tennis James Blake
usinfo | 2013-08-04 18:11
Country  United States
Residence Westport, Connecticut, United States
Born December 28, 1979 (age 33)
Yonkers, New York
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 183 lb (83 kg; 13.1 st)
Turned pro 1999
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $7,691,469
Career record 358–244 (at ATP Tour-level, Grand Slam-level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles 10
Highest ranking No. 4 (November 20, 2006)
Current ranking No. 99 (February 25, 2013)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (2008)
French Open 3R (2006)
Wimbledon 3R (2006, 2007)
US Open QF (2005, 2006)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals F (2006)
Olympic Games SF – 4th (2008)
Career record 124–113 (at ATP Tour-level, Grand Slam-level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles 7
Highest ranking No. 31 (March 31, 2003)
Current ranking No. 82 (March 4, 2013)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open QF (2005)
French Open 2R (2002)
Wimbledon SF (2009)
US Open 2R (2000, 2001)

James Riley Blake[1] (born December 28, 1979) is an American professional tennis player. Blake is known for his speed and powerful, flat forehand. As of July 2012, Blake is ranked World No. 121 among active male players with 24 career finals appearances (10–14 record), whilst his career-high singles ranking is World No. 4. His career highlights include reaching the final of the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup, the semifinals of the Beijing Olympics and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open (2008) and US Open (2005, 2006), as well as being the former American No. 1. His two titles for the United States at the Hopman Cup are an event record. Blake was a key performer for the United States 2007 Davis Cup championship team, going 2–0 in the championship tie vs. Russia at second singles. In 2005, Blake was presented with the Comeback Player of the Year award for his remarkable return to the tour. Later, in 2008, Blake was awarded another honor by the ATP where he was named the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year. On July 3, 2007, Blake's autobiography Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life, which discussed his comeback after his unlucky 2004 season, was released and debuted at No. 22 on the New York Times Best Seller list. He co-wrote this book with Andrew Friedman.

Early life
Blake was born in Yonkers, New York to an African American father Thomas Reynolds Blake and a British mother Betty.[2] He has a brother Thomas, who has also been a professional tennis player, and three older half-brothers: Jason, Christopher and Howard, and a half-si、ster Michelle.

Blake started playing tennis at age five alongside his brother Thomas. When he was 13, he was diagnosed with severe scoliosis and for five years as a teenager he was forced to wear a full-lengthback brace for 18 hours a day, though not while playing tennis. Blake attended Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Connecticut, where a schoolmate and childhood friend was future musician John Mayer. Blake was inspired to pursue tennis after hearing his role model Arthur Ashe speak to the Harlem Junior Tennis Program. Brian Barker was his first (and longtime) coach. He left Harvard University, where he was a member of the A.D. Club, after his sophomore year to pursue a career in professional tennis.


At the age of 21, Blake saw his first Davis Cup action in 2001 against India and became the third person of African-American heritage to play for the Davis Cup for the United States (after Arthur Ashe and MaliVai Washington).
Ranked no. 120 in the world, Blake accepted a wild card into Cincinnati. He beat a qualifier and Arnaud Clément to reach the round of 16, where he met Patrick Rafter. Blake came close to winning the first set (falling in a tiebreak), and after dropping the second set, Rafter, according to Blake's autobiography, complimented him at the net and boosted his confidence immeasurably by saying "Now do you believe you can beat someone like me, or even me?"

In January, Blake won the 2002 USTA Waikola Challenger in Hawaii. A month later in Memphis he posted his first win over a top-10 ranked opponent, Tommy Haas, who was then ranked no. 5, and reached the final, losing to Andy Roddick. He reached the quarterfinals at the ATP Masters Series (AMS) event in Rome in May and the final at Newport in July.

In August, in Cincinnati, he won his first career ATP Tour title and his first ATP Masters Series title: it came in doubles with Todd Martin, making Blake the first African-American male to win a title of any kind in Cincinnati's 101-year history. He was also the first African-American to reach a final in Cincinnati since 1969, when Arthur Ashe reached the doubles finals with Charlie Pasarell. The next week in Washington, he won his first ATP Tour singles title, beating Andre Agassi in the semifinals and Paradorn Srichaphan in the final.
At the US Open, he reached the third round, before falling to top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt in five sets.
In 2003, his best results were a quarterfinals appearance at Indian Wells; a round of 16 finish at the Australian Open, Cincinnati, and Miami; a semifinal appearance at San Jose, and a finals appearance at Long Island.

While practicing with Robby Ginepri for the Masters event in Rome, he broke his neck when he slipped on the clay and collided with the net post. In July, his father died of stomach cancer. At the same time, Blake developed shingles, which temporarily paralyzed half his face and blurred his sight.

Blake's injuries and personal issues caused him to post relatively poor results for the first half of 2005. By April his ranking was 210. He decided to play the Challenger circuit, the "minor leagues" of tennis, in order to gain confidence and get more matches. In May he entered events in Tunica, Mississippi and Forest Hills, New York, winning both. He rejoined the ATP circuit and by August reached the final at the International Series event in Washington, D.C. where he fell to Roddick.

He was given a wild card into AMS Cincinnati, drawing Federer in the first round. He then won the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, defeating Feliciano López in the final.

After New Haven he was ranked 49
He accepted a wildcard into the US Open, defeating No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the round of 32. He beat Tommy Robredo in four sets to reach the quarterfinals, succumbing to Andre Agassi in a fifth-set tiebreak.
In October at the Stockholm Open, Blake won his third ATP tour title, defeating Srichaphan in the final. Blake finished 2005 ranking 22.

Blake won the title at Sydney, taking his fourth ATP tour title defeating Russian Igor Andreev in the final.
At the Australian Open he was seeded twentieth, losing in the third round to Spaniard Tommy Robredo. He broke into the Top 20 for the first time in his career.

In March he beat Hewitt in the final at Las Vegas for his fifth ATP tour title.
At the first AMS event of the year Indian Wells, Blake defeated Robredo in the third round and world No. 2 Nadal in the semifinals, reaching his first career ATP Masters Series singles final, losing in the final to Federer. By reaching the final, Blake became the first African-American man since Arthur Ashe to reach the world's top 10.
On clay, Blake defeated former world No. 1 Carlos Moyà in the first round at AMS Hamburg before losing to Mario Ančić in the third round.

At the French Open he defeated Spaniard Nicolás Almagro in four sets in the second round, to become the last remaining American, and then was beaten by Frenchman Gaël Monfils in five sets.
Beginning the grass court season at the Stella Artois Championships, he defeated Andy Roddick in the semifinals, losing to Lleyton Hewitt in the final.

At Wimbledon, Blake progressed to the third round but lost to Max Mirnyi in five sets.[3]
Now ranked No. 5, Blake's next tournament was the International Series at Indianapolis. He won the singles title, defeating Roddick (for the second time in 2006).
In Washington, D.C. he lost in the third round to Marat Safin and in New Haven in the first round to Rubén Ramírez Hidalgo.

At AMS Canada he fell to Richard Gasquet (who would reach the final that week before losing to Roger Federer). At AMS Cincinnati he lost to Juan Carlos Ferrero (who lost in the final to Andy Roddick).
At the US Open he reached the quarterfinals, losing to top seed and defending champion Roger Federer. In that match Blake won his first set against Federer, winning the third set in a tiebreaker 11–9.

In his debut appearance at the Thailand Open in Bangkok, Blake won his seventh singles title, defeating Jarkko Nieminen in the quarterfinals, Marat Safin in the semifinals, and Ivan Ljubičić (for the first time) in the final.
Two weeks later Blake won his fifth title of 2006, defending his 2005 title in Stockholm, defeating Jarkko Nieminen.
For the first time, Blake qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. He went 2–1 in the Gold Group, defeating No. 2 Nadal and No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, while losing to No. 6 Tommy Robredo. He qualified for the semifinals, beating defending champion David Nalbandian, losing the final to Federer.
Blake finished 2006 at a career-high World Number 4 and as the highest-ranked American tennis player.

Blake won at the Sydney International for the second consecutive year. However, he then suffered a disappointing loss in the Round of 16 at the Australian Open, losing to tenth seed and eventual finalist Fernando González. He followed that up with a loss to Tomáš Berdych in Davis Cup play and a second round loss in the SAP Open (San Jose) to Number 103 ranked Ivo Karlović.

At the 2007 Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas, as the defending champion, he was involved with a deep controversy. It was one of the several tournaments experimenting with the new round robin format,[4] and Blake had lost his first match to EvgenyKorolev. Korolev lost his other match to Juan Martín delPotro. In order for Blake to advance to the quarters, he had to defeat Del Potro in straight sets while losing five games or less. This would result in a three-way tie, with Blake losing the fewest games. With Blake leading 6–1, 3–1, Del Potro retired. This eliminated Del Potro from the three-way tie as he failed to complete one of his matches. Korolev then moved on to the next round, breaking the tie because he had defeated Blake in their match.

That caused a big uproar among fans, James Blake, and commentators, as they felt James Blake deserved to advance. After a press conference of many hours, the ATP, led by Etienne de Villiers, decided that, since Blake would have met the guidelines the way the match was going, and since neither player knew the consequences of retiring (Del Potro said he would have finished the match had he known), Blake would have advanced anyway. They overruled the tournament guidelines, giving Blake a place in the quarterfinals.

The following morning, De Villiers reversed his reversal deeming that it was unfair to Korolev as you should not change the rules in mid-tournament, regardless of what happened. As a result, Korolev re-advanced to the quarterfinals, sending Blake to Indian Wells without a 3rd consecutive title defense. Shortly after this incident, the ATP decided to cancel the round robin format, reverting any tournaments planning a round robin draw to the standard single-elimination draw.[5]

Roland Garros 2007 was a disappointment for Blake, losing in the first round to Ivo Karlović. Blake was one of nine American men to lose in the first round of Roland Garros. This was the first time in the open era where an American male had not made it into a Grand Slam second round.
In Wimbledon 2007, James reached the third round, matching his best showing there (2006), but was unable to get past former World Number 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

During the summer hardcourt season, he advanced to his second career ATP Masters Series event and won a singles title. At AMS Cincinnati, he beat Alejandro Falla, Nicolas Kiefer, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Sam Querrey and NikolayDavydenko en route to the final before falling to Roger Federer. He won the singles title at Penn Pilot in New Haven, CT, and started the North American hardcourt season by reaching the finals at Los Angeles, losing to Radek Štěpánek in three sets after having three set points in the first set.

In the second round of the 2007 US Open, he won his first career five-set match against Fabrice Santoro. Blake made it to the fourth round, where he lost to No. 10 Tommy Haas in five sets, despite having match points in the fifth set.
Blake and the rest of the US Davis Cup team defeated Sweden in September to reach the finals against Russia.
James also participated in Madrid and Basel. In Madrid, he fell to former top ten star Mario Ančić in the second round. In Basel, he fell in the second round to Ivo Karlović. However, Blake teamed with former number one doubles player Mark Knowles of the Bahamas to make the final. In the first round, he and Knowles upset US Open champions Simon Aspelin and Julian Knowle in three sets. In the semifinals, the team bore match points twelve times, and finally defeated Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett, the second seeds with thirteen needed match points.[6] Their luck, however, was halted by top seeds and top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan, who are Blake's Davis Cup teammates. After the match, James quoted: "'Yes, they played as well I have seen them play in a while. It's tough. I have seen them do it to a lot of guys in Davis Cup from the sidelines and know how little fun it is to face them. That's the reason why they are the best doubles team in the world right now. [At the start of the week] I told Mark I had not won a lot of doubles matches this year, so I was glad to have him get me through a couple of wins. I had a great time and a lot of fun. Getting a chance to play with one of the best doubles players, really ever, was exciting for me. I learnt plenty and hopefully we’ll be better next time.'"[7]

Blake lost in the third round of Paris to Richard Gasquet and thus finished outside the top eight players, losing his chance to defend the points he gained as finalist in the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup.
James Blake won his match in the 2007 Davis Cup finals against Mikhail Youzhny (and also against Dmitry Tursunov). Andy Roddick won his match versus Tursunov and Bob and Mike Bryan won the doubles rubber over Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko, sealing the Davis Cup win for the United States.[8][9]

James Blake began 2008 hoping to win his third consecutive Medibank International title. However, the defending champion bowed out of the tournament in the first round, losing to French veteran Fabrice Santoro. The third seed (Blake) was said to be "uncharacteristic" in reference to his frustration.
At the Australian Open, Blake defeated his first round opponent, Chilean Nicolás Massú. He then defeated compatriot Michael Russell. In the third round, he fought back from two sets down to beat French veteran Sébastien Grosjean who had beaten him in each of their three previous meetings.

In the fourth round, Blake beat Marin Čilić in three sets to advance to the quarterfinals, his best showing yet down under. In the quarterfinal, James Blake faced world No. 1 Roger Federer, and fell in straight sets. Although out of the Australian Open, Blake's ranking jumped back into the Top 10 to No. 9 following his best performance in the tournament yet.

In Davis Cup, the USA played Austria on clay. James defeated Stefan Koubek in four sets. Despite being down 2–5 in the second set, James turned things around, helped in part by unforced errors by Koubek.
In Delray Beach, James made it to the final for the second consecutive year, but fell to No. 244 Kei Nishikori of Japan in three sets in the final. At the 2008 SAP Open, he rebounded from that loss by defeating compatriot Sam Warburg in straight sets in the first round and Jesse Levine in straight sets in the second round. However, he lost to Robby Ginepri 2–6, 2–6 on the following round.

At the 2008 Pacific Life Open, Blake, the ninth seed, received a "bye" in the first round, before defeating Marc Gicquel in the second round. In the third round, Blake beat former World Number 1 Carlos Moyà.[10][11] He then defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the fourth round in straight sets, before losing to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.

At the 2008 Miami Masters, Blake reached the quarter-finals, but again lost to Rafael Nadal in three sets.
In Davis Cup, Team USA played France. Unfortunately for France, they were missing two of their best players, Richard Gasquet and Jo Wilfried Tsonga due to injuries. So Michaël Llodra and Paul-Henri Mathieu were the players playing singles for France. After Andy Roddick defeated Llodra, James would play Mathieu. James won in a three-hour, 48-minute, five-set match against the Frenchman. He had to save two match points to defeat the number 12 Mathieu.

Blake then started the clay court season at the River Oaks International tournament in Houston, Texas. He defeated Kei Nishikori in the first round, 15-year-old Ryan Harrison in the second round, No. 5 seed Agustín Calleri of Argentina in the quarterfinals, and Óscar Hernández of Spain in the semifinals. In his second ATP final of the year and his first career clay-court final, Blake fell to Spaniard Marcel Granollers Pujol.
James received a wild card to play in the clay tournament in Barcelona, Spain. However, he lost in the first round to German Denis Gremelmayr in straight sets.

Looking for a better performance on clay, James played in the Master Series tournament in Rome. He received a bye in the first round. In the second round, he faced Italian hopeful Andreas Seppi. James won in three sets. In the third round, he faced Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and won in three sets. His run was ended in the quarterfinals by Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in three sets.

At the French, he made it to the second round before being defeated by Ernests Gulbis in four sets. He fared no better at Wimbledon, losing in the 2nd round to the resurgent semi-finalist Rainer Schüttler in five sets.
At the Cincinnati Masters, Blake lost to ErnestsGulbis in the third round.

In August 2008, Blake represented the United States as one of its three men's singles tennis players in the Beijing Olympics. In the quarterfinals, he gained one of the biggest wins of his career with his first ever win over Roger Federer 6–4, 7–6. At the time, Federer was ranked as the world's No. 1 men's player.[12] His semifinal match was against Fernando González, the Men's Singles bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Blake had triple match point in the middle of the final set, but would go on to lose 11–9 in the final set. He then lost in the bronze medal match to Serbian Novak Djokovic.

In the US Open, Blake was stretched to a 5 set thriller against American teenager Donald Young in the first round. Blake easily won his second round match after Steve Darcis retired and then lost to friend and fellow American Mardy Fish in the third round in straight sets.

In the Madrid Masters, Blake had a first round bye and lost to Gilles Simon. Soon after, he played in the Davidoff Swiss Indoors tournament and made it all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to Feliciano López. In the Paris MastersBlake got to the semis after a walkover by Roger Federer in the quarters and lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Because of this loss, Blake was not able to qualify for the year end Masters in Shanghai.

Blake participated in the Hopman Cup, an exhibition tournmanent partnering Meghann Shaughnessy. The team were the top seed, with Blake looking to win his third Hopman Cup. Blake lost to Slovak Dominik Hrbatý but defeated Nicolas Kiefer andLleyton Hewitt.

Blake defeated Frank Dancevic in the first round of the Australian Open. His success continued in the second round of the Australian Open after deposing of Frenchman Sébastien de Chaunac in a match laden with spectator noise and bad line calls.[13] Blake went on to face the 18th seed, Igor Andreev, in the third round and beat him. He lost in the fourth round in straight sets to the 2008 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

In the SAP Open in San Jose, Blake defeated fellow American Vincent Spadea in a first round match, hitting 12 aces and converted his two break point chances to race to the win in 50 minutes. Blake would go on to defeat Frenchman Florent Serra. Blake prevailed in a 20-point first set tie-break against sixth-seeded compatriot Sam Querrey and then eased through the second set with one break of serve to post the victory in 67 minutes. He then lost to fellow American Mardy Fish.

In his next tournament, the Regions Morgan Keenan Championships in Memphis, Tennessee, Blake was defeated in the first round by Lleyton Hewitt.
In the Davis Cup first round tie against Switzerland in Birmingham, Alabama, he lost the opening match to Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets. But he won the fifth match in straight sets to make the final tie 4–1 to book the U.S's place in the quarterfinals.

Blake started the clay season as top seed at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships and lost to Guillermo Cañas in the first round. He also then lost in Rome Masters in the first round to Romanian qualifier Victor Crivoi.

Blake at the 2009 French Open.
Blake then played at the 2009 Estoril Open. Blake recorded his first clay-court win of the 2009 ATP World Tour season, earning a confidence-boosting win over Portugal's highest-ever ranked playerFrederico Gil. Blake, who improved to 10–8 on the year, next defeated France's Marc Gicquel in the second round and Florent Serra in the third. Blake advanced to his first clay-court final on European soil on Sunday, after beating second seed and former Estoril Open champion Nikolay Davydenko in a rain-interrupted semi-final that was carried over due to bad light. Blake won the first and fifth points against serve, courtesy of a Davydenko backhand error and then a forehand volley winner on approach to the net. He quickly opened up a 6–2 lead and won the second set when Davydenko hit a backhand wide. Davydenko managed to save one break point at 15–40 in the fourth game of the third set, with a couple of clever forehands that left Blake stretching outside the tramlines, but the 2003 titlist and 2006 and 2008 runner-up was unable to win the second break point as Blake secured a 3–1 lead. Davydenko almost broke back in the next game, but Blake produced his A-game hitting a cross-court forehand winner on approach to the net that left Davydenko flailing. At 1–4, the World No. 11 found himself 0–40 down but won five straight points – closing out with successive forehand winners. Blake made it 5–2 with successive aces and, minutes later, booked a spot in his 23rd ATP World Tour final (10–12 record) with a service hold to 30. Blake extended his winning streak to 7–0 over Davydenko, in the pair's first clay-court meeting that last two hours and 26 minutes. Blake was defeated by Spain's Albert Montañés later that day in the finals. The 28-year-old Montanes saved two match points at 4–5 in the second set and fought back to beat fourth-seeded Blake in two hours and 14 minutes. Blake fought off one break point for a 5–4 lead, before setting up two championship points on the Montanes serve at 15–40. Blake squandered the first point with a backhand return long of the baseline and the second point went begging when he committed a backhand error. Blake dropped to 12–9 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season. Blake was attempting to become the first American to win a clay-court title since MardyFish at Houston in April 2006 and the first American to win on European clay since his Davis Cup team mateAndy Roddick lifted the St. Poelten trophy in May 2003.
At the 2009 French Open, Blake lost in the first round to qualifier Leonardo Mayer.

At the AEGON Championships at Queen's club, Blake defeated Ivan Ljubičić, Sam Querrey, and Mikhail Youzhny to reach the semi-finals. He then reached the final after Andy Roddick retired with an ankle injury in the first set when the score was tied at 4 games all. He then went on to lose in the final to Andy Murray.

At the Wimbledon Championships, Blake, seeded 17th, lost in the first round to Andreas Seppi in straight sets. He was the first seeded player to be knocked out of the tournament.[14] In his post-match press conference, Blake stated that he was battling a stomach virus, having to take painkillers before going on court. He also heavily criticized the ATP Tour, blaming their poor scheduling for his loss of focus, as well as the withdrawal of world number 1 Rafael Nadal.[15]

Blake partnered with compatriot Mardy Fish at the Wimbledon Men's Doubles. In the first round they defeated third seeds Lukáš Dlouhý and Leander Paes and then Marc Gicquel and Arnaud Clément in straight sets. They defeated advanced to the semi-finals after defeating Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley. They lost to defending champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić in the semi-finals although they won the first two sets.

Following a 3rd Round loss at the 2009 US Open to Spain's Tommy Robredo, Blake split with longtime coach Brian Barker. He is now coached by Kelly Jones.

Blake started his 2010 campaign at the Brisbane International in Australia. Blake came back from a set down to top fifth seeded American Sam Querrey. He then defeated Frenchman Marc Gicquel, surviving three match points in the deciding set tiebreak to make the quarter-finals. There Blake lost to Gaël Monfils. Blake was also entered in the men's double draw with Andy Roddick. The duo defeated fourth seeds Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares on the way to the semifinals before losing a heartbreaker to eventual champions Jérémy Chardy and Marc Gicquel.
At the 2010 Australian Open Blake defeated French veteran Arnaud Clément in the first round. He then faced fourth seed and US Open champion Juan Martín del Potro in the second round, losing a classic in five grueling sets, 8–10 in the last one.

Blake then lost in the opening round at the 2010 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament against a former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.
In the first round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, Blake fell to top-seeded American counterpart Andy Roddick.

At the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, No. 7 seed Blake won consecutive matches for the second time in 2010, topping fellow American Taylor Dent and the Dutchman Robin Haase. Blake was eliminated in the quarterfinals by 2nd seed Ivo Karlović.

Blake returned to action for the third consecutive tournament on American soil at the first Masters event of the year, 2010 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California. An unseeded Blake advanced to the round of 64 with a quick win overDaniel Gimeno-Traver. He then advanced to the Round of 32 with his most impressive win of the season to that point, a destruction of 13th seed David Ferrer. In the Round of 32, Blake lost a disappointing match to Spain's NicolásAlmagro. The loss dropped Blake's three set record to 3–4 on the year.
Blake also played in the doubles draw, teaming with Andy Roddick to reach the Round of 16 where the American duo fell to top-seeded Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić.

At the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Blake defeated Serbian wildcard Filip Krajinović in three sets to advance to the Round of 64, where he lost to 27th seed Thomaz Bellucci.
In July 2010, Blake played for the Boston Lobsters of the World TeamTennis pro league.
On April 14, Blake announced that he would be taking the clay court season off with a serious knee injury. As a result of this injury Blake missed the French Open for the first time since 2004.[16]


James Blake practicing at US Open 2010
Blake returned to action at Wimbledon where he lost to Dutchman Robin Haase. The result was surprising considering that Haase lost badly to Blake earlier in the season at Delray Beach. During this match, Blake harshly accused ESPN commentator and former WTA player Pam Shriver of disrupting play due to her overly loud commentary from the box situated above the court behind him. This led to a verbal exchange between the two during the match. After the match, an emotional Blake declared that if his knee problems did not subside he may consider retirement.[17] Blake, who refuses to take any anti-inflammatories for his knee, called his performance "embarrassing" and said "I can't beat these guys at 80 percent."

Despite these comments, Blake chose to continue his rehab to prepare for the US hardcourt season. He opened an official Facebook page where he can communicate better with fans in an announcement made on his website. In the first round of the Atlanta Tennis Championships, an inaugural event previously played in Indianapolis, Blake lost a tough three-set match to Taylor Dent. Despite winning 49% of points, Blake could not break Dent in crucial moments. The big-serving Dent saved 12/14 break points in the match. The loss was the seventh that Blake endured in the deciding set in 2010. However, Blake fared much better in the doubles draw, pairing with American up-and-comer John Isner. The duo completed a strong comeback from 6–3, 4–2 down to top fellow Americans Robby Ginepri and Ryan Sweeting. In the quarterfinals, Blake and Isner easily dispatched Germans Michael Kohlmann and Rainer Schüttler before falling in two tiebreaks to Rajeev Ram and Scott Lipsky in the semis.

At the Los Angeles Open, Blake's singles fate took a turn for the better. Prior to the tournament, Blake told the LA Times that retirement was "no longer a thought" and that he was "not done yet".[18] In the opening round, Blake easily dispatched Leonardo Mayer in a rematch from the 2009 French Open first round before topping Benjamin Becker. In the quarterfinals, Blake got off to a hot start, winning the first set over Spaniard Feliciano López. However, after dropping the second set in a close tiebreaker, Blake fell in the third. Blake also entered the doubles draw of this tournament with American Sam Querrey but the duo fell quickly in the first round to Lopez and Janko Tipsarević.
Following Los Angeles, Blake appeared at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C.. He came into the tournament as a former finalist and champion at this event. His first opponent was the United States' Ryan Sweeting. Despite winning the first set, poor serving hurt Blake. After the match, Sweeting called the win "the best of (his) career".

The next tournament James Blake faced, was in New Haven, his hometown tournament – the tournament where he claimed an ATP World Tour title when the tournament ran for the first time in 2005, defeating Feliciano López and followed this up by winning the title for a second time in 2007, where he defeated countryman Mardy Fish in the final. Despite an unfortunate draw and a few uninspiring losses in the last few weeks, Blake made and impressive display and ousted World No.76 Pere Riba in the first round, converting five of eleven break point opportunities. Blake won the lightning quick match in a minuscule 35 minutes, making it the shortest match win of 2010, beating the previous record held by Olivier Rochus who beat Abdulla Hajji in 38 minutes in Doha. This match was also one of the quickest matches in tennis history. In the second round match between Blake and seventh-seed up-and-comer Alexander Dolgopolov, Jr., despite playing some great shots, Blake lost in a rain-interrupted match.
At the 2010 US Open, Blake advanced to the third round losing to eventual finalist Novak Djokovic. This defeat dropped his singles record to 13–15.

Blake began his 2011 comeback tour ranked out of the Top 150 for the first time since 2005. He ended his partnership with coach Kelly Jones, choosing to travel alone.[19] In a preseason interview, Blake stated he was healthy and carrying a positive attitude and would skip the Australian Open.[19]

In his first match of the year, on February 8 at the SAP Open in San Jose, Blake defeated American qualifier Jesse Levine[20] after Levine succumbed to an injury late in the second set. The American ran into red-hot Canadian youngster Milos Raonic in the second round and fell after battling back from a late break down in the second set to force a tiebreaker. Raonic would go on to win the tournament, his first as a pro.

Blake accepted a wild card into the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and promptly defeated Brazilian clay-court specialist Ricardo Mello. In the round of 16, Blake was defeated by former doubles partner and close friend Robert Kendrick.

He returned to action at Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, drawing No. 7 Benjamin Becker in the first round. Blake broke Becker late in the first set and battled back from a 3–1 hole in the second set and won. In the second round he lost to Kei Nishikori of Japan in a rematch of the 2008 final.

In the 2011 US Open, Blake hit a forehand winner on match point against Jesse Huta Galung in the first round that was clocked at 125 mph, thus making it the fastest forehand ever hit, eclipsing Gaël Monfils's earlier record of 122 mph against Marcos Baghdatis. Blake won the match but lost to David Ferrer.

Blake will be playing for the Philadelphia Freedoms of World Team Tennis this summer. It will be Blake's seventh overall WTT season, and first with the Freedoms. He will be the team's marquee player on July 10, 2012 when they face theSacramento Capitals.

Ranked no. 123 in the world, Blake started the 2013 season by playing the qualifying rounds of Australian Open, where he lost to fellow American Donald Young in the 2nd qualifying round. In attempt to earn more points to crawl up the ranking, he then went on to play the Dallas Challenger, falling to Robby Ginepri in the semi-final. He played U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis in singles and doubles. In singles, James beat world no. 29 Florian Mayer, and lost to his doubles partner Jack Sock in straight sets. In doubles, James and Jack Sock went all the way to the final, including win over no.2 seed Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecău, before succumbing to doubles world no.1 Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan. After Memphis, Blake played Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. He fell to the eventual champion Ernests Gulbis in the 1st round. However, Blake and Jack Sock continued form in doubles, beating the no. 1 seed Max Mirnyiand Horia Tecău again in the final to claim their first team title together.

Blake then signed up for BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. He claimed an emotional win over Robin Haase but lost to World no.8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2nd round. In doubles, partnering Mardy Fish, they beat David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano López/Milos Raonic.

Blake worked with Prince to create a new racquet with Prince's O3 technology. However, he did not feel comfortable with this racquet. So, he switched back to the Dunlop Sport Aerogel 200, then the 4D 200, for the 2009 season.[21] He changed to Wilson at the start of the 2010 season, using the new Six.One Tour strung with Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 16L strings at high tension (60+ pounds). He did not feel comfortable with this racquet either. Therefore, he switched back to Dunlop again. After the US Open of 2010, he began to test out rackets for Head. As August 26, 2011, he announced he will use Donnay rackets as his choice and using a customized Donnay X-Dual Pro. His clothing sponsor is Fila, with whom he started working in 2009 after using Nike for most his career. He has his own clothing line named Thomas Reynolds after his father.

Personal life
Blake enjoys golf and basketball and is a fan of the New York Mets. He was featured on Bravo's second edition of Celebrity Poker Showdown but got 2nd after losing to Maura Tierney.[22]
Blake is also a red pro on Full Tilt poker.[citation needed] He appeared in People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue.[23] He is good friends with singer/songwriter John Mayer, who also attended Fairfield High School.[24] When Blake was invited by Virginia's Anthem Insurance to do a cancer charity game honoring his late father, he invited John Mayer, Andy Roddick and Gavin DeGraw to perform.[25] On 9 November 2012, Blake married Emily Snider, a publicist, in a beach ceremony in California. They have a daughter, Riley Elizabeth, born in June 2012.

©2012-2014 Bywoon | Bywoon