Friday, September 02, 2005

Now, the Important Stuff: The Blake/Nadal match on Saturday could end up being the best of the fortnight. If you saw James Blake manhandle Igor Andreev last night, you can tell that his footwork, always a strength, has improved. He almost never looked off balance, he patrolled the baseline confidently, he came to the net with a lot of poise, and he just looked comfortable. Plus, his shot placement was phenomenal. He saw more white lines last night than Aerosmith in the late 70s. I'll grant that Andreev is a specialty player, but he's an experienced pro, and Blake handled him in a way that Nadal could not handle Scoville Jenkins (essentially a junior player on a wildcard) on Wednesday. Nadal and Jenkins are roughly the same age, but Jenkins played like an amateur. He didn't play badly so much as inconsistently -- and when he was on target, he gave Nadal some serious headaches. (With some strong coaching, Jenkins could be a contender.)

Anyhoo, Blake sure looks good. Perhaps not Maestro good, but like a bit of a cinderella. Does he have that whiff of destiny, Razor?

1 comment:

Razor said...

You read my mind on this upcoming match. Clearly destiny is the watchword here, but I'm not quite willing to believe in Blake. Here's why: he wasn't all that great before his horrific injury and subsequent malaise. This was a guy whose highest ranking was 22 - back in '03.

Now, don't get me wrong, his play since his comeback has been nothing but wonderful, all things considering, but to expect a an early round upset of Nadal, who has nothing but momentum (plus the experience of the French) on his side would make this the biggest upset of the Tourney, bar none (Roddick is simply due for these kinds of losses from time-to-time -- and did you see how easily his "daddy" Muller went down in straight sets??).
Blake should be applauded regardless of how he does; but I do not smell upset.