It's old news now but James Blake seems to have split from his long time coach Brian Barker. Kelly Jones, who has worked with Mardy Fish in the past, was in his box at Beijing. In a statement made to ESPN Blake seems to leave the door slightly ajar.
Going into the Open, we had both had come to the understanding that we were going to stop, but we didn't want to change anything during or before the Open...
"Kelly's been close to both of us for a long time, and he's a perfect fit for now. If things go well with him, everyone's happy. Brian wants nothing but the best for me. If they don't, then I go back to Brian and we know there's a reason I'm back."
Barker has been Blake's coach since he was about twelve. It would've been nice if he'd gone way outside the box the way Gael Monfils reached outside of the FFT and hired Roger Rasheed and Andy Roddick strong armed Larry Stefanki into being his coach. Still it's a step. I know Blake's fans hope this stops his free fall.
Nice of the ATP and WTA to schedule back to back to back tournaments in Japan and China wasn't it? I'm glad both tours are looking out for the health and well being of their property, uh, players.
While I'm at it can someone explain to me why Bali is taking place after Doha? Shouldn't your marquee tournament be the one fans are left thinking about? Most of you know I've been against this two tier situation since it was first mentioned. Just in case you thought that a top ten player could wander into Bali apparently Top Ten players can only play 2 international tournaments a year. They are 30 international level tournaments available for the Miss Congenialities of tennis. I need someone to explain the logic of this to me. I'm a little slow.
As you all know I've been without TC for as long as it's been around. I now have it. Along with the Golf Channel, GOLTV, an NBA channel and a bunch of Fox channels dedicated to college sports. I'm just thrilled. One of my new channels is dedicated to men who love the outdoors. Guess I can finally learn to field dress a moose.
Andy Roddick and Mark Knowles are in the Men's Doubles Final in Beijing. I'm just saying...
Since my time has been turned around anyway and I now have TC I watched Lleyton Hewitt vs Mikhail Youzhny in their semifinal match from Tokyo. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the match. Hewitt looked to be bothered by a knee problem in the first set and it appeared Youzhny would run away with the match but Hewitt fought back and forced a third set. Along the way there was a very good tennis match with each man pushing his opponent to do just that little bit more, to find that difficult angle in order to win a point. I am not a fan of Hewitt and Youzhny usually leaves me cold but I came away from the match - Youzhny eventually won - with a smile. There was no mindless ball bashing but good court sense and game knowledge on display. Thanks Lleyton and Mikhail for making me fall in love with tennis again.