James Blake
Tennis player
James Blake
James Riley Blake 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. 110 among active male players with 24 career finals appearances (10–14 record), whilst his career-high singles ranking is World No. 4.
Biography
James Blake's personal information overview.
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News
News abour James Blake from around the web
Poet And Singer Amy Leon On What To Do With Your Despair
Huffington Post - 3 months
Amy Leon’s voice bursts through the constraints of technical proficiency like sunbeams through a window; her words are strong, personal and enlightening. The singer and poet ― who got her start performing at the Nuyorican Poets Café ― releases her first studio album Nov. 15. Many of the songs concern losses personal and societal, but most crescendo with hope-laced pain. In “Burning in Birmingham,” Leon sings about the city’s 1963 bombing, and about the cyclical nature of history. “What happens when I lose my voice? / What happens when the sun refuses to rise? / What happens when my son refuses to die?” she chants. The Huffington Post talked to Leon about her music, and about the importance of self-care and self-expression amid turmoil. Tell me about “Burning in Birmingham.” When did you write it, and what was the process of writing it like? I wrote “Burning in Birmingham” last summer, after watching Netflix’s “What Happened, Miss Simone?” In one of her in ...
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Huffington Post article
James Blake and Majid Jordan: Soul Through a Digital Lens
NYTimes - 5 months
Mr. Blake and the duo Majid Jordan play shows in New York, offering their 21st-century takes on soul.
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NYTimes article
Listen: James Blake, Vince Staples Collaborate On The Moody 'Timeless'
NPR - 6 months
In its new incarnation, featuring rapper Vince Staples, the icy soul ballad is moodier, more propulsive and bristling with tension.
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NPR article
Harmonizing a Diverse Lineup at Eaux Claires
Wall Street Journal - 6 months
Performances from Erykah Badu, Beach House, James Blake, Jon Hopkins, Mavis Staples, Vince Staples and more, plus Bon Iver reveals its upcoming album.
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Wall Street Journal article
After 'Lemonade,' James Blake measures his success at the Belasco Theater
LATimes - 9 months
James Blake makes beautiful music about feeling miserable. In his exquisitely rendered songs, which connect twitchy English dubstep to slow-burn American R&B, the narrator is always lamenting the disappearance of something: love, mostly, but also childhood, community, the long attention spans people...
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LATimes article
All Songs +1: The Season Of Surprise Albums, From Beyoncé To James Blake
NPR - 10 months
Are you feeling listener fatigue or musical ecstasy from all the surprise album drops? Guess what: It's not over yet.
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NPR article
Jesse Fischer's <i>Day Dreamer</i>, a Manifestation of Identity
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The last time I heard "Hine Ma Tov," I was probably at synagogue on the Yale campus, squirming in a button-down, bored and hungry. We used to sing it in Hebrew school, the phonetics somehow sticking with me through the years, praised be the ancients, while my reading skills melted away shortly after my bar mitzvah. Appetizing "research" has been the extent of my Judaism recently, so it was a surprise to see the tune, an ode to unity and goodness, deep in the track list of Jesse Fischer's new album Day Dreamer, out now on Ropeadope Records. It's a hymn that reverberates off the walls of his ancestry, too. "All that stuff that Herbie was doing in the early 70's -- they weren't just continuing hard bop, they were really trying to figure out what being American but also African meant to them," Fischer told me in a recent Skype conversation. "I've always been intrigued by that, but that's not my heritage. It's important to figure out what my heritage is and where that fits into growin ...
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Huffington Post article
James Blake Covers 'The Sound of Silence' With Justin Vernon
NPR - over 1 year
James Blake returned to the BBC Radio 1 Residency to perform a chilling rendition of the Simon &amp; Garfunkel classic with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. » EMail This
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NPR article
NYPD Officer Used Excessive Force On Ex-Tennis Player James Blake: Review Board
Huffington Post - over 1 year
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Huffington Post article
Grammys Best New Artist Award: 10 Biggest Surprises, Upsets Ever!
US Magazine - about 3 years
With the 2014 Grammys just around the corner, many are speculating (if not placing bets) on who will take home one of the show's most coveted prizes -- the Best New Artist Award. This year's nominees include British electronic artist James Blake, rappers Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore &amp; Ryan Lewis, country singer Kacey Musgraves, and British crooner Ed Sheeran. Though plenty of known greats -- like The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, Mariah Carey, Amy Winehouse, and Adele -- have won the title, many other years resulted in historic surprises and upsets.  Here are some of the most shocking winners:  1. Esperanza Spalding (2011) No one could have predicted this winner! Though Esperanza Spalding is an accomplished jazz artist, she was the least-known nominee in 2011. Her competitors were rapper Drake, English rocker Florence + the Machine, teen pop phenom Justin Bieber, and folk group Mumford &amp; Sons. PHOTOS: Best dressed stars at the 2013 Grammys  2. Maroon 5 (2005) ...
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US Magazine article
James Blake Puts His Perfect, Moody Stamp On Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love’
MTV News - about 3 years
Grab your #SURFBOARDT, because James Blake has dropped a super eerie remix of Beyoncé's "Drunk In Love."
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MTV News article
Is It Recording? Google Glass in NYC
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Walking down Fifth Avenue on a weekend afternoon is a tourist's dream and a New Yorkers past-time. Walking down Fifth Avenue wearing Google Glass caused a woman to do a head turn in the middle of her Snapchat selfie, a mover with a thick accent to follow me for two blocks asking me to buy my Glass (for only $50!) and a plethora of "Did you just see that girl wearing Glass?!" comments. It was a cold evening in late March when was eating a pork bun at my favorite hangout, Booker &amp; Dax, when the first person I ever saw wearing Glass walked in. His Glass was bright orange but it didn't need to be; everyone noticed, everyone's head swirled. Depending on who you asked, he automatically became the coolest or weirdest person in the bar. A few months later, Gary Shteyngart wrote an article in the New Yorker, voicing his initial experiences with Glass in New York City. In both cases, I wondered with amusement what it was like to possess this intriguing technology. Fast-forward to November ...
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Huffington Post article
James Blake Says Deadmau5 Making Excuses For 'Hitting Play' Live
Huffington Post - over 3 years
It's been a year since EDM superstar Deadmau5 shook up the industry with his infamous "We All Hit Play" blog post in which he admitted that he and many contemporary electronic performers aren't really doing much onstage when they say they're playing "live." His argument was that the fancy lighting effects and video projections of stadium shows require consistency from night to night, and that most electronic music didn't involve much live performance when it was originally recorded. Post-dubstep crooner James Blake sees live electronic shows very differently though, as anyone who's ever seen him play knows. Backed only by a percussionist and guitarist, Blake quivering falsetto and jazz-influenced synth playing takes a central role, and he makes expert use of looping pedals to build layers of otherworldly harmonies in real time. "There isn't any 'hitting play' in our show at all. Zero," emphasizes Blake before his recent Toronto show at Kool Haus. "We decided to approach it that way ...
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Huffington Post article
New Mix: The Beatles, James Blake, Colin Meloy, More
NPR - over 3 years
On this week's essential mix we share a rare, previously unreleased cut from The Beatles. We also hear how James Blake was inspired to write this year's amazing "Retrograde," cover tunes from Colin Meloy and Shearwater, a new Bee-Gees styled cut from Broken Bells and more. » E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of James Blake
    THIRTIES
  • 2012
    Age 32
    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 the Sacramento Capitals.
    More Details Hide Details
    As of July 2012, Blake is ranked World No. 110 among active male players with 24 career finals appearances (10–14 record), whilst his career-high singles ranking is World No. 4.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2011
    Age 31
    As August 26, 2011, he announced he will use Donnay rackets as his choice and using a customized Donnay X-Dual Pro.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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. Blake is also a red pro on Full Tilt poker. He appeared in People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue. He is good friends with singer/songwriter John Mayer, who also attended Fairfield High School. 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. Current till 2012 US Open (tennis). Current till 2012 US Open (tennis).
    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 125mph, thus making it the fastest forehand ever hit, eclipsing Gael Monfils's earlier record of 122mph against Marcos Baghdatis.
    More Details Hide Details Blake won the match 6–4, 6–2, 4–6, 6–4. In the second round he lost to David Ferrer of Spain 6–4, 6–3, 6–4.
    Blake began his 2011 comeback tour ranked out of the Top 150 for the first time since 2005.
    More Details Hide Details He ended his partnership with coach Kelly Jones, choosing to travel alone. In a preseason interview, Blake stated he was healthy and carrying a positive attitude and would skip the Australian Open. In his first match of the year, on February 8 at the SAP Open in San Jose, Blake defeated American qualifier Jesse Levine 7–5, 6–1 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 6–2, 7–6 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 6–4, 6–3. In the round of 16, Blake was defeated by former doubles partner and close friend Robert Kendrick 7–6, 6–3.
  • 2010
    Age 30
    After the US Open of 2010, he began to test out rackets for Head.
    More Details Hide Details
    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).
    More Details Hide Details He did not feel comfortable with this racquet either. Therefore, he switched back to Dunlop again.
    At the 2010 US Open, Blake advanced to the third round losing to eventual finalist Novak Djokovic 6–1, 7–6, 6–3.
    More Details Hide Details This defeat dropped his singles record to 13–15.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 6–4 6–2 in a rain-interrupted match.
    The loss was the seventh that Blake endured in the deciding set in 2010.
    More Details Hide Details 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 3–6, 6–4, 10–3. In the quarterfinals, Blake and Isner easily dispatched Germans Michael Kohlmann and Rainer Schüttler 6–4, 6–1 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". In the opening round, Blake easily dispatched Leonardo Mayer in a rematch from the 2009 French Open first round 6–1, 6–4 before topping Benjamin Becker 7–5, 7–6. In the quarterfinals, Blake got off to a hot start, winning the first set over Spaniard Feliciano López 6–3. However, after dropping the second set in a close tiebreaker 6–7, Blake fell in the third 4–6. Blake also entered the doubles draw of this tournament with American Sam Querrey but the duo fell quickly in the first round 3–6, 3–6 to Lopez and Janko Tipsarević.
    In July 2010, Blake played for the Boston Lobsters of the World TeamTennis pro league.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Blake returned to action at Wimbledon where he lost to Dutchman Robin Haase 2–6, 4–6, 4–6. 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. 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."
    At the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Blake defeated Serbian wildcard Filip Krajinović in three sets 6–7, 6–4, 6–4 to advance to the Round of 64.
    More Details Hide Details In the second round, he lost to 27th seed Thomaz Bellucci 6–3, 1–6, 2–6.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details An unseeded Blake advanced to the round of 64 with a quick win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6–3, 6–2. He then advanced to the Round of 32 with his most impressive win of the season to that point, a 6–1, 6–4 destruction of 13th seed David Ferrer. In the Round of 32, Blake lost a disappointing match to Spain's Nicolás Almagro 4–6, 6–3, 3–6. 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 4–6, 6–3, 7–10.
    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 6–1, 3–6, 6–3 and the Dutchman Robin Haase 6–3, 6–1.
    More Details Hide Details Blake was eliminated in the quarterfinals by 2nd seed Ivo Karlović 3–6, 7–6, 1–6.
    Blake then lost in the opening round at the 2010 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament against a former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 4–6, 2–6.
    More Details Hide Details In the first round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, Blake fell to top-seeded American counterpart Andy Roddick 3–6, 6–4, 6–7.
    At the 2010 Australian Open Blake defeated French veteran Arnaud Clément 7–5, 7–5, 6–2 in the first round.
    More Details Hide Details He then faced fourth seed and US Open champion Juan Martín del Potro in the second round, losing a classic in five grueling sets 4–6, 7–6, 7–5, 3–6, 8–10.
    Blake started his 2010 campaign at the Brisbane International in Australia.
    More Details Hide Details Blake came back from a set down to top fifth seeded American Sam Querrey 4–6, 6–3, 6–4. He then defeated Frenchman Marc Gicquel 6–3, 3–6, 7–6, surviving three match points in the deciding set tiebreak to make the quarter-finals. There Blake lost to Gaël Monfils 6–3, 3–6, 4–6. 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 4–6, 6–3, 11–13.
  • TWENTIES
  • 2009
    Age 29
    Following a 3rd Round loss at the 2009 US Open to Spain's Tommy Robredo, Blake split with longtime coach Brian Barker.
    More Details Hide Details He is now coached by Kelly Jones.
    At the 2009 French Open, Blake lost in the first round to qualifier Leonardo Mayer 7–6 7–5 6–2.
    More Details Hide Details At the AEGON Championships at Queen's club, Blake defeated Ivan Ljubičić 6–2, 7–6 Sam Querrey 6–4, 4–6, 6–3 and Mikhail Youzhny 7–6, 6–3 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 7–5, 6–4. At the Wimbledon Championships, Blake, seeded 17th, lost in the first round to Andreas Seppi in straight sets 7–5 6–4 7–6. He was the first seeded player to be knocked out of the tournament. 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.
    Blake dropped to 12–9 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season.
    More Details Hide Details Blake was attempting to become the first American to win a clay-court title since Mardy Fish at Houston in April 2006 and the first American to win on European clay since his Davis Cup team mate Andy Roddick lifted the St. Poelten trophy in May 2003.
    Blake recorded his first clay-court win of the 2009 ATP World Tour season, earning a confidence-boosting 5–7, 6–4, 6–2 win over Portugal's highest-ever ranked player Frederico Gil.
    More Details Hide Details Blake, who improved to 10–8 on the year, next defeated France's Marc Gicquel in the second round 7–6, 6–2 and Florent Serra 6–4, 6–1 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 6–7, 7–6, 6–3 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 then played at the 2009 Estoril Open.
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  • 2008
    Age 28
    He lost in the fourth round in straight sets to the 2008 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6–4, 6–4, 7–6.
    More Details Hide Details In the SAP Open in San Jose, Blake defeated fellow American Vincent Spadea 6–3, 6–4 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 6–4, 6–3. 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 7–6, 6–3 victory in 67 minutes. He then lost to fellow American Mardy Fish 3–6, 2–6. In his next tournament, the Regions Morgan Keenan Championships in Memphis, Tennessee, Blake was defeated in the first round by Lleyton Hewitt 6–3, 1–6, 4–6. 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.
    In August 2008, Blake represented the United States as one of its three men's singles tennis players in the Beijing Olympics.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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 4–6, 7–5, 11–9. He then lost in the bronze medal match to Serbian Novak Djokovic 4–6, 6–7. In the US Open, Blake was stretched to a 5 set thriller against American teenager Donald Young 6–1, 3–6, 6–1, 4–6, 6–4 in the first round. Blake easily won his second round match after Steve Darcis retired 4–6, 6–3, 1–0. Blake then lost to friend and fellow American Mardy Fish in the third round in straight sets 3–6, 3–6, 6–7.
    At the 2008 Miami Masters, Blake reached the quarter-finals, but again lost to Rafael Nadal in three sets 6–3, 3–6, 1–6.
    More Details Hide Details 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 7–6, 6–7, 6–3, 3–6, 7–5. 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 6–4, 6–4, 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 6–3, 7–6. In his second ATP final of the year and his first career clay-court final, Blake fell to Spaniard Marcel Granollers Pujol 4–6, 6–1, 5–7.
    At the 2008 Pacific Life Open, Blake, the ninth seed, received a "bye" in the first round, before defeating Marc Gicquel 6–3, 6–7, 6–1 in the second round.
    More Details Hide Details In the third round, Blake beat former World Number 1 Carlos Moyà 6–3, 6–4. He then defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the fourth round in straight sets 6–4, 6–2, before losing to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals 5–7, 6–3, 3–6.
    At the 2008 SAP Open, he rebounded from that loss by defeating compatriot Sam Warburg in straight sets in the first round 6–3, 6–1 and Jesse Levine in straight sets in the second round 6–3, 6–4.
    More Details Hide Details However, he lost to Robby Ginepri 2–6, 2–6 on the following round.
    James Blake began 2008 hoping to win his third consecutive Medibank International title.
    More Details Hide Details However, the defending champion bowed out of the tournament in the first round, losing to French veteran Fabrice Santoro 6–7, 2–6. 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 6–3, 6–2, 6–2. In the third round, he fought back from two sets down to beat French veteran Sébastien Grosjean 4–6, 2–6, 6–0, 7–6, 6–2 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 7–5, 7–6, 6–4. 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.
  • 2007
    Age 27
    James Blake won his match in the 2007 Davis Cup finals against Mikhail Youzhny 6–3, 7–6, 6–7, 7–6 (and also against Dmitry Tursunov).
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    In the second round of the 2007 US Open, he won his first career five-set match against Fabrice Santoro, whom he defeated 6–4, 3–6, 6–2, 4–6, 6–4.
    More Details Hide Details Blake made it to the fourth round, where he lost to No. 10 Tommy Haas in five sets 4–6, 6–4, 3–6, 6–0, 7–6, 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 7–5, 6–7, 12–10 with thirteen needed match points. Their luck, however, was halted by top seeds and top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan, who are Blake's Davis Cup teammates. Blake and Knowles lost 6–1 6–1. 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. 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.
    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, losing 3–6, 6–3, 6–3, 7–6.
    More Details Hide Details 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 Nikolay Davydenko 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 7–6, 5–7, 6–2 after having three set points in the first set.
    Roland Garros 2007 was a disappointment for Blake, losing in the first round to Ivo Karlović 4–6, 6–4, 7–5, 7–5.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    At the 2007 Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas, as the defending champion, he was involved with a deep controversy.
    More Details Hide Details It was one of the several tournaments experimenting with the new round robin format, and Blake had lost his first match to Evgeny Korolev. Korolev lost his other match to Juan Martín del Potro. 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.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Blake was born in Yonkers, New York to an African American father Thomas Reynolds Blake and a British mother Betty. He has a brother Thomas, who is also a professional tennis player, and three older half-brothers: Jason, Christopher and Howard, and a half-sister 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-length back 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.
  • 2006
    Age 26
    Blake finished 2006 at a career-high World Number 4 and as the highest-ranked American tennis player.
    More Details Hide Details 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 7–5, 6–4, 7–6. 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.
    Two weeks later Blake won his fifth title of 2006, defending his 2005 title in Stockholm, defeating Jarkko Nieminen.
    More Details Hide Details 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 6–4, 6–1, losing the final to Federer 6–0, 6–3, 6–4.
  • 2005
    Age 25
    In October at the Stockholm Open, Blake won his third ATP tour title, defeating Srichaphan in the final. Blake finished 2005 ranking 22.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    Blake's injuries and personal issues caused him to post relatively poor results for the first half of 2005.
    More Details Hide Details 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 then accepted a wildcard into the US Open, defeating No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1 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, losing 3–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–3, 7–6.
  • 2003
    Age 23
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 2002
    Age 22
    In January, Blake won the 2002 USTA Waikola Challenger in Hawaii.
    More Details Hide Details 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 finals, losing to Andy Roddick. He reached the quarterfinals at the ATP Masters Series (AMS) event in Rome in May and the finals 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.
  • 2001
    Age 21
    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).
    More Details Hide Details 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?"
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1979
    Born
    Born on December 28, 1979.
    More Details Hide Details
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