selection--is still the most electric player in the world.Has anyone had more up's and down's in their career than James Blake? Think about that one. Can you come up with another player? Blake's career started inauspiciously as he jumped onto the pro tour at 20 after two years at Harvard. He had an infectious game--still does--booming forehand, Roadrunner speed and a "take no prisoners" approach. But Blake didn't march right into the top-50. In fact, he didn't crack that level until he was 22. He had to work his way through the Challengers and he didn't crack the top-10 until he was 26. He reached a career-high No. 4, but he was out of the Top-10 by the age of 28 and he hasn't been back inside the top-50 now in more than two years. Blake breaking into the Top-5 was a miraculous feat. Anyone who has watched him play--and I first got the chance when he was 20 and came to the club I was teaching at, the Doral Arrowwood in Purchase, NY, with his father and Mats Wilander, a friend and hitting partner, to do an article for Tennis Magazine--knows that his game is a mixture of awesome shots and head-shaking mistakes. As Spadea pointed out in "Break Point," his forehand could be broken down, his serve was erratic and he had little idea of how to work a point. Amazingly, at 32, Blake is still out there grinding away. He's No. 137 now and got trounced by Milos Raonic at the Open a few weeks ago, but this week saw him in France to play an indoor event. I saw him play last night, courtesy of the Tennis Channel, against Florian Mayer, who had an awful summer and had never beaten Blake in four matches. Blake won the first set in a breaker, and then proceeded to lose to Mayer, who plays a game that makes one wonder how he ever broke the Top-20. The German is still No. 25, but he has no forehand to speak of and he plays the type of game that is an anomaly to today's baseline grinder/aggressive style. So does Blake.But here the thing about Blake. He's a lot of fun to watch play. He plays as if he is the greatest player ever to pick up a racquet. He does not know the meaning of playing a "safe shot." He plays like Roger Federer on steroids. The Connecticut flash plays like he has a dinner reservation booked an hour after the schedule time of his match. The good news is he looks like he's healthy again after a couple of years of knee problems. The bad news is at 32, it doesn't seem as if wisdom has infiltrated his game. Blake plays like style and pizzazz points are added to his score with each seismic windup he takes. No one plays a more bold game on tour than Blake. Name one person, he doesn't exist. But no other player tries the degree-of-difficulty shots as Blake, who then often shakes his head. You wonder if he's shaking his head because he can't believe he missed the shot or because he realizes what a numbskull he is to even try such a low-percentage flurry.Mayer was Blake's scalp to claim yesterday if he only could've pulled back on trying to smash every return of serve and blast every short ball right into the corner of the court. Donald Young, who has now descended into tennis hell with a No. 193-ranking, could learn a lot from Blake on conditioning and heart, but even DY knows how to play a more sensible game than Blake. I don't expect the new dad to ever break the Top-50 again. Funny, Blake used to own Mardy Fish, but now Fish is the much more mature player. But for all his flash, forehand drives and lightning net approaches, Blake--until he drives you mad with his shot