MIAMI OPEN NAMES TENNIS LEGEND JAMES BLAKE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
MIAMI, FL (January 11, 2018) – The Miami Open today announced former professional tennis player James Blake as its new tournament director. In the role created for him, Blake will focus on player relations, media, broadcast, as well as tournament improvements and innovations.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Miami Open team that has been putting on one of the best tennis events for more than 30 years,” said Blake. “As a player, I always loved playing in Miami and I am excited for the opportunity to take the tournament experience to a higher level for the players, sponsors and fans.”
“James’s extensive knowledge of tennis from both a player and tournament perspective, along with his proven leadership skills, great reputation and strong relationships throughout the sport, make him the perfect choice to serve as tournament director of the Miami Open,” said Adam Barrett, Miami Open Executive Director. “He is going to make our team stronger and will be a great bridge for the players and fans.”
One of the most beloved and respected American players of all time, Blake became a leader both on and off the court during his 14-year professional career. He won ten ATP singles titles; reached a career-high World No.4 ranking; served as the Vice President of the ATP Player Council; and has been involved in some of the most epic matches at the US Open, where he reached two quarterfinals.
In 2008, Blake became the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work on cancer research through the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center he helped create. To date, the fund has raised more than $3 million for cancer research. Throughout his career, Blake also helped raise funds for the Harlem Junior Tennis Program, which gave him his start in tennis.
After losing his father and suffering a broken neck during the 2004 season, Blake returned to the ATP tour in 2005 and was named the ATP Comeback Player of the Year. In 2007, he penned “Breaking Back, How I Lost Everything and Won My Life Back”, an autobiography about the hardest year of his life, which reached No.15 on the NY Times bestseller list. Earlier this year, he released his second book titled “Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity and How Sports Can Bring Us Together.”
Blake currently serves as a tennis analyst for both Tennis Channel and CNN, and is President of the USTA Foundation. He lives in San Diego with wife Emily and two daughters, Riley and Emma.
This year’s Miami Open will be played at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne from March 19-April 1, 2018. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.MiamiOpen.com or call 305-442-3367.
About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2018 Miami Open will be played March 19-April 1 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men's and women's tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of its exotic Miami location, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and its celebrity appeal. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.
Itau is the largest Latin America privately owned bank, with approximately 94,000 employees and operations in 19 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Itaú’s relationship with sport goes back to the 1970s, when Itaú first sponsored the Itaú Tennis Cup in Brazil in 1970. Itaú has been a sponsor of the Miami Open for the last six years, and also sponsors the Rio Open, the only combined ATP/WTA event in South America. Itaú also supports the Brazilian Women’s Tennis Circuit, only female professional tournament in South America, certified by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBT) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the Tennis Institute Training Center, responsible for the development of young, new talent.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.