James Blake began playing tennis as a member of the Harlem Junior Tennis Program at age 5. As a child, he had to overcome severe scoliosis which forced him to wear a back brace 18 hours a day. Blake, best known for his speed and powerful forehand, reached 3 Grand Slam quarterfinals and, in 2006, became the first African-American player since Arthur Ashe to reach the Top 10 in the ATP Rankings.
In the early 90s he dominated the men’s professional tennis circuit with a game he fashioned out of grit, determination and a punishing insideout forehand. He was the first in his class – which included Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi – to hold the No. 1 world ranking. In 2005, Jim was elected for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Lleyton Hewitt was the youngest man to achieve the world No. 1 ranking in 2001 at the age of 20, buoyed by his upset win over Pete Sampras in the U.S. Open final. The following year, he won the Wimbledon singles title defeating David Nalbandian in the final. He lead Australia to the Davis Cup title in 1999 and 2003 and currently serves as the Australian team captain.
Tommy Haas began playing tennis in Hamburg, Germany at age 4 before moving to Florida at age 11 to attend Nick Bollettieri Academy. Known for his powerful baseline game, Haas turned professional in 1996 and had immediate success. He reached the quarter-finals in his first ATP Tour event, falling to Pete Sampras, and achieved the World No. 2 Ranking in 2002. Haas went on to reach the quarter-finals at each of the Grand Slams and reached the semis at Wimbledon (2009) and three times in Australia (1999, 2002, 2007).