Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life (Paperback)
James Blake's life was getting better every day. A rising tennis star and People magazine's Sexiest Male Athlete of 2002, he was leading a charmed life and loving every minute of it. But all that ended in May 2004, when Blake fractured his neck in an on-court freak accident. As he recovered, his father—who had been the inspiration for his tennis career—lost his battle with stomach cancer. Shortly after his father's death, Blake was dealt a third blow when he contracted zoster, a rare virus that paralyzed half of his face and threatened to end his already jeopardized career.
In Breaking Back, Blake provides a remarkable account of how he came back from this terrible heartbreak and self-doubt to become one of the top tennis players in the world. A story of strength, passion, courage, and the unbreakable bonds between a father and son, Breaking Back is a celebration of one extraordinary athlete's indomitable spirit and his inspiring ability to find hope in the bleakest of times.
James Blake has been a professional tennis player since 1999, when he left Harvard to join the professional tennis circuit. He grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, and currently resides in Tampa, Florida.
“The grace and dignity that James has shown during some very difficult times has been a source of great inspiration.” — Andre Agassi
“Blake is a champion—in every sense of the word.” — Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue
“I’ve known James since early childhood...James’s rise to international success is as stunning as it was predictable.” — John Mayer
“Through Blake’s commitment and passion, he tells the story of the life lessons he learned while facing difficult personal challenges.” — —Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, wife of the late Arthur Ashe
“[James Blake] has inspired young people everywhere with his story of courage and determination.” — —former president George H.W. Bush