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James Blake to be analyst on Tennis Channel

Updated 12:37 am, Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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As he has for the last decade, American tennis star James Blake is packing his bags this week for a Davis Cup clash, this one in Jacksonville, Fla., with the U.S. team taking on Brazil.

But the 33-year-old Blake, ranked No. 121 in the world, won't be on court competing: he'll be in the broadcast booth as an analyst with the Tennis Channel team.

Blake, with Andy Roddick a mainstay of the U.S. Davis Cup team since 2001, is certainly qualified to give viewers unparalleled insight into the Davis Cup environment.: 17 times he was invited to play; 17 times he played, compiling a singles record of 18-11, and a doubles record of 3-1. This year's experience will be different.

"Yeah, I'm used to hanging out in the players' lounge. Well, I'll probably need a different kind of credential. But I'm thinking they'll still let me in the locker room," he said with a laugh. "I know these guys pretty well. I don't think they'll view me as "the media."

The "these guys" are Sam Querrey, 25, the 22nd ranked player in the world, and 27-year-old John Isner, 16th, who will play singles for the U.S. and the 34-year-old Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, whose win at the Australian Open made them the winningest men's doubles team in history.

Blake, who lives in Westport, knows he's approaching the finish line on what's been a successful playing career. Any other measures aside, he spent six weeks at No. 4 in the world in 2006-07. Though he's giving broadcast a try -- and had a disappointing showing in Australia, losing in the second round of the qualifying tournament -- retirement is still a ways off, he said. He's entered in several upcoming ATP tournaments.

"I feel like I've still got a little something in the tank," he said.

And the once-dreadlocked, single glamour boy of the tour is a father and husband now, and, by his own description, "an adult."

"I'm really comfortable with where I am," he said.

Tennis Channel coverage begins Friday at 1 p.m., continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and finishes beginning Sunday at noon.

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