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Blake to play Newport in July

NEWPORT, R.I. — 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.

Hosted in the historic, intimate stadium at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, a hallmark of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships is the quaint atmosphere and unparalleled views close to the action. The tournament has recently released additional seats located in shaded boxes, which are now available for single-session purchase. Weekend ticket packages, which include access to the tournament semifinals, finals, and the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony for Martina Hingis, Thelma Coyne Long, Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac, are now available for purchase on HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or by phone at (401) 849-6053.

 

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