Tennis Prose



James Blake to Play SoCal Pro Series’ Rancho Santa Fe Pro Open

American Star’s First Pro Tournament In Ten Years

Former World-Ranked No. 4 Blake Will Partner With Rancho Santa Fe Teen Hudson Rivera in $15,000 ITF Doubles Event Kicking Off Seven Consecutive Weeks of Pro Tennis Competition on USTA Southern California’s SoCal Pro Series

May 23, 2023 – James Blake, a 10-time ATP World Tour singles champion and seven-time ATP doubles champ who reached as high as No. 4 in the ATP’s singles rankings, is putting his retirement from playing professional tennis on hold for one week as he competes in doubles with Rancho Santa Fe teenager Hudson Rivera at the Rancho Santa Fe Pro Open – the first of seven consecutive tennis tournaments on USTA Southern California’s SoCal Pro Series.

Main-draw singles and doubles competition for the Rancho Santa Fe Pro Open, hosted by Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club, begins May 30. The tournament concludes with singles and doubles finals on June 4. Daily admission and parking is free to the public.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Blake, on receiving a wild card with his hitting partner and Stanford-bound Rivera in the $15,000 ITF event. “I haven’t played a tournament in 10 years since I announced my retirement. I don’t have any expectations. The competitive juices are still there, and I’ll go out there and I’m still going to want to win.”

(Note: Blake’s final ATP singles match was at 2013 US Open first round vs. Ivo Karlovic, 76 63 46 67 67. His final doubles match was also at 2013 US Open, partnered with Jack Sock, the two Americans lost first round to Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 64 26 26.)

Blake, a Solana Beach, Calif. resident, advanced to Grand Slam singles quarterfinals at the US Open in 2005 and 2006, and at the 2008 Australian Open. His best Grand Slam doubles result was a semifinal berth at Wimbledon in 2009. Blake, 43, has been the tournament director of the highly regarded Miami Open tennis tournament since 2018.

“We are delighted that James Blake and Hudson Rivera have accepted a wild card into the main draw of our doubles tournament at the ITF Rancho Santa Fe Pro Open, and this tandem will certainly elevate our 16-team doubles draw,” Rancho Santa Fe Pro Open tournament director John Chanfreau said. “The pairing of James, an accomplished ATP champion, and Hudson, a rising star on the American tennis scene, is a highlight that is sure to intrigue our tennis community as we open the second year of play on the SoCal Pro Series at Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club.”

Blake said events like the SoCal Pro Series are vitally important to juniors, college players and young pros looking to kick-start their careers.

“I started in Futures events in Florida and Texas and all over,” Blake said. “It is such a great tool. For me, I wasn’t sure what that jump from college to the pros was going to be like and so it’s a great bridge, especially for someone who doesn’t have that experience or knowledge about the pro game. Once you get the opportunities and the points, they get you the opportunity to play the bigger events, and once you have that there are chances to get wins at those stages. It’s like getting a break point. If you get enough break points, you’re eventually going to break through.

“I’m settled here now in Southern California. I’ve definitely made it clear to any of the younger pros and juniors in the area that if they want to come here, I’m happy to work with them. I’ve had Frances Tiafoe come here. Chris Eubanks has come, and now Hudson. Anyone who’s around and if I feel I can help, I will. If there are young juniors or pros who think I can help them, I’m around.”

The upcoming SoCal Pro Series showcases seven consecutive weeks of 15,000 ITF World Tour-level men’s and women’s tournaments at Southern California tennis facilities in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties. Debuting successfully in 2022, the SoCal Pro Series will once again give Southern California players the chance to earn valuable ATP and WTA world ranking points.

The $15,000-purse ITF events for both men and women are part of the USTA Pro Circuit. This year, the top men’s and women’s players accumulating the most points throughout the seven events will be granted a wild card into qualifying at next year’s BNP Paribas Open. The “Road to Indian Wells” wild card is available to U.S. citizens who are Southern California residents or full-time Southern California college students.

The SoCal Pro Series’ upcoming seven tournament dates and locations are:

May 29-June 4 – Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club, Rancho Santa Fe
June 5-11 – University of San Diego, San Diego
June 12-18 – Barnes Tennis Center, San Diego
June 19-25 – Jack Kramer Club, Rolling Hills Estates
June 26-July 2 – Racquet Club of Irvine, Irvine
July 3-9 – Lakewood Tennis Center, Lakewood
July 10-16 – Lakewood Tennis Center, Lakewood

Southern California players can register to play in pre-qualifying events for a chance to make the main draw at The upcoming pre-qualifying schedule includes: Barnes Tennis Center, May 26-28; Lakewood Tennis Club, June 2-5 and June 20-July 3.

To learn more about the SoCal Pro Series, go to: Like the Facebook page at;

Follow along on Instagram:

About USTA Southern California

Founded in 1887, USTA Southern California is one of the 17 sections of the United States Tennis Association. Comprising Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, the Southern California section is one of the nation’s most prolific contributors of tennis talent and supports the growth of the game by fostering opportunities at all levels, developing innovative programming, and providing for communities though its charitable arm, the SCTA Foundation. Nationally, the USTA is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the game of tennis by offering quality recreational and competitive programs for people of all ages and abilities.

· ·


  • Cory · May 24, 2023 at 10:43 am

    Like Roddick, i was surprised that Blake hung it up so young. He could have stuck around the top 100-150 for another 5+ years… i know nobody wants to grind it out, go down bloody like a Verdasco, a Robredo. It’s best for a top 10 guy to gracefully exit in the sunset when his day is done. I can only imagine what the tour and constant traveling (and little return) is like.

    Anyhow great news, always loved Blake. Can’t imagine this will result in anything but doubles appearances but who knows, maybe he could spark up and re-enter the tour that way.

    For these “15k” ITF events, is that 15k total investment? What would, say, the singles and doubles winners each receive of that pot generally?

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 24, 2023 at 11:54 am

    Cory, I saw Blake at the end and he just could’t win anymore. I was at the match in Delray Beach 2010 vs. Ivo when Blake was still trying to hang on. Blake lost 36 76 16 and in the press conference after he unleashed a monologue of frustration and disappointment taking shots at Ivo’s game not being real tennis, blah blah blah. He was going through injury problems and struggles to get his game and ranking back. That he lasted three more years was great. At the end he was ranked 100. The last three years were a mess and I guess he had enough of it. Always thought he had a great career, overachieved, ten titles, almost $8m, wins over Nadal, Fed and Novak, 4 in the world, many exciting matches. Great career. He got tired of being a journeyman grinder.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 24, 2023 at 11:59 am

    $15,000 is the total prize money…

    The prize money breakdown for a $15K ITF Pro Circuit event is as follows:

    SINGLES PURSE: $11,250
    Winner: $2,160
    Finalist: $1,272
    Semifinalist: $753
    Quarterfinalist: $438
    R16: $258
    R32: $156



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top