Blake Will Pull for Roddick Against Federer at US Open
by Richard Vach | September 4th, 2007, 12:06 am
  • 36 Comments

After a devastating loss to Tommy Haas at the US Open after holding three match points, James Blake says he will watch and root for Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals against world No. 1 Roger Federer.

“I’ll watch Andy, for sure,” Blake said. “I love to see him doing well. Watched him today, his last match. He’s playing great. I’m real proud of him. I want him to do as well as possible. I would have loved to have met him in the semifinals and had another thriller. He’s doing great, playing exceptional tennis. I’d love to see him bust through here and win — take one of these titles away from Federer or Nadal. He’s got a tough run obviously. I love the way he’s playing, love the way he’s competing. Just serving huge, as always. I’ll watch a lot of those matches. Hopefully he’s got plenty more left.”

Federer has beaten Roddick in their last nine matches, and 12 of 13 career.


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36 Comments for Blake Will Pull for Roddick Against Federer at US Open

FloridaMan Says:

To me, James Blake is in the top 10 for one reason and one reason only: he is a gifted, brilliant shotmaker. But unfortunately, he doesn’t have much to rely on outside of that. As Mary Carillo said today, it is very difficult to win majors, and even best-of-5-set matches, relying on shotmaking alone. Shotmakers can go up and down with a match; they can get leads, blow leads, get them and blow them again. Blake proved this in this year’s matches at the U.S. Open. His 1-10 record in 5 sets is pretty much purely for the reasons described. It’s no mystery at all.


张奔斗 Says:

That’s funny, James. You would have loved to meet Roddick in the semifinals? Did you seriously believe for a single moment that Roddick could get close to beating Roger? HoHoHo. Roger in three sets.

Come to think of it, I feel bad for Roddick. But for Roger, he would have won 3 or 4 more majors –last year’s US Open, and probably 2 or 3 Wimbledon titles. He would not have been known as a one-slam wonder, which is what he almost certainly will be remembered as in tennis history. However, c’est la vie. Life has no place for “but for”s. But for Nadal, Roger would have completed a calendar year grand slam and a couple of career grand slams. Sometimes imperfection gives people more to remember about.


Roddick Girl Says:

That’s very nice of fellow countryman james , Hopefully Andy won’t let him down , he’s gonna kick feddy’s *censored* & he’s gonna prove everone WRONG :)


sdfi Says:

To: Roddick Girl

Yeah right, in your dreams.


jane Says:

Here’s what Andy said about playing Roger next:

“But I’m excited. I expect a lot of myself. I don’t think anybody else really expects much from me (laughter).”

“Q. You say you don’t think people expect anything of you in this match. What do you mean?
ANDY RODDICK: I’m saying people are going to call him the favorite. Maybe I misspoke, you know. Trust me, I know you guys expect a lot from me (smiling).”

- Obviously Roddick knows his chances are slim, and thus he is not saying anything people can latch onto and insult him with, as has happened in the past. Instead, he’s being self-deprecating.

- But if Andy can play his best, and his serve and forehand are firing, I’d give him a shot; however, he has to win the 1st set and start fast against Roger like Lopez did. Then, he has to keep it up.

- The problem for Andy is that Roger knows his game so well. Andy will have to mix up his serves and dictate play and he will have to be consistent and not go away when Roger gets momentum, because Roger will – we all know that.

- Too many players “go away” against Roger when he starts zoning – he breaks their spirits AND their game. But if they took a page from Rafa, or even Djok in Montreal, who regrouped in the 3rd and stuck with it…well, you never know. Roger might have more Ws against him.

Admittedly, it’s a tall, tall order.

I hope it’s a good match either way.


missing agassi Says:

While I’d love to see Andy join the “I can challenge Roger” club, I just don’t see it happening. However, with Andy having rest with his “retiring” opponents, you never know. Andy will have to bring his A+ game and Roger will have to be off.
Floridaman: I agree with you regarding James Blake. I like Mr. Blake, however, I find his lack of thinking on the court very frustrating. Is Brad Gilbert coaching anyone right now? I feel James B. could benefit from Gilbert’s “Winning Ugly” strategies as Roddick and Agassi did.


jane Says:

Missing Agassi -

Gilbert is coaching Andy Murray, but I agree that perhaps a new coach would bring something new to Jame’s game.


grendel Says:

Jane, I doubt that Roddick can serve as well as Lopez did in first two sets. It’s not just about speed, Lopez’ placement was telling. If he could have kept it up, it would have been tight to the finish. But Lopez, after all, is Lopez. He was bound to flag. That’s what makes the top 3 special – they seem to be able to concentrate for monstrous lengths of time.


nadalfan Says:

roddick isnt top 3


jane Says:

Grendel -

By “mix up serves” in the previous posting, I meant placement; I agree: Roddick will not only have to serve fast and accurately, he’ll have to place his serves well and variously (Lopez used that out-wide Lefty serve, but Roddick could experiment with placement as well).

I terms of concentration I also agree; that’s what I meant by “go away” mentally (and sometimes physically as well). Too many players get down and fall away, and Roddick has been guilty of this a number of times against Roger – like at last year’s final, I think he lost the last set 6-1. At least Lopez “came back” somewhat in that final set against Roger and made it a respectable, if not admirable, effort.

As I said – it’s a tall order, obviously, to beat Fed.


zola Says:

I think Roddick will have a hard time playing Federer. fed could read his serve from the get go in the AO. Roddick has to play a more complex game because Fed is not a simple player. Roddick also gets discouraged very easily. He shouldn’t rush it. If I was Roddick, I would have studied Lopez-Fed match very carefuly and took notes. He should serve at least as well as Lopez and also he has to play like Djoko or Nadal to be able to do something. Even if fed gets a hit and misses one set, he is able to correct himself and bounce back. Roddick and Blake have to yet develop this ability.

Anyway, I am not a Blake fan at all, but I like that he supports Roddick. I know it is near impossible, but I would love to see Roddick beat federer or at least put out a real and close fight. I don’t want to see him beaten like AO.


Shital Green Says:

That was another good match between Djoko vs Monaco. Finally, in the 4th set, Djoko proved what he is made up of. Monaco displayed a great skill, despite being a lay courter. He deserves an ovation. He even got an applause from Djoko in the 2nd or 3rd set when it was 4-5, 30-15. And Moya, at 31, is still playing in his best form. Can that be something Djoko should be concerned about this Thursday?

I do think that A-Rod has a chance if he plays his best and if he can reinvent some of the too familiar, textbook techniques, to puzzle Fed. My best of luck for him.


Giner Says:

Roddick has a good game, and one of the best serves out there. Problem is, Fed is capable of returning that big serve, and almost always outaces Roddick despite having a weaker serve. The difference? He returns much better than Roddick can.


jane Says:

Giner -

Precisely. Which is why you’d think that Jimmy – one of the best returners – would be able to really help Roddick. We’ll get to see how well he returns tomorrow.


jane Says:

Hi Shital Green -

It’ll be interesting to see if Djok recovers as well as he did for Del Potro. I suspect Moya will be even more of a test, as he’s playing freely, presumably nearing the end of his career, and has a winning record against Djok. They were reporting Djok had similar symptoms to Berdych, but he stuck it out, which is one of the signs of a champion, now or in the future.


Tejuz Says:

Monaco played great. Djok.. as usal..3.5 hrs on court in a 4 set match out of which the 1st 3 sets lasted 3 hrs. He is more of a grinder than a shot maker, playing long rallies. No wonder he gets exhausted in the end.


Shital Green Says:

Hey Jane,
We are on the same line as Djoko is. Here is how he handles the question about breaking the almost impenetrable wall and enlarging the 2-men fortress to make tennis more interesting.
Q. Do you feel ready to break this stranglehold on 1 and 2 that Roger and Rafa have had for many, many weeks?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I can say I’m ready. But, you know, it’s still a long way till there. I had some amazing runs, especially on the hard court season this year, and on the biggest tournaments I play my best tennis, made some impressive results.

But now, of course, it’s understandably all about Federer, Nadal because they’re very dominant, two best players of the world. And the tennis needs this rivalry. But in the other hand, the people are not paying attention to the other players. So I can say that I’m one of those players in that smaller group behind, which is trying to, you know, break that ‑‑ break it through and make this group of two a little bit bigger. (Source: usopen.org)


jane Says:

Shital Green -

Thanks for that, and “well said Djoker!” I checked out the interview, too, and he also said he’s feeling fine now, if somewhat sore. Hope he can stick it out. He’s such a great character for the game.


funches Says:

Djokovic is no grinder.

He has a huge forehand and backhand. For whatever reason, he’s been content to keep the ball in play and grind down his opponents at the U.S. Open, but he’s capable of upping his level several notches.


jane Says:

Funches –

I agree. He’s a shot-maker too and great serves when he needs them. Notice how he’s able to pull out the big points when he needs them?

That said, this tournament seems a little like a war of attrition – so many injuries and illnesses. Gotta wonder about those conspiracies! LOL.

Rafa now struggling to level match with Ferrer – 1 set to 2. Something’s been up with Rafa’s serve. But don’t have televised feed so only tracking scores online, so don’t know if it’s his knee, the conditions, Ferrer playing well, or what. Hope he can pull through.


Kash Says:

Funches:

That “whatever reason” is what I posed as a question to the X-men and women, a week or two back. I remember Jane replied to that, but I still am puzzled how a player with such lethal weapons as djokovic gets involved in these 4hr matches….. He appears more like a mentally strong nalbandian at this point. I thought he would turn out to be more of a mentally tough safin. Hopefully he will learn to make the adjustment. The key to long term domination is massacare of the innocents. relax you human rights people, that is just a metaphor.

Regarding andy and fed, it will be a minor miracle if andy wins tomorrow. Fed can play 80% of his full-flight game and beat a A+ andy….. that is where their games stand. Ofcourse less probable things have happened, but I am not holding my breath. I actually think haas/davydenko have better suited games to trouble this new “scrappy-fed”. I am hoping one fine moment, fed will get into a phone booth and come out like the super player he was at aus open….. his forehand has lost its lethal bite. I dont know if it is a technical thing or a temporary blip. the moment the FH reaches full lethality fed will be back to his dominant ways of past few years.

And about rafa-ferrer, lets just say it is a brutal match! tennis of the most fiercest type. they had their chokes, but they are just totally going at each other. to me, this match is ahead of haas-blake or djokovic-stepanek. too many punches from each player. i hope they play on till 4a.m! that will be so crazy….


Shital Green Says:

It is sad to see Rafa’s falling to Ferrer. Rafa is not playing that well, though he is covering the cort well: behind his not playing at the top f his game could be his knees, but he called his trainer for hand massage. Definitely, Ferrer is playing amazingly great: now it’s 1st match point. Ok, deuce. Now, 2nd match point. It’s bad he lost. I wanted to see another encounter between Djoko and Rafa.


Kamy Says:

For all those people who were thinking that Rafa can win the title should now understand that Rafa is never comfortable with fast hard courts.
I mean he cant even reach quarters this year, i know he was not 100% but still that’s not an excuse and Rafa very rightly acknowledged his defeat and admitted that Ferrer was the better player. Rafa no doubt is a great player but he can never win against tough players on hard courts so i dont see him winning US open in the future. Djokovic is the only man that can certainly beat Federer but he gets exhausted too much that I think he wont progress further than semis because of exhaustion. So the great Federer will now most likely win US open fourth time consecutively.


Missing Agassi Says:

jane,
Oh man, I get a big duh on the Gilbert question. I haven’t heard much out of Murray and therefore forgot all about it! Thank you for the reminder!


Tejuz Says:

Kash.. i agree… why would a player with huge serves and great forehand, backhand gets himself involved in 4 hr matches. Thats because Djoker is losing around the same number of points as hez winning them. He is losing his own service games more often. And hez always involved in 10 or more shot rallies. That would put him in a category of grinder, like Hewitt. He needs to learn to shorten his points in order to conserve energy. Else he would always run out of steam reachin the end of the tournament and would have loads of excuses later on. And dunno how many times he would pat the ball to make one serve.


Daniel Says:

Djoko had played very well against Del Potro and them, put himself in a 4 set. He clearly was not going to the shots.

He needs to hit more winners and put his balls deeper. Sometimes seems like he is lazy, He don’t play the points with the same intensity. The only other time I saw him do it, was against Federer in Montreal, during the 1st and 3rd set.

His way to the final is open now, since no one in his draw is talented as him.

I hope he win the next matches fast so he can come to the final in shape, to at least give us a great match!


jane Says:

Sad about Rafa, but it sounds like it was a well-fought match. I just hope he can take care of that knee now. I still think he can come back and do well on hard courts; this was an “off” tournament for him due to his injury. But he’ll figure it out – just my opinion.

Djoker was playing a “behind” kind of game against Monaco, but Monaco was hot and Djoker, well, was not. He was apparently not feeling well (something in the food?) but still fought through it. Still he could definitely have shortened some of those points – hit deep winners (as he is more than capable of) or come to net more and finish off points quickly when he has the chance.

We’ll see if he corrects himself against Moya – and then another Spaniard or Argentine if he makes it through. I hope he does.

I hope Andy can at least give Fed some trouble today. Once again, TSN not showing live so will have to follow online – grrr.


jane Says:

Kash -

John McEnroe seems to think Djoker’s movement is great; he thinks Djoker could work on his “transitioning” game – i.e. knowing when to come in or to switch from defense to offense – and that he could work on net play, not so much his tactics, but again, having the right instinct about when to use such a play. He also mentioned something about Djok’s positioning, that occasionally it could be better. But overall McEnroe seemed to think Djok was playing around a “B+ or A-” in terms of his abilities, whereas Monaco was having the match of his life, “A+ stuff”.


Shital Green Says:

Look at the time of my last post: it was 1:53 am (central time). That’s when Ferrer’s interview on the court ended. It was the best match so far I have seen (It was even better than Djoko-Stepanek duet, at least in pace and energy). Ferrer’s game was at top. Nadal was not bad either. The untiringly relentless fights, the baseline rallies, volleys, serves, lobs, strokes, topspin and all kinds of improbable shots: it was tennis at its best.
Are you guys aware of 9 “1000″ and 10 “500″ ATP tournaments for 2009? How much is for Grand Slams, then? Is it 2000? Is this again the continuation of the old fight between ITF and ATP?


Nole Fan Says:

Ever notice how Blake often slathers Roddick with praise but that there’s never much in the other direction. Fact is that Andy is terribly self absorbed and isn’t aware of much of the world outside Federer. Still, I’d like to see a Roddick-Djokovic final.


jane Says:

Nole Fan – I’d love to see a Roddick-Djok final too.

Not sure Andy’s self-absorbed as I don’t know him personally; he is, however, an award winning philanthropist. Maybe he’s just really focused?


Nole Fan Says:

Jane, at this level, philanthropy is a tax-deduction. They all do it, some with more noise than others. Not to say it isn’t a good thing.


jane Says:

Well, what the heck. I’ll be pulling for Roddick along with Blake – it’s probably a losing proposition, but it’d be great for him, and great for the New York crowd, and great for the tournment (shake things up a little), and great for tennis in general. It’s enlivening when new players enter the conversation, or when older ones re-enter it – like Moya’s current resurgence or Agassi’s great runs of yore.


Kash Says:

Jane:

Thanks for that info about johnny mac on djokovic :) That makes definitely some sense to me. He is still 20, so he has got time figure out these things and learn to keep matches short like fed is doing and sampras did for quite some time. That is the key to long term success. I am sure nadal is learning that the hard way! He will have to find ways to just blast lower ranked players without relying on running people into the ground for most of the time.


jane Says:

Kash -

Yep – it works on clay, but on other surfaces, not quite as well. Better to finish off points than run opponents (and self!) ragged. I hope Novak learns; he has a number of beautiful shots already that he can pull off. Glad he qualified for Shanghi.


jane Says:

Kash –

It’s interesting that Djok came to net 16 times against Moya and won 13 of them for 81% at net! Maybe he heard Johnny Mac’s comments too?

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