James Blake Criticizes ATP

November 2, 2008

James Blake is the latest tennis star to criticize the intense ATP schedule. Read the rest of the story and see photos and video of James Blake below.

After losing 6-4, 6-3 in the semi-final of the Paris Masters, American tennis star James Blake stated that the ATP schedule is too long and intense for players to compete at their best and stay healthy. Blake said:

“In this tournament, you see the top two players in the world getting injured – it couldn’t be a clearer signal that the year is too long. There’s too many mandatory events, too many times that we have to be playing,’ said the 28-year-old. ‘Look at baseball players, football players, basketball players, they have a real off-season. That’s why they’re playing into their 40s and we’re retiring at 30. It’s just tough on our body. When the top two players can’t make it through a season at 22 and 27 years old – the peak of their health – it’s saying something about the season.”

He spoke of both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the world’s #1 and #2 players, respectively, pulling out of the tournament due to injury. Nadal retired after losing the first set, citing knee pain as his reason. Federer withdrew due to a sore back.

Blake isn’t the first player to criticize the intense ATP schedule, which is only set to get harder for the 2009 season. The 2008 season started on New Years Eve 2007 and runs through the Tennis Masters Cup, which begins on Nov. 9. Just a few days ago, tennis star Marat Safin also talked about the jam packed schedule as he contemplated possible retirement.

Blake, who has been playing professionally since 1999, is currently ranked #11 in the world, and is the #2 American behind Andy Roddick.

More photos and a video of James Blake are below.

James Blake on Jimmy Kimmel Video
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One Response to “James Blake Criticizes ATP”

  1. 1
    fredy Says:

    James Blake complaining;say isn’t so?
    with all due respect to Blake;he has no right to complain at all.
    He like most of his countrymen stay away from the terribly tough clay court season and always manages to lose early during the French Open and Wimbledon and is back early on American soil for the USO Series and before the start of the USO.
    He;annually like Roddick;Fish;Ginepri;Isner stay away from Monte Carlo;Hamburg,Rome;Gstad;Queens(on grass)and so many clay court tournaments to play at times in a weak and meaningless tournament in Houston on har-thru(fake clay) where in the case of Blake this year he lost in the finals to a Lucky Loser!
    Blake has won 10 titles;all on hard courts
    he has abysmal records in Paris for someone who moves well but can’t slide on clay to save his life
    he hasn’t gone past the Third round at Wimbledon for someone with such a great forehand and good net game.
    He made it to his 1st Quarterfinals at the Aussie this year when Grosjean blew a 2 set and a break lead giving James the match
    and has made it to 2 maybe 3 quarterfinals at the USO his whole career.
    Blake either doesn’t even bother playing outside of hard courts or outside of the United States and when off hard courts it is garanteed that he will not be a factor to good deep in tournaments.
    He has no business complaining.
    He didn’t play for close to 2 months after this year’s USO;even skipping to play Davis Cup in Spain and Nadal and he’s complaining about heavy schedule?
    Let’s see Nadal makes the semis in Australia and NY;wins RG and Wimbledon;the 2 toughest and most prestigious slams in tennis;wins MS;plays the DC.
    Federer with Monocluosis makes the semis in Australia;losing in the finals in Paris and London and wins the doubles in Beijing;plays the DC;wins the USO for a 5th consecutive time;wins Basel.
    Nadal and Federer have the right to pull out of a tournament and complain about fatigue if they have to and get injured because they play ALL year round
    Blake hasn’t done anything as far as going deep in any tournaments and hasn’t won a bloody thing and he’s complaining?

    One advice to James;stop complaining;step up and leave the comfort of Florida and go out there and grind ALL year round off hard courts and try to win something outside of hard courts like clay and grass and make it deep in Paris and London and make the semis of a major;I mean how many betty crocker draws can you get from the USTA year after year and still lose to so-called “clay court specialists”?
    Just be Quiet if not just retire already you whinny wimp!