James Blake reveals his true feelings on Roger Federer's 'annoyingly good' tennis

Blake recalls two points from his 2008 Australian Open match against Federer.

by Dzevad Mesic
James Blake reveals his true feelings on Roger Federer's 'annoyingly good' tennis
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Former American tennis star James Blake recounted Roger Federer's two "annoyingly good" shots and jokingly added he would "really dislike Federer if he wasn't such a nice guy." Blake, a former world No 4, clashed against Federer 11 times.

One of their meetings came at the 2008 Australian Open, where Federer beat Blake 7-5 7-6 (5) 6-4. Down 2-1 in the second-set tie-break, Federer delivered a pure masterclass in back-to-back points. In both points, Federer returned Blake's powerful shots that would have likely won the American point if he was playing anyone other than the Swiss.

Reacting to the old video from their 2008 match, Blake wrote on X: "Annoyingly good. If he wasn’t such a nice guy, I would really dislike him."

Blake on Federer's class act

In 2004, Blake suffered a broken neck in a training accident at the Rome Masters. Federer heard about the Blake injury and went to the hospital in the middle of the tournament to visit the American.

"I think everyone has realized how great a tennis player he [Roger Federer] is, but I want to tell a quick story. About a couple of years ago, I was injured in a hospital in Rome. It's at a time when everyone else is concentrating on their tennis and playing as well as they can, and I got one note at that hospital room and it was from the number 1 player in the world, Roger Federer, wishing me the best.

Just a note on how classy he is, too," Blake said in 2006. After those comments were shared last year, Blake recalled that moment: "I’ve told this plenty of times just as one of many examples that the bar was set so high for an iconic athlete to also be an iconic human being.

That bar is almost impossible to get over that you set @rogerfederer thank you for a new standard," Blake wrote at the time. Blake claimed just one win over Federer and lost 10 times to the Swiss during his career.

James Blake Roger Federer Australian Open