Pro Tennis Internet Network

Nicolas Almagro Third Round Press Conference

Indian Wells, CA, USA

March 16, 2010

6-4, 3-6, 6-3
An interview with:
 THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 Q.  We didn't see all of it.  You were clearly upset with the chair umpire at the end.  Can you tell us what happened?
 JAMES BLAKE:  Yeah, he make some mistakes, I think.  Same guy I had on stadium the other day and got overruled by Hawk Eye.  We're all human and we make mistakes, but for some reason, it seems like a lot of umpires don't want to admit they can make mistakes.
 To get involved early and then not get involved late when I thought there was clearly some mistakes, it was frustrating.  I thought they'd be consistent and either take charge of the match the whole time or just trust the lines judges.
 I didn't feel like he did either of those.

 Q.  Did he call you arrogant?  Did he use the word "arrogant"?
 JAMES BLAKE:  I don't remember.  He may have used the word "arrogant," but I don't remember.

 Q.  Who do you think was your biggest opponent in this match?  Was it you, Nico, or the chair?
 JAMES BLAKE:  Definitely not the chair.  Any conversations I had were on the changeover, and over and done with by the time I hit the first ball.
 Nico served great.  That was probably the biggest concern for me.  And then it put a lot of pressure    the few times I had break opportunities, the few times I got it to deuce and had my chances, that puts a lot of pressure on you to capitalize on those.
 Today I didn't feel like I returned my best, and, you know, I was putting a little more pressure on my serve.  I was down Love 30 a lot.  I was giving him a lot of second serves to look at, so it was a combination of him serving well.
 I didn't feel like I served that great, and so he had more chances.  If he's got more chances, he's probably going to win.

 Q.  Do you think this match is different if you play on the stadium where you have the Hawk Eye?
 JAMES BLAKE:  Yeah, it might have been.  Tough to say.  I definitely think there were mistakes made.  So, yeah, it could have been.
 A match at this level is gonna be    a lot of times come down one or two points.  Those one or two points could have changed it.  It could have changed the outcome, and Nico did well and played well enough to win.  So he deserved to move on.

 Q.  Did the chair overrule calls by the linespeople?
 JAMES BLAKE:  He did early on, and then not later.

 Q.  Do you think there should be a push to have Hawk Eye on the outer courts?
 JAMES BLAKE:  From a player's standpoint I'd love to see it, but I understand there is a lot of financial issues that go into the tour, as well.
 I forget exactly what it is.  I hear it's something like 80 grand to install every time.  It's not pocket change.  I think it's something they might want to, you know, read about and decide on their own.
 Seems like they've made the decision it's generally going to be on stadiums where they enjoy it, where the fans get to see just how close the calls are, and take the human error out of those matches.
 If that's the case, you know, they make their decision, and I'll definitely go with it.

 Q.  Is it difficult during the changeovers when you're having those discussions with the ump to put those emotions behind you once you're focused on the match, once the game starts?
 JAMES BLAKE:  No, I don't think so.  I mean, I think in an ideal world, yeah, you don't want to have those at all.  You just want to put your head down.  And if we could all be somewhat robotic in the regards of an Ivan Lendl or someone like that, then it's probably better.
 But I'm an emotional player.  I definitely have some highs and lows out there.  That's just the way I'll always be.  I do a good job.  I feel like I'm controlling them.  If you had seen me when I was 16, I think you'd agree.
 But once I get back on to the court where I'm playing, my only focus is winning that point.  I mean, I think I showed that by being down 40 Love and fighting back to a couple of deuces, doing everything I could to win the match.
 That had nothing to do with the lines judge and any outside circumstances.  I just want to win when I go out there.  I think I do a pretty good job of looking at the match clearly once the ball is in play.

 Q.  Would you mind talking about the news of the day?  Tiger's announced he's coming back on tour.  He decided to come back, at of all places, the Masters, because he felt    we're assuming because it's a controlled atmosphere.  Can you just talk about your thoughts about that whole situation?
 JAMES BLAKE:  Yeah, I think it's great for the sport of golf.  Since he's been on tour, I think prize money, purses on the golf tour, have more than tripled.  He's clearly doing something good for the game.  He set a new standard.  You know, he's chasing Jack, so that's gonna be a great story.
 I hope it turns into a lot more golf coverage than it does TMZ coverage.  I don't know him.  But I've    you know, I just hope the best for all people, so I hope his family life is in order.  My guess is once he steps inside the ropes he's gonna be back to that same killer instinct he always has to make him the best in the world.  But that's just a guess.  I have no idea.

 Q.  In your perspective, if you're coming off from a layoff, for whatever reason, can you imagine coming back a first tournament would be a Major like he's gonna do right now?
 JAMES BLAKE:  Yeah, that's tough.  In tennis, it's a little different because you have a different format, going three out of five, and you need to be physically prepared for that.
 With golf, it's the same four rounds, and the Masters has even probably a smaller field.  It may be a better opportunity for him to win.  He's obviously had plenty of success there in the past, so it's    you know, for me, a lot of times it's coming back to a place I feel comfortable.
 For me, if I was coming back to the French Open, it might be tough because I've never had a lot of success there.  But if I'm coming back to the US Open where I've played some of my best tennis, got a lot of support there, then I'd feel comfortable.
 Know, I think he's a couple years older than me.  He's played plenty of golf in his day.  It's not like he needs to relearn how to play golf.  I think that will come back, just the same as I wouldn't need to relearn how to play tennis.  I'd need to polish off a little bit of rust and get those competitive juices going.   

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