PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 15, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Is that just precautionary?
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, just -- I was injured and little
tendinitis, so to be safe, make sure, I ice it and keep it
cool at all times.
Q. Just kind of talk a little bit about the second set.
Looked like you were in control, and then things got away
from you a little bit it seemed?
JAMES BLAKE: Maybe it had something with I haven't played a
match in a couple weeks. I usually feel good the way I
finish, close out matches, keep going for my shots. On a day
like today it's tricky to go after your shots really with
this kind of wind, and being a little colder you don't
really feel like you can hit out as much.
He played smart. He played great defense in those times and
made me win it. We haven't played a lot of matches, maybe
those are the points you don't win. Then the third set I was
proud I didn't let that get to me. I didn't let him start
gaining confidence like I figured he probably would after
winning the second set and being alive after being down
I felt really good about the way I played in played in the
third set, and that's what I'm going to try and build on for
the next round.
Q. I just wanted to let everybody talk about the match,
but I want to ask you about your book and the process. How
did you write it? How long it took you? Did you dictate it?
Tell us a little bit about writing it.
JAMES BLAKE: Well, it took about a year, and it was
something I was thinking about in 2004 when I was sick. Then
when I started having more success in 2005 and telling my
story a little bit more and more, people started realizing
that it was an interesting story. Maybe people would want to
hear more about it than just the five- and ten-minute
interviews I was doing about what happened to me.
So it gave me the idea to write it, so we started then. It
took just about a year to finish. I worked with Andrew
Friedman who had never worked on a sports book before, and
that was something that made me feel good about it. I didn't
want to make it a sports book. I wanted to make it a book
about me and my family getting through hard times, not
necessarily just about tennis and a bunch of scores you
could find on ESPN.com or anything like that.
That was really the way it came out. A lot of dictation, a
lot of e-mails, a lot of writing. Just we really did
collaborate and, you know, it was all -- it really is all my
words. People that know me very well, when they read it they
say it sounds just like me sitting there talking about it.
That's what I'm proud of. That's why I'm happy I did all the
work to revise it to make sure it was true to form to the
way I would tell the story.
Q. How were the sales on that book?
JAMES BLAKE: The sales were better than I think they
expected, which is great, but maybe it means they weren't
expecting much out of me.
It sold over 25,000 copies already, and it's, I think,
coming out in paperback very soon. We're excited about that.
It got a release date for that.
And it's also -- it made it up to 15 on The New York Times
best seller list. For writing a book, kid writing a book at
27 years old, it's something I definitely didn't have any
expectations of, and I'm proud that that many people
actually care about what goes on in my life.
Q. Are you going to put another chapter in the paperback,
the Davis Cup?
JAMES BLAKE: I would love to. I don't know if they can do
that or if it's already in publication, so that would be
definitely an interesting part of the story, and a great --
maybe a great ending, ending chapter. That kind of a triumph
and that kind of a career defining moment.
So if I could, I'd love to add another chapter in there, but
I don't know. I don't know if they'll let me do it. That's a
good idea, though.
Q. Do you think you'd write a second book with the
success of this one?
JAMES BLAKE: I think there would have to be a really good
reason. I enjoyed the process. It was therapeutic for me to
talk about such tough times and dealing with them and stuff,
but I don't know if -- you know, that many 27 and 28 years
old have enough compelling stories to tell that, to make it
worth writing another book.
I was fortunate and unfortunate enough to have so much
happen to me at such a young age that it made it relevant to
write that first one. If I just go on winning tennis
matches, losing tennis matches, and doing kind of the -- I
know it's an abnormal life, but it's still not, in my
opinion, one that I need to put down on paper that everyone
would be compelled to read.
If there's ever an instance where I feel like I need to get
a story out there and people should hear about it and it can
help inspire others or can help teach them a lesson, then I
would love to.
But as of right now, it's not -- it's not looking like I
will any time soon, but maybe many years down the road.
Q. It's about Obama.
JAMES BLAKE: What about him?
Q. Do you endorse him?
THE MODERATOR: Go ahead.
Q. It's for European press. Obama is candidate out there,
and I would like to know what's your predicament? Do you
JAMES BLAKE: I have in the past and I still do. I think
he's, in my opinion, the best man for the job. Obviously I
have, you know, limited knowledge. I'm not available to
study it every second of every day because I have to be out
But from what I have learned -- I've read both of his books
-- I'm really proud of him as a person, as a father, as a
husband and everything that he's done.
So I -- that shouldn't have anything to do with the fact
that he's the best candidate, as well. I appreciate his
views and his -- as much as they use it to knock him, his
lack of experience, I think, could come in handy. Because I
think there have been a bunch of studies that when someone
is still eager and hungry for a position or in sports or in
chess or in anything, they tend to be even more effective
than those who are so experienced that they start to take it
I think as much as he talks about change, I think it's going
to be a valuable commodity this time, these next four years.