James Blake New USTA Foundation Chairman

USTA Chairman, CEO and President, Katrina Adams announced today, February 9th, that James Blake will be the new Chairman of the USTA Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Patrick Escobar, LA84 Foundation Vice President, Grants & Programs, Arlene Barco, SCTA NJTL Director and youngsters from the Poinsettia Park program with James Blake.

Patrick Escobar, LA84 Foundation Vice President, Grants & Programs, Arlene Barco, SCTA NJTL Director and youngsters from the Poinsettia Park program with James Blake.

Blake, who in his fourteen-year ATP Tour career, was once the No. 4 ranked player in the world. He won ten singles and seven doubles titles after leaving Harvard following his sophomore year. He was also a member of the 2007 winning US Davis Cup team, and was a semifinalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is replacing Mary Carillo, who was the Foundation’s Chairwoman from 2009 until 2014.

Adams said in her message, “As Chairman, James will serve as the Foundation’s spokesperson and ambassador in promoting its mission and the impact of its national outreach efforts. Throughout his career, James always has been eager to give back to the game, and this position will allow him to continue to do just that.”

With the LA84 Foundation and the Southern California Tennis Association having just entered their thirtieth year of partnership, Blake’s selection could not have been more meaningful. He began playing tennis at the age of five at the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program (HJTEP), in New York City. He told the USTA, “I grew up playing tennis at a young age and participated in a National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) program. It was there that I learned the value and influence tennis can add to my life while being encouraged to stay academically focused. It’s through the support of the USTA Foundation where students today are given the same opportunities. And I’m proud to be a part of this outstanding mission to serving up dreams.”

A 2007 finalist to Radek Stepanek at the Los Angeles men’s professional event, Blake always made a point when playing locally and his schedule allowed, to participate in “Between Match Activities” when the LA84 Foundation/NJTL Program was featured following the completion of a tournament contest.

Blake’s autobiography, “Breaking Back”, which he co-wrote with Andrew Friedman in 2007, was on New York Times best-seller list. A year later, he was acknowledged with the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award.

As a player, James Blake was an extraordinary, captivating shot-maker. In addition, he was a well-respected competitor; in short, a class act. All of these qualities will provide a solid foundation for his work as Chairman of the USTA Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Mark Winters

Look for a fresh examination of tennis topics at “Mark Thoughts”

 

 

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