Friday, January 18, 2008

No Pressure, James

In the last couple years or so, since my wife and I happened to wake up early one Sunday and watch Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal in the men's final at Wimbledon, I've become sort of a casual tennis fan. It can be a very fun game to watch, especially when you have two competitors willing to leave everything on the court to gain victory.

Just moments ago, for instance, I watched James Blake of the United States, down two sets to one, battle back from a 4-1 deficit in the fourth set, only to have France's Sebastien Grosjean rally to tie it at 6-all and force a tie-break. Grosjean led the tie-break at one point, 4-1, but Blake rallied again to win, 7-5, and take the set. This is the sort of match that I'll think of the next time I see "Tennis" on the program guide when I'm trying to find something to watch. Hopefully the fifth set lives up to the promise of the fourth.

If Blake manages to complete the comeback and beat Grosjean, it will be the fourth time he has advanced as far as the fourth round in the Australian Open. (His best finish in any Grand Slam event came in 2005 and 2006, when he reached the quarterfinals in the U.S. Open.) It will also be a huge boost for America's hopes for a men's singles champions; Mardy Fish and sixth-seeded Andy Roddick both lost their third-round matches, leaving Blake and two unseeded players - Sam Querrey and Vincent Spadea, each of whom will face third-round opponents ranked in the top five - bearing the load for the United States.

Update 11:56 PM: Blake's success from the previous two sets has carried over to the fifth - he currently holds a commanding 4-1 lead over Grosjean.

Update 12:05 AM: That escalated quickly - Blake smelled blood in the water and finished off Grosjean, 6-2, in the final set to complete the 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory.

1 Comment:

Kirra said...

Well said.