Friday, January 18, 2008

Blake to the 4th

Gotta just love the backbone that erstwhile softy James Blake has grown! Since winning his first 5 set match at last year's US Open, he seems like he's trying to make it a calling card. He showed just how much backbone he's developed, along with a couple of big brass ones, when he outlasted Sebastien Grosjean 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6, 6-2. When you're in a 2-0 hole, looking at hours of work and an uncertain outcome like Blake was, you've gotta have some serious stones to believe you can win. Good for Blake to have found a way; that kind of confidence feeds on itself.
Too bad for Andy Roddick, a popular choice to have reached the final. He ran into an absolute buzzsaw last night in 29th seeded German Philip Kohlschreiber, who played out of his mind to top a brilliant Roddick in a magical 5 setter. He's had such a great winter, leading the US to a Davis Cup championship, and he has really committed himself to improving under the tutelage of Jimmy Conners. Just goes to show how little separates the upper echelon of men, a match like that swings on a few points, and K was on another planet yesterday.
To follow up on yesterday's discussion of Sania Mirza, there's a nice piece about her at in the Aussie Open coverage there. She and Venus Williams face off a bit later.

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