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Birthdate: December 28, 1979
Birthplace: Yonkers, New York
Residence: Tampa, Florida
Weight: 183 lbs.
Plays: Right-handed; One-handed backhand
Davis Cup Record: 12-8 Singles / 3-1 Doubles
Former Harvard star James Blake has been playing the best tennis of his career these last two seasons, now fully eight years after being recognized as the college player of the year and embarking on the pro tour.
His foot speed and blistering forehand always made him a dangerous competitor, but in 2006 he took his game to new heights, winning five tournaments (only Roger Federer won more) and finishing the season at a career-best No. 4 in the world.
Blake remained in the Top 10 throughout most of 2007, capturing his first tournament title of the year at Sydney in January and, in August, claiming his second New Haven title in three years—his 10th career title—while compiling more hard court match wins than anyone on the men’s tour through the US Open.
Blake’s hard court prowess carries over to Davis Cup. In the 12 ties he has played, he is 8-0 on hard courts, including a doubles win. This is his eighth consecutive U.S. Davis Cup tie since regaining his form in mid-2005.
A series of devastating events in 2004 saw him break his neck in an on-court accident, lose his father to cancer and experience partial facial paralysis caused by shingles—all of which is chronicled in his best-selling autobiography Breaking Back, published this year.