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 2002, he won his first ATP title in singles (Washington) and doubles (Cincinnati, with Todd Martin).
-Blake reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinals at the 2005 U.S. Open. He also reached the quarterfinals at the 2006 U.S. Open and the 2008 Australian Open.
-He finished the 2006 season at No. 4 in the ATP Rankings and as the No. 1 American for the first time in his career.
-In 2007, Blake’s 5-2 singles record helped the U.S. win the Davis Cup title.
-Blake finished 4th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
-17 Career Titles – 10 in singles; 7 in doubles
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