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Blake ‘feeling great’ at 32

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Originally published on: 28/08/12 00:00

The former world No.4 has had knee, toe and shoulder problems which have contributed to his fall down the rankings, but is feeling much better about his future following knee surgery at the end of last year.

“I feel great,” Blake said. “The shoulder feels better than ever. The knee feels better than ever. I'm actually feeling great. It's a really good feeling. That's been exciting for me the last, I'd say, three or four weeks during the summer where I actually feel like I can move the way I used to, or the way I need to in order to compete here.

“I think I was kidding myself earlier in the year thinking I was able to move at this level. I really wasn't [ready] after the knee surgery. I think I more wanted it to be OK than it really was OK. Now for it to really feel the way it does, I feel like I can move and be effective with my legs.  Without my legs I'm a pretty average to below average player here. I need those to be strong. The way it's feeling now, I want to just keep on playing.”

Blake, aged 32, said he was having to get used to jokes about his age. “I knew I was going to get them, because when I was a kid starting out around here I dished them out, so I knew they would come back to haunt me,” he said. “I remember I used to make fun of Todd Martin. Todd Martin was one of my key guys I would get. I made fun of him for taking so long to warm up, for his grey hair, for all that kind of stuff, for just in general being old.

“He said: ‘Just wait, just wait. You will be, too.’  Now I'm getting it from everyone. I deserve it, because if I dish it out, I've got to be able to take it. I'm getting the old jokes, the grandpa jokes – and I'm OK with that.”

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