In the sport of tennis, James Blake is a legend, having amassed an incredible list of accomplishments during his 14-year professional career. He has won ten ATP World Tour singles titles, reached a career-high World No.4 ranking, and helped team USA win the 2007 Davis Cup title. While reaching two quarterfinals at the US Open in his hometown of New York, he was involved in some of the most memorable matches in the tournament’s history.
While his tennis career flourished, he continued to be a force in the boardroom, serving as the Vice President of the ATP Player Council. Since retiring from professional tennis in 2013, he’s worked as the tennis analyst for CNN and Tennis Channel, and as the President of the USTA Foundation.
In 2004, Blake fell during tennis practice in Rome and suffered a broken neck. He also lost his father, Thomas Blake Sr. to cancer that year; the stress of both events resulted in a terrible case of shingles.
After his father’s death, James started the James Blake Foundation, supporting the efforts of the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund, which was launched in memory of James’s father and is dedicated to the early detection of cancers commonly discovered in later stages. To date, James’s foundation surpassed the $3 million mark in total funds raised for the fight against the disease.
Always an advocate and compass for those less fortunate, Blake’s humble demeanor and strong character has helped him to make deep charitable contributions to the world. Throughout his career, Blake also helped raise funds for the Harlem Junior Tennis Program, which gave him his start in tennis. For his charitable work, James was awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award in 2008.
Blake returned to the ATP tour in 2005 and was named the ATP Comeback Player of the Year. In 2007, he penned “Breaking Back, How I Lost Everything and Won My Life Back”, an autobiography about the hardest year of his life, which reached No.15 on the NY Times bestseller list.
In 2018, Blake added another major accomplishment to the list when he was named Tournament Director of the Miami Open. In the role created for him, Blake will work closely with the players on maximizing their tournament experience, and will focus on the Miami Open innovations and improvements across the board for media, broadcast partners, and fans. Having an ATP alum on the Miami Open’s team will greatly enhance the Miami Open experience for all.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Miami Open team that has been putting on one of the best tennis events for more than 30 years,” said Blake. “As a player, I always loved playing in Miami and I am excited for the opportunity to take the tournament experience to a higher level for the players, sponsors and fans.”
“James’ extensive knowledge of tennis from both a player and tournament perspective, along with his proven leadership skills, great reputation and strong relationships throughout the sport make him the perfect choice to serve as tournament director of the Miami Open,” said Adam Barrett, Miami Open Executive Director. “He is going to make our team stronger and will be a great bridge for the players and fans.”