Tennis Star James Blake Meets with Fairfield Student-Athletes
Tennis Star James Blake spoke with Fairfield University student-athletes during an informal Q&A session following a campus visit at the Regina A. Quick Center on Jan. 30. It was as an opportunity for students to ask him questions pertaining to athletics, academics and life after college.
“Find a way to do something each day to make yourself better. Learn a new craft, do your research, talk to industry professionals,” shared Blake, a former Harvard University tennis standout.
Blake also emphasized the importance of academics, work ethic and friends.
“One of the best things is having genuine friends. I grew up with good people. I have friends who were not only tennis players but golfers, basketball players or had interests outside of athletics. My friends were all happy for me when I became successful and still treated me the same. Having them was even more valuable when I wasn’t having success. I was lucky enough that when my ranking dropped, my friends would pick me up, take me out to dinner and help me get through that phase. Having a brother three years older than me was also a good way to keep me humble.”
James Blake inspired the world during an epic tennis career that featured 10 singles titles, a Davis Cup Championship and a New York Times Best Seller for his memoir, Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life. Blake turned pro in 1999, when he was the #1 collegiate player at Harvard. In 2004, he overcame a potential career-ending injury and a case of the shingles that left his face paralyzed and blurred his vision. Just one year later, Blake climbed from outside of the Top 200 in the ATP rankings to his career highest ranking at #4. After an amazing 14-year career, he retired from professional tennis at the 2013 U.S. Open.
See photos from the event.
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