James Blake Bio

  • Full name is James Riley Blake
  • Began playing aged five with older brother, Thomas, a former Harvard All-American, father, Thomas, (passed away in July ‘04) and mother, Betty, who was raised in England
  • Has 3 half-brothers and 1 half-sister
  • At 13, diagnosed with severe scoliosis (curvature of spine) and wore back brace 18 hours a day
  • Attended Fairfield (Conn.) High School with GRAMMY Award winner John Mayer and PGA Tour pro J.J. Henry
  • School renamed tennis courts after him in 2006
  • In 1999 moved to Saddlebrook Academy to train
  • Lists Arthur Ashe as role model
  • Member of Harlem Junior Tennis Program from ages 5-10, and inspired to play game after Ashe spoke there
  • Played 2 seasons at Harvard (‘98-99)
  • Finished as No. 1 collegiate player, reaching 1999 NCAA singles final (l. to Florida's Jeff Morrison)
  • Voted to ATP Player Council in June 2006, served as Vice President
  • In July 2007, released “Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life” (co-authored by Andrew Friedman) that reached No. 15 on New York Times Best Seller list
  • Since 2003, holds annual charity event that's raised more than $3 million for cancer research
  • Founded Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund to support cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
  • Has hit batting practice home runs at Major League Baseball stadiums in Miami and Houston
  • Named Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of Year in 2008
  • Blake and his wife, Emily Snider (married 11 November 2012, in Del Mar, Calif), have one child, Riley Elizabeth (born 11 June 2012)
  • Physical trainer is Rory Cordial.
Biographical information from ATP. Unless noted otherwise all data as of year-end 2013.

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