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Blake Overjoyed To Be Playing At The Open







2012 Daily Tennis News Wire -
After scoring a first round victory at the US Open, 32-year-old James Blake -- who says hes being chided with good natured old man jokes in the locker room -- says that he still surprised that he made it as a pro. Blake once reached No. 4 in the rankings and went up against Andre Agassi in an epic five set loss in the quarterfinals of the 2005 US Open in contest that is still replayed during rain breaks.

He needed a wild card to get into the tournament this year and hasn't decided when hell retire, but hes due to be married soon and now is the father of a daughter.

As a kid I came here and watched and honestly never believed I'd be good enough to come out playing, said Blake, who grew up in nearby Connecticut. To be doing what I am is really incredible. I haven't taken too many moments to just step back and reflect on that.  I did that whole year when I was in the process of writing a book and thinking about my father, thinking about breaking my neck, thinking about shingles and how painful that was. Now I'm just so excited to be back here playing and healthy.  It's a good feeling.

Blake says that when he retires, he and his former longtime coach, Brian Barker will sit down and have a few beers and talk about everything that they went through. When players first come on tour it seems as if their careers will last forever, but as Blake discovered, time flies everywhere, even for men who have contested dozens of three out of five set matches.

It seems like it's gone by in a blur, he said.  I never thought I'd be doing anything like this, doing a press conference where people actually care what I think. It's still a little weird to me. I still really love it. That's what I learned this summer, was that when I wasn't playing my best, when I wasn't able to move, it wasn't that much fun. But as soon as it clicked in that I was able to move, I love this. I love playing. I love competing. I want to keep doing it.

I'll hopefully have a whole other year or maybe even longer.


Copyright 2012 Daily Tennis News Wire. All rights reserved.