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Happy Birthday To Fairfield’'s James Riley Blake

James Riley Blake turns 36 on Monday.
James Riley Blake turns 36 on Monday. Photo Credit:

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Happy birthday to Fairfield’s James Riley Blake!

Blake, who has owned a home in Fairfield, turns 36 on Monday. The tennis player was born Dec. 28, 1979, in Yonkers.

Blake saw his first Davis Cup action in 2001 at the age of 21, against India and became the third person of African-American heritage to play for the Davis Cup for the U.S.

His career highlights included reaching the final of the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup, the semifinals of the Beijing Olympics and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open (2008) and U.S. Open (2005, 2006), as well as being a onetime American No. 1.

His two titles for the U.S. at the Hopman Cup are an event record. He was a key performer for the U.S. 2007 Davis Cup championship team, going 2-0 in the championship tie vs. Russia at second singles.

In 2005, he was presented with the Comeback Player of the Year award for his remarkable return to the tour. Later, in 2008, he was awarded another honor by the ATP where he was named the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year.

He co-wrote with Andrew Friedman, his autobiography "Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life," which discussed his comeback after his unlucky 2004 season, was released and debuted at No. 22 on The New York Times Best Seller list.

As of August 2013, he had amassed 24 career finals appearances (10–14 record), while his career-high singles ranking was World No. 4.

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