You know who lost again in Cincinatti? James Blake. And you know who's surprised? Not me. Or anybody, I would venture.
I hate to whale on James Blake, because he really is a likeable guy, and his tennis, when he plays it, can be pretty fearsome. But I just don't know what's happened to him of late. He's been out for a bit, but even before that, he wasn't racking up the wins. So what's the go? Is he injured or what?
Blake isn't a player I expect to win allllll the time - he's solid top twenty, but he ain't no Federer or Nadal or Murray. Still, I expect him to win some of the time, and he can't even manage that at the moment. I can't remember the last time he didn't lose in the first round. It's a while. And it is such a freaking shame.
What's wrong with James, world? Is anything wrong with James? Or has he just fallen into one of those ruts that tennis players often do that precludes them from playing well for months at a time?
Whatever it is, I hope it's not injury. That dude's had his fair share and more of injuries. The tennis gods have not smiled on him during periods in the past - and they are clearly not smiling on him now. I'm not expecting anything from him for the rest of the season - not with this kind of lead up - but I'm hoping that we see him back next year, bigger and better than before, ready to kick some butt. Because I hate it when nice guys are down in the doldrums, and James is a nice guy.
Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinatti)
Roger Federer def. Jose Acasuso, 6-3 7-5
Andy Murray def. Nicolas Almagro, 7-6 (7-3) 6-2
Novak Djokovic def. Ivan Ljubicic, 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
Chris Guccione def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-6 (14-12) 6-2
Nikolay Davydenko def. Igor Kunitsyn, 6-2 1-6 6-3
Radek Stepanek def. Marat Safin, 4-6 6-3 6-1
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez def. Mikhail Youzhny, 7-5 6-3
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (11-9) 6-4
Julien Benneteau def. Jurgen Melzer, 6-2 3-6 6-2
Tomas Berdych def. Philipp Petzschner, 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (7-9) 6-4
Jeremy Chardy def. John Isner, 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 4-1 retired
Rogers Cup (Toronto)
Aravane Rezai def. Dinara Safina, 3-6 6-2 6-4
Alisa Kleybanova def. Dominika Cibulkova, 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-4)
Kim Clijsters def. Victoria Azarenka, 7-5 4-6 6-1
Jelena Jankovic def. Patty Schnyder, 7-5 6-4
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Agnes Szavay, 6-1 6-1
Maria Sharapova def. Sybille Bammer, 6-3 7-6 (7-5)
Vera Zvonareva def. Roberta Vinci, 6-3 6-3
Virginie Razzano def. Flavia Pennetta, 6-3 6-1
Shahar Peer def. Francesca Schiavone, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4
Elena Dementieva def. Ai Sugiyama, 6-3 6-2
Jie Zheng def. Caroline Wozniacki, 7-5 6-3
Alona Bondarenko def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-3 6-0