Continued from page 1

NOT QUITTING: James Blake isn’t ready for retirement just yet.

At 31, Blake is on the comeback trail after knee, shoulder and elbow injuries have taken their toll on his body the past year.

Once ranked as high as No. 4, Blake understands he’s in the twilight of his career. Nevertheless, even a 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 4-6, 6-4 first-round loss to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus on Tuesday didn’t leave Blake thinking it’s time to leave tennis behind.

“That’s going to be a decision that’s going to take longer than one match, and I wouldn’t want to make it within an hour, two hours, or even a day of a loss, especially because your head isn’t where it’s supposed to be at that time,” said Blake, who is 4-14 in five-set matches.

“I’ve lost over the years, probably, about a couple of hundred matches, and I’d say out of 200, about 198 of them I probably thought I should retire right after those losses,” said Blake, who actually is 338-220. “But I’d come back the next day ready to play and ready to get better. I’m thinking this one will be the same.”


RUSSIAN REASONING: Even after spending most of her life in the United States, Maria Sharapova is decidedly Russian.

The fifth-seeded Sharapova spoke about her Russian roots Tuesday after beating former Fed Cup teammate Anna Chakvetadze 6-2, 6-1 in the first round at Wimbledon.

“I’m really proud of it, of my Siberian roots, moving to Sochi,” the 2004 Wimbledon champion said. “Apart from my parents, all my family lives there. It’s all about Russian culture. … I speak to my parents in Russian, eat Russian food, all of that.”

The 24-year-old Sharapova moved to the United States when she was 9 to start training in Florida.

“There was a point in my career where I got a lot of questions living in the United States for such a long time, leaving when I was young from my country, why I never chose to change citizenships,” Sharapova said. “One of the reasons is because deep down inside of me, I know where I’m born.”


AP freelance writer Sandra Harwitt contributed to this report.