Sunday, September 2, 2012

US Open Day 6: Blake

Curtain Call

Player: James Blake
Age: 32
Nation: USA
Current Ranking: 114
Notable Conquest: Marcel Granollers (Spain, 24th seed)
Today's Result: loss to Milos Raonic (Canada, 15th) in straight sets

Photo via Bald Celebrity

I know it's practically unpatriotic to say this, but Blake has never been my favorite.  Everyone says he's a good guy, smarter than most and so on and I believe it.  I simply have a hard time getting behind players who consistently argue line calls, particularly those who let the arguments interfere with their match focus.  Blake has been that guy for his entire career.

That said, I'm glad for any player who manages to keep a viable tennis career going into his or her 30s.  Blake has spent most of his career playing in the shadows of bigger talents like Andy Roddick and is to be commended for working hard and making the most of his opportunities.  While he can get a bit whiny on the court, he's no McEnroe - I mean that in the best possible way.  American tennis will miss him when he finally hangs it up.

Catching Up with Old Friends

Brian Baker (Curtain Call, Wimbledon Day 8) - Baker played in his first US Open in seven years.  Thanks to his strong performance at Wimbledon, he didn't even need to go through qualifying.  He lost in the second round to Janko Tipsarevic (Serbia, 8th).  He had a decent showing in doubles, too, teaming with fellow American Rajeev Ram.  The pair lost in the second round to the 14th-seeded British team of Colin Fleming/Ross Hutchins.

Golden Squid Report

Jurgen Melzer (Golden Squid since 1/24/11) - Melzer had a busy tournament, as usual.  He lost in the first round in singles to Bradley Klahn (USA) in five sets.  He teamed with Iveta Benesova (Czech Republic) in mixed doubles.  They also lost in the first round, to Abigail Spears/Scott Lipsky (USA).  Men's doubles was the biggest disappointment, though.  He and partner Philipp Petzschner (Germany) were the defending champions in New York.  The 10th seed, they lost in the second round to Jamie Delgado/Ken Skupski (UK).

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