Integrity in the Games: “Win Fair & Square; Lose Fair & Square” — James Blake

From: Los Angeles Times, Transcript of James Blake’s interview after his three-set loss

Question: Could you describe what the issue was you were discussing with the chair umpire at 9-8?

James Blake: Yeah, hit a shot that hit Fernando’s racket and then went out. The umpire didn’t see that it hit his racket. Playing in the Olympics, in what’s supposed to be considered a gentleman’s sport, that’s a time to call it on yourself. Fernando looked me square in the eye and didn’t call it.

I’ve tried to play this game for as long as I can, you know, I make mistakes, but I try to do it with integrity, so my parents would be proud of the way I played. If that happened the other way, I never would have finished the match because my father would have pulled me off the court if I had acted that way.

I’ve spoken all week about how much I’ve enjoyed the Olympic experience, how much I love the spirit of it, how much I love the other athletes, what they’ve sacrificed, and you appreciate that. And the guys go out and compete their hardest, win fair and square, lose fair and square. That’s a disappointing way to exit the tournament when you not only lose the match, but you lose a little faith in your fellow competitor.

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Related: U.S. tennis player James Blake makes a racket over the Olympic spirit

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