected me.  When that starts getting better, my shoulder starts giving me problems, and it makes me realize I'm not 20, like Ryan, anymore."

Welcome to the club Blake.

We'll just have to wait and see what the former World No. 4 can muster during the rest of the Open, but for now, its nice to see him get the win.

Photos by Getty Images

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AO 2012: James Blake Among Withdrawals, Cites "Personal Reasons"

Friday, January 13, 2012

In December, former world No.4 American James Blake, who is now ranked 59th, cited personal reasons for his withdrawal.

He will be replaced by Ricardo Mello of Brazil in the draw for the Brisbane tournament, which starts on Sunday and is a key lead-up event for the Australian Open starting on January 16.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said he was sorry to hear of Blake's withdrawal and wished him "all the best''.

The 31-year-old's absence struck a chord with Tiley, who coached the University of Illinois men's tennis team from 1993 to 2005.

The pair crossed paths often during that period, with Blake playing two seasons at Harvard from 1998-99 during which time he was the No.1 collegiate player in the United States.

"He's a great competitor and I've been involved with James' tennis for over 15 years,'' Tiley recalled.

"I coached against him and I've known him for a long time. He's always fun to have around. It's disappointing not to have him at the Australian Open.''

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2011 U.S. OPEN DAY 2: Blake Comes Through In Four, "Just Happy To Be Here"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

James Blake, USA

Jesse Huta Galung, The Netherlands
James Blake was on court for a bit longer than he would have liked on Tuesday afternoon at the US Open. The former quarterfinalist dropped the third set and struggled through the fourth as he eeked his way past qualifier Jesse Huta Galung, winning their encounter 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Blake has been a true journeyman over the last year on tour, making trips to out-of-the-way places like Tallahassee, Fla., Savannah, Ga., and Winnetka, Ill. But the off-the-beaten-path approach seems to be working out for the American, who recorded his eighth win of the summer with his four-set victory on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Blake, once ranked inside the top 10 and is best known at Flushing Meadows for his epic five-set quarterfinal loss to Andre Agassi in 2005, has struggled with injury in the last two years and at times has contemplated retirement. He began 2011 outside the top 150.

I was thinking about every match I've played on this court and Arthur Ashe when I walked out tonight," Blake said on court after his win. "I've come full circle. I appreciate every single one of those matches."

But after losing in the second round at Wimbledon this year, Blake took his chance in entering a Challenger tournament at Winnetka and won it -- giving him the confidence to move forward.

He continued to move forward on Tuesday, blasting his big-weapon forehand and serving well when it mattered. The American, currently ranked no. 63, opened the match with an ace and closed out the first set by breaking Huta Galung's serve for the third time.

In the second set it was much the same for Blake, who jumped out to a 4-1 lead and saw the set through with a running forehand up the line that just landed in. Huta Galung challenged the call, but the ball had dropped landed on the baseline, giving Blake a two-sets-to-love lead.

After a hiccup in the third set, Blake's late afternoon match slowly drifted into the evening, the lights on Armstrong springing to life as darkness fell. Blake went down a break in the fourth set, gesturing to his box in confused frustration and arguing with the chair umpire at times. But the 31-year-old New York native used a well-timed backhand lob to earn two break points in the eighth game of the set and prevailed on his second opportunity as Huta Galung sprayed a groundstroke long.

Blake used the break to spur him, his mom and brother cheering him on from his player's box. Holding serve for 5-4 in the fourth, he shouted, "Come on!" as he trotted to his chair. It would be the next game where he would break Huta Galung for the match, the world's No. 160 crumbling under the pressure from the American crowd.

Blake sprung out to a 0-40 lead on Huta Galung's serve in the tenth game and sent a blazing forehand return up the middle of the court for a winner, letting out a loud scream in victory.

"This is where it all started," Blake said, remembering his five-set encounter with Lleyton Hewitt on Armstrong in 2001. "I can win any match out here with this crowd behind me," Blake said. "I have a good shot in the next round. I'm just happy to be here."

Blake is set to take on No. 5 seed David Ferrer in the second round.

source: usopen.org

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U.S. OPEN SERIES WINSTON-SALEM OPEN: Tuesday's Second Round Takes Out Both Blake And Young

Thursday, August 25, 2011

James Blake, USA during second round Winston-Salem Open loss.

Tenth seed Robin Haase took just 61 minutes to dismiss American James Blake 6-4, 6-1. Haase fought off nine of the 10 break points he faced on serve, while breaking Blake five times from eight chances

Former World No. 4 Blake had come into the second-round match with a 7-0 record in Winston-Salem, inclusive of six Davis Cup matches. Haase, currently at a career-high No. 42 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, extended his winning streak to six matches in his first tournament since claiming the Kitzb├╝hel title earlier this month.

For Blake, it was his first loss ever in Winston-Salem. He was a perfect 6-0 in Davis Cup ties here and won his first-round match against Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-1 on Sunday night.

The 31-year-old New Yorker called it his worst performance of the summer hardcourt season.

"As I get to this age, I try to have a short memory about matches like that," Blake said. "It was just one of those days. Nothing seemed to be going right, wasn’t serving well, wasn’t returning well, just nothing was effective. It’s frustrating because the first round I thought I played pretty well, especially in the second set. I thought I was getting momentum and playing well. But that’s the worst match I’ve played all summer. It’s frustrating that it’s right before the Open, but the Open doesn’t start until next Monday so I’ve got some time to get on a practice court and get my confidence back hopefully."

Blake said he was disappointed not only for himself, but for the crowd that was clearly on his side.

"It’s a lot of fun to play in front of a crowd that’s cheering for you," Blake said. "It’s frustrating when you can’t come through for them. That’s the tough part of tennis. You feel great when you succeed in front of a home crowd and give them what they want, and it’s frustrating when you can’t. That’s what I’ve learned through the years. It’s a lot tougher to take when you feel like you’re letting others down. But they’ll get over it. They’ve still got Andy Roddick and John Isner to watch."

Donald Young, USA

Fifty-second ranked Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov came back after losing a one-sided second set to defeat World No. 85 American Donald Young in three sets 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2) in the second round at the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina on Tuesday. The match lasted for two hours and three minutes.

Source: atptennis.com

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U.S. OPEN SERIES WINSTON-SALEM OPEN: James Blake And Donald Young Advance Easily On Tournament Inaugural Day

Monday, August 22, 2011

James Blake, USA

The inaugural Winston-Salem Open, a new tournament on the ATP World Tour, got underway on Sunday with five matches on the schedule. Two of those first-round matches were played and won byAmericans James Blake and Donald Young.

Blake ran his record in the city to a perfect 7-0 on Sunday night as he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 6-1 in his first-round match in the Winston-Salem Open. 

This came on Center Court at the new Wake Forest tennis complex, not across the street at Joel Coliseum, where Blake is unbeaten in six Davis Cup matches. But that didn’t seem to matter to the 31-year-old New Yorker.

"It’s great coming back here," Blake said. "Just across the street. It’s a little different being out in this heat and humidity, but it still feels great. The crowd obviously was incredibly supportive. A little different atmosphere than Davis Cup, but it’s still a lot of fun. I remember the area well and it’s good to be back and hopefully I’ll continue to play the way I did tonight, and maybe even better."

Blake won twice here in his Davis Cup debut in 2001 when the U.S. beat India in a relegation match. He tacked on two more wins in the U.S.’s quarterfinal win over Spain in 2007, then won two more in a quarterfinal win over France the following year.

"Winston-Salem has been good to me," he said. "It was such an emotional week that first time playing against India, right after 9-11, my first Davis Cup, with Andy Roddick. We had a blast. I still remember so much from that whole week, really. To be back here, it seems like not long ago, but it’s been over a decade, so that’s a little crazy. But it’s been a lot of fun from then to now, and hopefully I’ll get some more wins, too."

Blake started slowly against Kukushkin, who came into the match ranked No. 62 in the South African Airways ATP rankings.

"He has a second serve that I feel I can attack," Blake said. "One of my biggest weapons is my second serve return, being able to hurt guys with that and make them think about it a lot. I was able to do that today. I feel like the courts are pretty good for that. Hardcourts are always better for me, but these feel like they grab the ball a little bit and it gives me time to go after the second serve. Today it was effective. I feel like the only times I didn’t return it well were when I was just trying to get the ball in the court and was getting a little too tentative. Which is something I do less and less the more confident I am. But in the second set I was pretty confident going after him the whole time."

Confidence, Blake said, seems to be coming to him more and more as the summer goes on. He won two matches in Cincinnati last week before losing to Roger Federer in the third round.

"I’ve won a decent number of matches this summer and I’ve been playing pretty well and feeling like once you get into that routine, that rhythm of winning matches, it seems to snowball," Blake said. "You just feel when it’s 5-all you’re going to win that set. You just feel good out there on the court and you can go for your shots. That’s what happened at the end of the first set and then in the second."

 Donald Young, USA

Donald Young needed just 68 minutes to close out a 6-3, 6-4 win over German Michael Berrer.

Source: winstonsalemopen.com

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(PHOTOS) Blake, Tsonga And Others As They Are Seen On The Scene

Saturday, August 20, 2011

American tennis player James Blake (L) poses for a photo with former Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenti at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic player's party at the W Washington D.C. on July 31, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Serena Williams in recent Hamptons Magazine Photoshoot

 Canadian rapper Drake seen cheering on Serena Williams at last weeks Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011 Rogers Cup Fashion Show

ATP Tour players in their finery before the 2011 Rogers Cup fashion show

Tsonga and Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka

Mirka Federer and Gavin Rossdale at last week's Rogers Cup

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US OPEN SERIES W&S OPEN: Federer Says He's Ready For Good Friend Blake On Thursday

Thursday, August 18, 2011

James Blake consoles Roger Federer after the top seed's surprise 2008 Olympics exit.

In a post-match interview yesterday, Switzerland's Roger Federer reponded to an inquiry about his upcoming match against James Blake.

Q.  What do you think about playing James Blake next?

ROGER FEDERER: Fun.  I’m really looking forward to it.  He’s a good friend of mine, and it’s been hard seeing him go through challenges and surgeries and injuries and so forth.  He’s back on the big stage where he belongs, especially here in the States.  It’s going to be a tricky, tough match.

I don’t know if the last match we played against each other was the Olympic match, but that was obviously a pretty big match for me to lose as well.  May be getting a chance for some revenge.  I’m looking forward to it.

Seems like he’s playing well.  Definitely going to be ready for it.  Had a great finals here years ago, and hope we can make something similar happen.

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US OPEN SERIES W&S OPEN: A Very Fatigued Serena. Tsonga And Blake Advance

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A very fatigued Serena Williams rests after her defeat of Lucie Hradecka, CZE.

Too much too soon?

"I'm going to have to figure that out," responded Serena with regard to whether she is overplaying. "Nothing against Cincinnati or Toronto or the Stanfords that I've played, but everyone is preparing for the U.S. Open. I have to be smart and make sure it's not too much."

Serena is currently topping the U.S. Open Series Leaderboard with 170 points, having won the last two titles. On Tueday at the Western and Southern Open, Cincinnati, Ohio, she began to rack up even more points with a first-round-straight-sets win over the Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka, 3-6, 6-7 (5).

At the same time, the match took a gradual toll on Serena that was very evident in her play and body language as well. It appeared towards the end of the second set that she would either be withdrawing, or calling for the trainer. In typical Serena fashion though, neither occurred -- she trudged along and found a way to win.

Hopefully a good night's rest will do the trick for play on Wednesday... wouldn't want to see her have to drop out of the Series -- and definitely not the U.S. Open!

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga used a powerful serve and a spotless return game to pick up his first career win at the Western & Southern Open, 6-3, 6-4 over Marin Cilic in the first round on Tuesday.

Serving near 130 mph, Tsonga hit nine aces and took advantage of more than 20 unforced errors by Cilic. "It was really a fluid match," Tsonga said. "Like everything was easy for me today, to serve and everything."

"This morning in warmups, I was feeling really good," said Tsonga, who has been battling an arm injury. "And during the match I felt really good."

After beating Cilic for the first time in his career, Tsonga next will play qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr. in the second round today or Thursday.

American wild card James Blake will meet Switzerland's Roger Federer in a repeat of the 2007 Cincinnati final. Federer holds a 9-1 record against the former World No. 4, with his only loss coming in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Blake, who currently stands at No. 84 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, comfortably rolled past Italian Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-2 in 58 minutes as he converted three of his five break points.

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US OPEN SERIES W&S OPEN: Blake Opens Cincinnati Quest With A Win Over Baghdatis

Monday, August 15, 2011

American James Blake during post-match interview

James Blake, a Cincinnati singles finalist in ’07 and an ’02 doubles titlist with Todd Martin, defeated Marcos Baghdatis in a rematch of their Wimbledon first round meeting. The veteran Blake, who’s been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world back in ‘06, advanced to the second round 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

For Blake, the win over Baghdatis allowed him to exact revenge after suffering a loss to the Cypriot at Wimbledon earlier this summer. In that match, the Baghdatis won 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 4-6 6-4.

Blake cited increased confidence as one factor in the role reversal this time around.
The American continued that the court surface attributed to the positive result. "Since I lost to [Baghdatis] at Wimbledon, I’ve been playing well," he said. "I feel really good about being back on the hard courts. The summer swing is always my favorite part of the year; it’s where I have my most success."

Up next for the American will be the winner between the No. 14 seed and 2011 Sydney finalist Viktor Troicki and Fabio Fognini, who’s currently enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 64. Earlier this year, the Italian advanced to the quarterfinals at the French Open in his best ever showing at a major.

Source: cincytennis.com

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Wimbledon Day 2: Round 1 Continues - Includes Blake vs. Baghdatis

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

(L-R) Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, Serena Williams, USA, James Blake, USA, and Heather Watson, GBR


Serena Williams, USA (7) vs. Aravane Rezai, FRA

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA (12)  vs. Go Soeda, JPN

James Blake, USA vs. Marcos Baghdatis, CYP (32)

Heather Watson, GBR vs. Mathilde Johansson, FRA

Stephanie Foretz Gacon, FRA vs. Andrea Petkovic, GER (11)

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Blake Out At BNP Paribas Open After Roddick Defeat

Monday, March 14, 2011

James Blake during 2nd round play at 2011 BNP Paribas Open
(Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs Andy Roddick round 2 2011 BNP Paribas OpenDavis Cup teammates Andy Roddick John Isner will face off in the third round after they posted back-to-back wins on Stadium One, Sunday afternoon at the BNP Paribas Open.

World No. 8 Roddick, who dropped serve once during the one-hour, 30-minute match, broke James Blake to go up 6-5 in the second set and proceeded to clinch the 6-3, 7-5 victory with his 13th ace.

“I thought it was okay,” he said. “It was tough to get a gauge on how I was playing because James was playing so aggressively. From the first game I realized his strategy was any time; he didn't want to let me get a rhythm. I felt like he was coming out of his shoes. It was tough, but the numbers looked good afterwards. I felt like I was hitting the ball okay, so it worked out.”

It was Roddick’s eighth win in 11 matches against Blake, a former World No. 4 who has dropped to a No. 158 ranking after an injury-plagued 2010 season.

“I definitely think we've gotten closer over the course of our careers,” he said of their relationship. “Spending so many weeks early on when we were the only two young U.S. guys who were at tournaments, so we naturally, I guess kind of gravitated towards each other. And then being on the team together for so long, he's one of my favorite people. He's someone who I always cheer for.”

Source - bnpparibasopen.com

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Blake Wins On Salute To Heroes Night, Sets Roddick Clash

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs Chris Guccione 2011 BNP OpenJames Blake, USA, 2011 BNP Open Indian Wells, California
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake vs Chris Guccione at 2011 BNP OpenAmerican James Blake came back to defeat Australian Chris Guccione 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Friday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, following a special Salute to Heroes ceremony featuring The National 9/11 Flag flown at Ground Zero.

Blake dropped the opening set, but quickly regrouped to take a 2-0 lead in the second. He broke Guccione two more times in the third set to clinch the victory in one hour and 35 minutes.

The win ensured a blockbuster second-round clash between Blake and top American Andy Roddick, both past finalists at the year’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. It will be the 11th meeting between the pair (Roddick leads 7-3).

The 31-year-old Blake entered this year’s BNP Paribas Open with his lowest ranking since his 2000 desert debut, having dropped to No. 158 after an injury-plagued season in 2010. Meanwhile, World No. 8 Roddick has won seven straight matches, clinching his 30th ATP World Tour title in Memphis and leading the U.S. into the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

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