James Blake

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. What do you think was the difference in the match today? You blew him away in the second set, and the third set your first serve percentage went down a little bit. Just curious what you think was the big difference.


JAMES BLAKE: Missed a lot of first serves. Tough to beat a guy like that with a second serve.


Q. For the first time in the long history of this tournament there are no Americans in the quarters. Do you look at this as just a coincidence, or is there something more to it?


JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it's unfortunate. I don't think American tennis is troubled by any means. We got two guys in the top 10. We are the holders of the Davis Cup. We got the best doubles team in the world.
I don't see -- I think the only thinking that's been tough is the expectations being higher of Americans always being in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals of these types of tournaments.
But the way it is right now, the best players in the world are from Switzerland and Spain. We're doing our best and we're doing pretty darn well to have two guys doing as well as Andy and I, and Mardy and Robby and Sam all coming up and can do some damage in these tournaments any time as well.


Q. How would you assess the gap between you and Andy and Mardy, Sam, Robby?


JAMES BLAKE: It's just a little bit a matter of consistency. Those guys can beat us on any given day. Robby beat me earlier this year. I practice with Mardy all the time. Just a matter of Andy putting it together so consistently. And myself, this year has been a pretty consistent one with a lot quarterfinals and semis and finals.
So just being able to kind of maintain that level all the time. Those guys have unbelievable talent, Mardy, Robby, Sam. Their talent has always impressed me. It's just a matter of them putting together. Mardy and Robby are in a little different position. They've come back from injuries and need to gain their confidence to be able to do it week in and week out.
Sam is more of just a young up and comer who needs to start being able to realize that he can do it week in and week out. Hopefully for all of them it's just a matter of time until there's actually no gap between me and Andy and them, or it's a gap the other way: They're off the charts and playing great tennis.


Q. What do you think about a guy like Gulbis? He's bee top 50, top 60 the last year or so, he did well at the French, and he's young. What do you think about his chances of maybe breaking into the top 30, top 40?


JAMES BLAKE: He got a ton of talent. As long as he keeps his head -- I mean, he has a huge serve. His forehand is dangerous. It's a little hit or miss, so once he kind of reins that in and starts making a few more of those he's going to be very dangerous.
He's got the kind of high-powered game that can give top guys trouble. As long as he doesn't start trying to change his game just to be more consistent or keep balls in. I think his best game is going after it, and it seems like he's sticking to that.
If he keeps doing that, I think he's going to be dangerous for many years. He's only 19 years old, and I'm always surprised at how well these guys can play at such a young age.


Q. From what side he is more dangerous? In the match against Clement he make many unforced errors on the backhand side. Today he is become very good.


JAMES BLAKE: Is there a question in there?


Q. Yeah. What side he is more dangerous on?


JAMES BLAKE: Like you said, it depends on the day. One day his backhand is better and one day his forehand is better. I think his forehand is more dangerous, but I think it's also the side that can miss more.


Q. Did you have a difficulty to reading his serve today?


JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I think his serve is a very good serve, so it's tough to read any day.


Q. I know you're disappointed now, but what positive do you take out of the match?


JAMES BLAKE: I continue competing. I was playing with, like I said, just somewhat of my second serve in the third set and he still only got one break on me, so I was playing pretty well from the baseline. Didn't give up down 40-Love in the last game. That's all you can do. If you don't have your best tennis, all you can do is compete your hardest.
That's what I did, so I'll take that positive from it and try to take a positive that I'll have some rest before the Olympics and try to be fresh for that and try to do my country proud.


Q. How hard is it to play a guy like that that drifts out of the match mentally and throws in the dropshots, changes...


JAMES BLAKE: It's tough when as guy doesn't give you much rhythm. When he can hit a winner from anywhere and he can make a mistake from anywhere. Those guys, feel like I've probably had a little more trouble with those kind of players my whole career.
Makes it a little tougher on me, especially a guy that serves that well where if you have one off game on your serve you could be out of a set. It's very difficult, and there's a reason guys play like that: To take you out of your rhythm a little bit.
It was effective today; hopefully next time I'll do a better job of combatting it.


Q. Does it hurt a little bit more after what happened in Paris? Were you looking for revenge?


JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I would have liked to have gotten revenge. I mean, it wasn't necessarily about revenge; it was more about just winning a match and getting through to the next round. I wanted to stay here and keep playing in this venue where I've had success. I think this surface is good for my game.

 
 
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