I mean, not top-10 or top-30 type hopes, but perhaps top-50-and-staying-there-type hopes.
Now, I'm not so sure, and I wonder if this is really the beginning of the end.
His season got off to such an odd start with the last-minute decision not to play in Australia due to injury rehab. He made his season debut in Memphis and got thumped by Ryan Sweeting, which isn't a good sign.
Now, he lost his opening-round match to his personal pigeon, Nikolay Davydenko, after winning the first set. Granted that's not too bad a result, seeing as how Davydenko's been out there playing. But finally losing after going 7-0 against someone has to knock a little bit of the confidence and could start Blake thinking about the big "R": a move two of his peers--Fernando Gonzalez and Ivan Ljubicic--have already started heading toward.
One thing about Blake, though: You can honestly never, ever count the guy out. Even before last year, he was talking about it more, but got himself back solidly in the top 100 after two Challenger wins.
If the body doesn't cooperate anymore it might be time. Here's hoping if he decides to go out, he's doing it on his terms.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.