Who Is James Blake? – ESPN Front Row

James Blake (Dave Nagle/ESPN)

NEW YORK – For James Blake, retired now for eight years from his professional tour enjoying days (the place he received 10 titles, performed a key function within the 2007 Davis Cup win for america and as soon as ranked as excessive as No. 4 on the earth), there’s been no concern with being bored with out what he calls the all-encompassing “life-style” that’s the lifetime of a participant on the professional tennis tour.

For Blake, in his second yr as an ESPN tennis analyst who’s been offering perception throughout the US Open the past two weeks, there’s been no time to be bored.


One essential a part of his life is philanthropy, elevating funds for most cancers analysis. In 2008, he established the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Analysis Fund at Memorial Sloan Kettering Most cancers Heart in New York.

It’s named in honor of his father, who succumbed to most cancers in 2004.

“Most cancers touches too many people – one in 4,” he says. “I wish to promote early detection to offer them an opportunity to outlive.”

A one-time tennis/music fundraiser was created, and shortly grew to become an annual occasion. At the moment, it’s been changed by extra smaller occasions, together with N.Y. Marathon runners competing to boost cash. In the newest race, there have been 33, and in 2016 James was one in all them. “My purpose was to do it in 4 hours, and I made it.”


The previous Harvard star, who as soon as was the top-ranked collegiate participant within the nation, has dabbled in protecting tennis for varied retailers through the years. He joined ESPN in 2020.

“It’s a possibility to make use of what you realized enjoying the sport,” he says. “I put my coronary heart and soul into this recreation, and revel in utilizing what I do know in a constructive means and provides perception that followers in any other case wouldn’t know.”

On the well-established ESPN tennis staff, he’s nonetheless the “new man” and will get grief about it.

“It is a close-knit household, an amazing group, and identical to in staff sports activities, the rookie has to pay his dues,” he explains.

Miami Event Director

In 2018, Blake was offered with the chance to be the Miami Open event director. His focus is on participant relations, media, broadcast, in addition to event enhancements and improvements.

“The place intrigued me,” he says, “and it’s a method to give again to the game and use the information I’d gained.”

Champions Tour

Blake hasn’t fully put away his tennis racquet. Since retiring, he has performed on the Champions Tour. His subsequent occasion is that this coming Monday at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

“It’s a enjoyable method to keep in form a minimum of a bit bit and meet up with the fellows,” he says.

His Most Essential Job

Oh, by the best way, along with all these different roles, Blake is a household man. He and his spouse have two younger ladies.

“That’s the most important job and most fulfilling,” he says. “I like being the dad at soccer observe and choosing them up after college, and I’m nonetheless younger sufficient to leap on the trampoline with them and play within the pool.”

Who’s James Blake Now?

For 30 years, Blake was a tennis participant. With all these completely different features to his life, who’s he now?

“The very first thing I consider is a dad,” he says. “I led a really egocentric life enjoying tennis. All the pieces and everybody round me labored round my schedule.

“Now, my youngsters and spouse are my No. 1 precedence, essentially the most unselfish method to life. Some athletes wrestle once they retire, but it surely’s been straightforward for me as a result of it’s been a complete reversal of egocentric to selfless.”

From 2018: ESPN analyst James Blake nonetheless competes on the Champions Tour. (Kate Whitney Lucey/ITHF/Courtesy of The Champions Tour)

https://www.espnfrontrow.com/2021/09/who-is-james-blake/ | Who Is James Blake? – ESPN Entrance Row


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