(August 26, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – On Monday some players were asked in press about James Blake’s announcement about his retirement after the US Open. Here are a few reactions:
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, James, obviously the US Open was a special place for him. I understand how he would want to end here. You know, I think he still has, you know, a lot of great tennis in him, but he’s decided that now is the time for him.
He has a family now, so those are important priorities from what I hear. He’s ready, so all we can do is support him. Hopefully he will be able to contribute to tennis outside of the game, outside of playing pro tennis, in whichever way he chooses.
What I admired period about him was how he gave back, you know, obviously using his tennis career and celebrity to give back, especially to cancer because his dad passed.
And also the excitement he brought to the game. I think he brought a lot of people into tennis. It’s always great and also sad to lose someone who helps grow the game. People are always interested in James, so that’s what I’m going to miss.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, just pure heart. I mean, the guy has been really just a great person with a great heart. He’s been through so much. Being even able to be a professional player with his back, and then doing so well. We won together at Hopman Cup. He was such a great partner and a great friend.
It’s just sad to see. Sad to see another good friend of mine that I’m not going
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, James was one of the more charismatic players on tour. His style of game was spectacular a lot of days. He was able to play winners on the return with great first serves, and his forehand was one of the best on tour, no? Without no one doubt, he was able to hit very hard. His image was great.
He’s a good example for the kids and a good example for the tour. He’s a really good person.
RYAN HARRISON: James has been a good friend in the locker room to everybody. I mean, it’s funny. Whenever you ask anyone about James, he’s left a great impression and just a great impact on everybody that he’s known in the game.
His career is one thing. He obviously has his results. I think something far more important that he’s leaving behind is the fact he left a really positive impact on tennis and the people he was around, which is what you are ultimately looking forward to doing after having a long, successful career like he’s had.
He’s one of the greatest guys out here on tour. He’s into the next stage of his life, which is being the family man, having the baby, having his wife and kid, just going that route.
I’m extremely happy for him. I congratulated him when I saw him. You know, I look forward to keeping in touch with him throughout his life after tennis.