Mostly Credited As: James Blake
Birth Name: James Riley Blake
Date Of Birth: December 28, 1979 (Age 33)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Yonkers, New York City, New York
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Born on December 28, 1979, James Blake began playing tennis alongside his older brother when he was 5 years old. By the time James was 13; his tennis career hit a road block when he was diagnosed with scoliosis. Over the next 5 years, James had to wear a back brace 18 hours a day to help correct his spine curvature.
In 1999, James moved to Tampa Florida to train at the Saddlebrook Academy while playing tennis at Harvard University for two years. During that time, he was the #1 ranked collegiate tennis player in the U.S.
After becoming a professional tennis player, James began to gain international attention in the tennis world when he was awarded Rookie of the Year in the 2000 World Team Tennis season and played Lleyton Hewitt in the 2001 U.S. Open. He also began playing on the U.S. Davis Cup team in 2001 and has since posted a 12-7 career record while on the team.
In 2004, James ran into some bad luck, both on the tennis court and off. While practicing for a Masters’ tournament with fellow American Robby Ginepri, James broke his neck when he ran into a net-post and several months later developed shingles that paralyzed half of his face. The next year James was able to make a comeback and eventually found his way back inside the top 50 world tennis rankings. He also won the 2005 Pilot Pen Tennis tournament and made it to the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open.
By 2006, James played his best season of tennis to date. In 8 tournament finals, he won 5 titles and finished the season ranked inside the top 5. By the end of the year, James made his debut in the season-ending ATP Tennis Masters Cup and made it to the finals, where he lost to world #1 Roger Federer.
So far, the 2007 season has been hit and miss for James. So far he has one victory at the Medibank International in Sydney, Australia, has been a finalist at the International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach, and a semi-finalist at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Huston. As of July 16, 2007, James is ranked 9th in the world and is the second ranked U.S. male tennis player, behind teammate Andy Roddick.