Blake, Woods Help Shape Phenomenal Sports Weekend During Non-sports Time

By Gregory Moore
Updated: July 23, 2006

SAN ANTONIO— In probably one of the best sports weekends that will never be mentioned, James Blake wins an important ATP men�s tennis tournament in Indianapolis and along the way he has helped to bring back American tennis at a time when many people think that it�s all but dormant these days.

Blake�s impressive 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 win over Andy Roddick on Sunday was nothing short of masterful tennis by both players. Blake�s win is especially good to see because the young man has been battling his own self-doubt of being a champion for months.

Yet this weekend�s win showed the America tennis public something that it hasn�t had in a long time and that�s a player who was hungry. As a friend of mine puts it succinctly, it was sexy as hell to watch and in sports folks, sexuality sells the product.

“Andy and I wanted to prove that U.S. tennis is back now,” Blake said. “We’re on our surface now and we want to do well going into the U.S. Open and hopefully for the rest of the year.

The two top seeded players did exactly that and it was a treat worth watching. For those who didn�t� know who James Blake was, he is now the fifth ranked player in the world.

He was the top seeded player in the RCA championship this weekend and he definitely showed that he could handle the pressure of being in the spotlight. For Roddick this loss didn�t make him any less of a player but it did something that both he and Blake wanted to do and that�s a reiteration of what good tennis could be.

We haven�t seen that from American players in a long time. The Williams� sisters are not nearly as good as they once were and with the retirement of Andre Agassi, there haven�t been many players out there to cheer about. Until now that is.

“This is one of the best finals I’ve ever played,” Blake told reporters. “I had to play like that to beat a champion like Andy.

“I played my best tennis, it’s very satisfying to have done it in the final.”

Let�s hope we get to see a lot more of these two great players for years to come and hopefully a showdown in five weeks at the U.S. Open.

TIGER�S WIN CAPS GREAT GOLF WEEKEND At 18 under, Tiger Woods has once again become the sports story that is leading many headlines this week and that�s a good thing. Chris DiMarco ended up 16 under and his story is right next to Woods� own.

Yet just like with the winning of Blake in Indy, Woods impressive win at Hoylake for his third British Open and his second one that was back to back (Woods won last year�s title at St. Andrews to complete the grand slam).

DiMarco�s valiant effort wasn�t enough but this weekend was more than just these two American golfers and Ryder Cup teammates battling out. Woods lost his dad just before the Masters and DiMarco lost his mom a couple of weeks ago.

Both players were trying to play inspired golf for more than just a trophy and bragging rights and this week; both of them came out giving golf fans a memorable performance.

So even though football isn�t quite here and baseball is a bit in the doldrums, there were two sporting events that gave us something to really stayed glued in front of the flat screen this past weekend and they were well worth the view.