Blake vows to overcome his continuing clay demons (French Open Notebook)

May 27th, 2009 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup Paris, May 27 (DPA) After winning one match in the last three years at the French Open, James Blake is again just moving on after another minor disaster of a spring season.
But even with the grass of Britain beckoning, the spectre of the red dust is menacing again in the July 10-12 Davis Cup quarter-final on clay in Croatia.

Blake, the usual American number two behind Andy Roddick, can’t be looking forward to the ordeal on the dirt.

“It’s not over yet, Croatia is going to be on the indoor clay,” warned the 29-year-old who faded after playing the Estoril final several weeks ago.

“At least there I won’t have to deal with the cold and the wind. A week or two or three weeks ago I wouldn’t have said I was looking forward to Croatia, but now I am because I want to redeem myself after today,” he said in the wake of a hammering by a qualifier.

“I’m looking forward playing better clay court tennis indoors in Croatia.”


Dokic goes into Dementieva match-up as a realist

Paris: Jelena Dokic is quietly building confidence in her struggle to return to the tennis elite, taking hope from a first-round round comeback win at the French Open.

But the test will come for the Australian in the second round when she plays former finalist and fourth seed Elena Dementieva, ranked fourth in the world.

“Clay is not my favourite surface, hardcourt and Rebound Ace and indoors suits me better, even though I played a lot on clay while trying to come back,” said the 26-year-old ranked 80th. “It’s not my best surface, but, I try to do the best that I can.”

Dokic has been through personal hell with her domineering - now estranged - father and a fall off of the WTA charts. But an Australian Open quarter-final four months ago came out of the blue and kick-started her career after she qualified into the home event.

“I have a very tough draw in the next round, no one can say I’m in the favourite. She should, even on paper, probably win easily. There’s absolutely no pressure in that match, and I can just go out and try and do my best.”

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