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Black History Month

Black History Month: Today's Stars - Men

James Blake finished 2008 ranked 10th in the world.
Evan King was named the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Blake Strode won the inaugural US Open National Playoffs.
SEKOU BANGOURA

Born: Nov. 18, 1991, Bradenton, Fla.
Current Residence: Gainesville, Fla.

  • University of Florida sophomore represented the U.S. in the 2010 Master’U BNP Paribas, an international collegiate competition in France… Named to the 2010 USTA Summer Collegiate Team.
  • As a junior, reached the singles final at the 2009 USTA Boys’ 18s National Clay Court Championships and the doubles final at the 2009 USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships.

JAMES BLAKE
Born: Dec. 28, 1979, Yonkers, N.Y.
Current residence: Tampa, Fla.
  • In 2011, jumped over 100 sports in the ATP rankings from no. 173 in the world to no. 59 in a rebound year... Reached the second round of the US Open... Compiled an 18-3 record in USTA Pro Circuit Challenger events.
  • In 2010, reached four quarterfinals during the season… Skipped the majority of the clay season due to a right knee injury… Best Grand Slam result was a third-round finish at the US Open.
  • In 2009, reached two ATP Tour finals in Estoril and Queen's Club... Reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the third round of the US Open... Member of U.S. Davis Cup Team for both first round and quarterfinal ties, going 1-1 in singles play against Switzerland in the first round... Finished 2009 ranked No. 44 in the world.
  • In 2008, the No. 2 American, behind Andy Roddick, finished in the top 10 for the second time in three years (was ranked fourth in 2006)... During the year, reached two finals, advanced to his third career Grand Slam QF and finished in fourth place at the Beijing Olympics, where he beat Roger Federer for the first time before eventually losing to Novak Djokovic in the bronze-medal match... Helped lead the U.S. Davis Cup team to the semifinals by posting wins over France’s Mathieu and Gasquet in the quarterfinal tie... Compiled marks of 34-15 on hardcourt, 9-7 on clay and 4-2 on grass.
  • Compiled another consistent season in 2007, with two ATP titles (Sydney, New Haven) in five finals... Also helped lead the United States to victory in the 2007 Davis Cup competition, posting a 3-2 singles mark during the year... Put together the best summer hard-court results (17-3) of his career by reaching the final in Los Angeles, the quarterfinals in Indianapolis, the final at Cincinnati and winning in New Haven... Reached the fourth round at both the Australian Open and US Open.
  • Compiled a career-best season in 2006, winning five ATP titles -- Sydney, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Bangkok and Stockholm -- and reaching eight finals, including the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup final in Shanghai, where he lost to Roger Federer... His titles won trailed only Federer (12), and he was tied for second with Davydenko and Nadal on the ATP circuit... Finished in the top 5 of the year-end rankings at No. 4 and as the No. 1 American for the first time in his career... Helped the U.S. Davis Cup team reach the semifinals before losing to Russia in Moscow... Broke into the top 10 on March 20 after reaching his first ATP Masters Series final in Indian Wells... Became the first African-American to rank in the top 10 since Arthur Ashe on Jan. 21, 1980... Went on to match Ashe’s career-best, year-end finish of No. 4 (in 1985)... Surpassed $1 million in earnings in a season for the first time, with a career-best $1,894,295.
  • Had an outstanding year in 2005, with two ATP titles and his first year-end finish in the top 25... Also turned in his best career Grand Slam result with an appearance in the quarterfinals of the US Open... Was ranked as low as No. 210 on April 18 and compiled a 13-15 record through July before putting together an impressive 21-6 mark after August... Began his consistent play with a runner-up effort in Washington, then three weeks later captured the singles title in New Haven... Took his momentum into the US Open, where he defeated No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the third round and No. 20 Tommy Robredo in the round of 16, before losing to eventual finalist Agassi in a fifth-set tiebreak... Played on the U.S. Davis Cup squad in the World Group playoff tie in Belgium... In October, captured his first European ATP title in Stockholm... Earlier in the season, won back-to-back USTA Challenger titles in May in Tunica, Miss., and Forest Hills, N.Y.
  • Finished in the top 100 for the fourth straight season in 2004, despite a year plagued by injury and illness… Suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck in a practice session in May and missed two months. He then fell ill during the summer with Zoster, a condition affecting hearing and visionary senses and causing temporary paralysis on one side of his face… Played just three tournaments from July on… In doubles, won titles in San Jose and Houston (with Mardy Fish) and Munich (with Mark Merklein)... Reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the second straight year in 2004, losing to former world No. 1 Marat Safin in four sets.
  • Finished in the top 40 (No. 37) for the second straight year in 2003... Won his first ATP title at Washington, D.C., defeating Andre Agassi in the semifinals and Paradorn Srichaphan in the final, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4... Other highlights included reaching the final in Long Island, the semifinals in San Jose and the quarterfinals in Scottsdale, TMS Indian Wells, Houston.
  • In 2002, Went 5-1 in Davis Cup play (3-0 in doubles)... Captured the singles title at the Waikoloa Challenger and reached his first ATP final in Memphis (lost to Roddick) and another final later in the year in Newport (lost to Taylor Dent)... Breakthrough week came in Washington, where he posted wins over Alex Corretja (QF), Andre Agassi (SF) and Paradorn Srichaphan (F) to become the fourth African-American to win an ATP title in the Open Era... In doubles, he captured first ATP title in Cincinnati (with Todd Martin).
  • In 2001, reached the final at the Waikoloa Challenger (lost to Roddick)... Advanced to first ATP semifinal in Newport and later in Tokyo (lost to Hewitt)... Made his Davis Cup debut in the World Group playoff tie vs. India and won both singles matches... Finished the year by winning the singles title at the Knoxville Challenger.
  • In 2000, captured his first Challenger titles in Houston and Rancho Mirage.
  • Turned pro in June 1999… In the same month, won his first tournament as a pro in Montreal… Won a total of four pro singles titles in 1999.
  • Has a 21-12 career Davis Cup record in 17 ties since 2001.
  • Named "Sexiest Athlete of the Year" by People magazine in the Dec. 2, 2002, issue.
  • Was the nation’s No. 1 college tennis player in his sophomore year at Harvard University, 1998-99.
  • Was the country’s No. 1 junior tennis player in 1997… Won the 1997 USTA National Boys’ 18 Clay Court singles championship… Won the 1996 USTA National Boys’ 16 Indoor singles championship.


MARCUS FUGATE
Born: Jan. 22, 1988, Rochester, N.Y.
Current residence: Fairport, N.Y.

  • Played in the 2011 USA F18 Futures in singles and doubles, reaching the semifinals with partner Jason Tahir.
  • Reached back-to-back USTA Pro Circuit Futures singles quarterfinals in summer 2010… Won two Futures doubles titles in 2009, in Orange Park, Fla., and Rochester, N.Y. .… Reached his first pro singles final at a Futures event in Buffalo in 2006.
  • As a junior, he won the doubles title at the 2005 Easter Bowl.


JARMERE JENKINS
Born: Nov. 25, 1990, College Park, Ga.

  • Named University of Virginia team captain as a junior in 2012.
  • 2011: As a sophmore, ranked No. 19 in the U.S. (singles), No. 10 in doubles... Earned All-ACC Honors... Named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team... 63-15 combined singles & doubles record.
  • Participated in the clay court USA F1 Futures in 2011 as a wild card, winning the doubles event with partner and Virginia teammate Drew Courtney over Jack Sock & Nicholas Monroe in the final.
  • Went 65-18 (combined singles and doubles) during his freshman year… Named to the 2010 USTA Summer Collegiate Team... Reached his first career USTA Pro Circuit singles final at the Futures in Rochester, N.Y., in July 2010 and won his second career doubles title.
  • In juniors, won the doubles title and reached the singles final at the 2008 Dunlop Orange Bowl… Reached the boys’ doubles final at the 2006 US Open.
     

SCOVILLE JENKINS
Born: Sept. 23, 1986, Atlanta, Ga.
Current residence: Atlanta, Ga.

  • In August 2010, Jenkins retired from professional tennis and joined the staff at Kennesaw State University as assistant men's coach.
  • Has played in five US Open main draws and qualified for the 2008 French Open.
  • Holds two USTA Pro Circuit Futures titles and reached the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals at the Futures in Plantation, Fla., in early 2010.
  • First African-American to win the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships, in 2004.
 
EVAN KING
Born: March 25, 1992, Chicago
  • Named University of Michigan team captain as a junior in 2012.
  • 2011: As a sophmore, named University of Michigan team MVP & Most Improved Player... Named an ITA All-American... Earned All-Big Ten honors... Posted a 30-9 singles record... Reached the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships in singles.
  • Sophomore at the University of Michigan was named the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year… Won his first USTA Pro Circuit doubles title at the Futures in Godfrey, Ill., as a member of the 2010 USTA Summer Collegiate Team.
  • As a junior, won the boys’ 18s title at the 2009 Easter Bowl one week after reaching the final at the International Spring Championships.
 
NICHOLAS MONROE
Born: April 12, 1982, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Current residence: Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • 2011: Reached a career-high No. 253 in the ATP world rankings... Won a bronze medal in doubles with partner Greg Ouelette at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico... Lost in the Qualifying Round for the 2011 US Open.
  • Has won 21 ITF Circuit-level titles in his career, including four on the USTA Pro Circuit (one singles, three
    doubles). In 2010, qualified for six $50,000 Challengers and reached semifinals in back-to-back Futures events in Loomis, Calif., and Davis, Calif., as well as the semifinals of the $50,000 Challenger in Knoxville, Tenn., as a qualifier. Also captured his second USTA Pro Circuit Challenger doubles title by winning the event in Carson, Calif., with Brian Battistone.
  • As a collegian, was a two-time All-American at the University of North Carolina (2003-04), reaching
    the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in 2004. In 2003, he received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Arthur Ashe Regional Sportsmanship and Leadership Award for the Mideast region.


NATHAN PASHA
Born: July 15, 1992
Current residence: Atlanta, Ga.

  • Started off his Georgia career with two singles and one doubles win in the season-opening Kickoff Classic vs. Boise State in his hometown of Atlanta.
  • Competed in the main doubles draw of the 2010 US Open.
  • Won the doubles title at the 2010 USTA Boys’ 18s National Hard Court Championships and won the 2008 USTA Boys’ 16s National Clay Court Championships. … Won the doubles title at the 2009 International Spring Championships.
  • Committed to play for the University of Georgia in Fall 2011.


TODD PAUL
Born: Dec. 26, 1985, Stamford, Conn.
Residence: Stamford, Conn.

  • First tennis player at Wake Forest University to be named All-ACC four consecutive years.
  • Won the doubles title at the USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Decatur, Ill., in 2010 and won three ITF Circuit doubles titles (two in Canada, one in Israel).
  • Represented the U.S. at the 2007 Pan American Games.
  • Appeared in seven USTA Pro Circuit Futures doubles finals in 2009, winning four titles.


PHILLIP SIMMONDS
Born: May 18, 1986
Residence: Reston, Va.

  • Won three matches in Atlanta to qualify for the main draw of the Atlanta Tennis Championships, eventually succumbing to former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt.
  • Ascended to a career-best No. 219 in 2006, when he reached the quarterfinals at the $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Vancouver, B.C., and received a wild card into the US Open.
  • Reached first USTA Pro Circuit singles final since 2006 at the Futures in Pensacola, Fla., in 2010.
  • Won junior doubles title at the 2003 Australian Open.
 
BLAKE STRODE
Born: July 9, 1987, St. Louis, Mo.
Current residence: Cary, N.C.
  • 2011: Repeated as US Open National Playoffs men's champion, advancing once again to the second round of the US Open Qualifying Tournament... won the 2011 USA F22 Futures in Illinois, defeating Evan King in the final.
  • Captured the USTA’s inaugural 2010 US Open National Playoffs, winning nine matches to earn a wild card into
    the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament, where he reached the second round.
  • In 2009, chose to defer Harvard Law School to play professional tennis and won the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 Futures in Joplin, Mo., for his first pro title... That followed a successful collegiate career at the University of Arkansas, where Strode amassed nearly 100 singles wins and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament as a senior to earn All-America honors.
  • A product of his local NJTL program in Ferguson, Mo., and a two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Strode was named the national recipient of the 2009 ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship. He was also a winner of the Arthur Ashe Essay contest at age 12.
 
FRANCIS TIAFOE
Born: Jan. 20, 1998
Current Residence: College Park, Md.
  • 2012: Won the AEGON Junior International in England & Les Petites As in France to start season with 11 straight victories in international junior competition.
  • 2011: Won first junior tournament at the USTA National Winter Championships in Tucson in December... Reached finals of the USTA National Open in hometown of College Park, Maryland... Was a semifinalist at the summer National Clay Court Championships in Fort Lauderdale. 

DONALD YOUNG
Born: July 23, 1989, Chicago, Ill.
Current residence: Atlanta, Ga.
  • 2011: Reached a career-high No. 39 ranking in the ATP World Tour standings... Made first ATP semifinals in August (Washington D.C.) and final in October (Thailand)... Advanced to the 2011 US Open Round of 16 for the first time in his career, losing to Andy Murray... Won USTA Pro Circuit Tallahassee Challenger... Notable victories: Andy Murray (Indian Wells), Gael Monfils (Thailand).
  • Made a return to form in 2010, reaching the semifinals or better at seven USTA Pro Circuit Challengers and capturing the title in Carson, Calif., to finish the season at No. 2 on the USTA Pro Circuit prize money list. He also appeared in the main draws at the Australian Open and US Open, reaching the second round in Australia.
  • First broke into the Top 100 in 2007, when he reached the third round of the US Open and advanced to the singles final of seven USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, amassing $54,000 in total prize money to set a single-season USTA Pro Circuit record.
  • Was a two-time Grand Slam tournament champion (2005 Australian Open, 2007 Wimbledon) as a junior and, at age 15, became the youngest-ever year-end world junior No. 1, in 2005.
 

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