NEW YORK (AP) _ Wiping away tears, former top-five player James Blake announced Monday that he will retire from tennis after the U.S. Open.
“No real surprise here. This is my last tournament,” the 33-year-old Blake said at a news conference during the opening day of action at Flushing Meadows.
“I always wanted to end my career at the U.S. Open,” the American added.
Blake, who attended Harvard before turning pro in 1999, reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in 2006. He is currently 100th and has a 9-13 record this season heading into his first-round match in the U.S. Open against Ivo Karlovic.
Blake reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, including two in New York, losing at that stage to Andre Agassi in 2005 and to Roger Federer in 2006. He mentioned that five-set defeat against Agassi as a match that stands out as a highlight and lowlight of his time on tour.
Blake’s announcement comes a year after his friend and former U.S. Davis Cup teammate, Andy Roddick, retired after the U.S. Open.
“Despite the tears, I’m actually really happy about this,” said Blake, noting that he looks forward to spending more time with his wife and their 1-year-old daughter.
Asked about what he would like to do in the future, Blake mentioned two possibilities: serving as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, and working as a television commentator.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)