James Blake, from Yonkers
, New York
, is a professional tennis player, currently ranked #4 in the world. He is currently the top-ranked American
tennis player, the winner of 8 singles titles and $4,216,775 in prize money since turning pro in 1999
Blake suffered some cruel setbacks in 2004, including a broken neck caused by running into a net-post
while practicing in Rome
, the death of his father in July, and a case of shingles
that temporarily paralyzed half his face and blurred his sight.
However, from doubting whether he would ever play tennis again, the 27 year old overcame these obstacles, and by November 2006 he managed to qualify
for the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup (held in Shanghai
) for the first time in his career. He defeated world #2 Rafael Nadal
, #3 Nikolay Davydenko
and steamrolled David Nalbandian
to earn himself a runner-up spot beside Roger Federer
, and a ranking of 4th in the world.