American James Blake, born in 1979, achieved his best results in the Grand Slam tournaments at the Australian Open and the US Open, where he was able to compete in the quarter-finals. In his career he has won ten major circuit titles, but also reached the final in Indian Wells and Cincinnati.
In 2006 he went on to contend for the ATP Finals trophy, but lost to Roger Federer in three comfortable sets. Former world number 4, he bid farewell to competitions in the summer of 2013.
James Blake praises Roger Federer
The American has faced Roger Federer eleven times on the Tour, winning only in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a score of 6-4 7-6.
Their last challenge took place in Cincinnati ten years ago, won by the Swiss in two sets. Speaking on King Roger's birthday, James Blake said, “He hasn't changed at all. He wasn't arrogant in the locker room.
He never is. It's nice to see someone acting so classy. He does not intentionally put himself in front of someone. He doesn't belittle people. He is an example”. James can also boast of winning the Davis Cup in 2007, when the United States of America beat Russia 4-1.
It was the last US victory in the most important international team competition in our sport, having failed to take part in a final anymore. Davis did not go on stage last year due to the global Coronavirus pandemic: the last team to win the title was therefore Spain in 2019.
A good doubles player, Blake reached the Wimbledon semifinal in 2009 alongside fellow countryman Mardy Fish, losing to Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic. He has also won seven trophies in this specialty, including the 2002 Cincinnati Masters (paired with Todd Martin).
The ATP calendar will now continue with the Masters 1000 in Toronto and Cincinnati, before arriving in New York for the US Open. As we come towards the final Grand Slam event of the season, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer are expected to give it their best shot at the last opportunity of this year.
However, none of these three athletes are competing in either of the ATP Masters 1000 events towards the build-up to the US Open. Roger Federer has been out of action since his exit at the Wimbledon Championships. On the other hand, Novak Djokovic has exhausted himself with the number of events he has competed in lately.
At last, Rafael Nadal has been suffering from a foot injury which had kept him out of action since the French Open exit.