James Blake Returning to Newport Tennis Hall of Fame Classic

Ken Bell

kbell@abc6.com

Tennis Hall of Fame news release…

NEWPORT, R.I., May 30, 2013 – James
Blake, a former world top-5 player on the ATP World Tour and a fan
favorite in his native New England, has joined the player field for the
Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, to be held July 8 – 14 in Newport,
Rhode Island. The tournament, which is hosted directly after Wimbledon,
is the first stop of the summer swing for professional tennis in the
United States and the only ATP World Tour tournament hosted in the
Northeast.

 

“It
will be great to have James back in Newport this summer. He always
delivers exciting tennis and we know his New England fans will
appreciate the opportunity to see him back in action in this area,” said
Tournament Director Mark L. Stenning. “Putting James in the mix with
players like John Isner, Sam Querrey, Lleyton Hewitt, and Ryan Harrison
sets us up for a great week to kick off the pro tennis summer season in
the United States.”

 

Blake
has had success at the grass court tournament previously, reaching the
finals in 2002 and the semifinals in 2001. With his brother, Thomas, he
reached the doubles semifinals in 2002, falling to eventual champions
Bob and Mike Bryan. This will be Blake's first appearance in Newport
since 2005.

 

In
a successful and lengthy career that has spanned more than a decade,
Blake has won 10 singles titles and 7 doubles titles. He reached a
career high ranking of world No. 4 in 2006, and was the No. 1 American
player. In 2007, he was a member of the championship United States Davis
Cup team.

 

Earlier
this year, Blake and fellow American Jack Sock won the doubles title at
the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. The pair also
advanced to the finals at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships
in Memphis.

 

Blake is a strong addition to a player field headlined by top American players. Two-time defending champion John Isner and No. 1 American Sam Querrey are both scheduled to compete in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, along with Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock.

 

Other notable Americans in the field include 2009 champion Rajeev Ram, ATP World Tour veterans Michael Russell and Brian Baker, and rising stars Dennis Kudla, Tim Smyczek, and Rhyne Williams.

 

Top ATP World Tour pros from around the world will add to the dynamic of the tournament as well. Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt
has committed to return to Newport this summer, following a successful
run at last year's event that brought him into the finals. Marinko Matosevic of Australia, Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France, and Igor Sijsling
of the Netherlands, all of whom are ranked among the world top-65 will
also compete. Three additional wild card entries for the tournament are
yet to be named.