May 7, 2009

Could This Be It?

James Blake hasn't had the most successful year so far.

After a decent showing in Melbourne and a trip to the semis in San Jose, he's suffered one early round loss after another, culminating last week with a straight-set defeat at the hands of Victor Crivoi in Rome.

Who would've thought that he'd find his biggest success on clay?

In Estoril, Portugal, though, he's put together back-to-back wins for the first time since February, first beating Frederico Gil in his homeland and then France's Marc Gicquel -- this on a surface where he's won less than fifty percent of his matches.

Now I know better than to get my hopes up too much -- it has been nearly two years since Blake won his last title in New Haven in August of 2007. His first test will be Casablanca runner-up Florent Serra, followed by a potential semifinal meeting with his friend Mardy Fish who, despite the lower ranking, has won the pair's last two meetings.

But I can't think of anything that would give my dear James the confidence he so sorely needs, except a title on the surface that continues to mystify the best Americans.

And what a perfect time to stage a comeback!

1 comment:

Kavitha said...

It's not often that I'm right about things like this, but James advanced today against Florent Serra, surprisingly besting the Frenchman in less than an hour.

Unfortunately he won't meet Fish in the semis, but maybe that's a good thing. Nikolay Davydenko, who eliminated the 24th ranked American, has never beaten Blake in six attempts.

And not that I want to jinx myself, but that could bode well for my dear James!

Good luck!