James Blake’s struggles continued last night in Atlanta. The 30-year-old American was upended by Taylor Dent 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Losing to Dent on a hardcourt is nothing to be feel terrible about (although Taylor did hit a whopping 13 double faults), but for Blake the defeat just can’t taste too good. Not right now.
James has had a horrendous year winning just eight matches while dropping 10. His last win came in Miami back in March. Since then he’s lost four straight matches.
In fairness James has dealt with some knee troubles in the spring. But it’s stunning to see a guy who was once in the Top 5 in the world now at a ranking today of No. 115. And at that ranking he didn’t even get into the US Open – he’ll need a wildcard or dozen or so withdrawals if he hopes to play in Flushing next month.
For me it really gives a cautionary tale of just how quickly things can change in pro tennis.
On the other side, look at a guy like Dent who was retired and off the tour. But after three years of back problems which required several surgeries, Dent has remarkably returned to the Top 100, with family in tow.
It’s an incredible story.
As for today, John Isner will have his Georgia Bulldog faithful woofing in his first tournament since Wimbledon. Inser meets Gilles Muller. Recall Muller once used his wicked lefty serve to shock another big-serving American, Andy Roddick, at the US Open a few years ago.
Speaking of Roddick, he’ll open his 2010 summer campaign tomorrow night against Rajeev Ram. Rajeev has the nearly the same mannerisms and style as Pete Sampras but fortunately for Roddick and opponents the game isn’t anywhere near on par to the legend. It should be an easy night for Andy.
Robby Ginepri and Mardy Fish also clash tonight. Ginepri, who grew up in Georgia, has won three of four meetings with Mardy.
There’s also a 48-draw clay tournament in Hamburg this week. Jurgen Melzer, Tomaz Bellucci, Phil Kohlschreiber headline today. Melzer’s already through. Top seed Nikolay Davydenko will play his third round tomorrow against Andrey Golubev.
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