American tennis star James Blake has announced that he will retire from the sport after 14 years on the professional circuit, according to the U.S. Open on Twitter:
In an emotional press conference, Blake confirmed that the 2013 U.S. Open will be his last tournament.
UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 29, at 12:50 a.m. ET
From Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline:
ESPN's Hannah Storm weighs in on Blake's speech:
ESPN's Howard Bryant reflects on Blake's career:
ATP World Tour Tweeted out this post-match picture:
---End of Update---
The 33-year-old Blake has won more than 360 career singles matches over the past decade-plus but enters Flushing Meadows ranked 100th in the world and with a lackluster 9-13 season singles record.
Blake, a native of Yonkers, New York, started playing tennis at a young age before going on to attend high school in Connecticut and college at Harvard University.
He turned pro in 1999 and won 10 ATP singles titles from 2002 to 2007. Blake, who was at one point ranked as high as No. 4 in the world (November 2006), also won seven doubles championships with five different partners.
According to ATPWorldTour.com, Blake has earned nearly $8 million in prize money over the course of his career.
A three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, he reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open on back-to-back occasions in 2005 and 2006. He also reached the final eight at the 2008 Australian Open.
Some of Blake's other notable accomplishments include a fourth-place finish at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing (lost to Novak Djokovic) and a second-place finish at the 2006 year-end championships in Shanghai (lost to Roger Federer).
Although he never won a Grand Slam, Blake had plenty of memorable moments on the tennis court, most notably his proud victory over Roger Federer at the 2008 Olympics. The straight-sets win was his first and only victory over the Swiss legend and former world No. 1.
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