Blake, Courier Set for Legendary Showdown Wednesday Night

Courier Blake media wall

Article by Nick McCarvel | Above photo by Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open

Back at the place where he fired up local tennis fans almost a decade ago with not one but two titles, James Blake aims to “fire it up one more time” on Wednesday and Thursday nights at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies.

MORE: Men’s Legends Event Info | James Blake Video | Tickets

The “fire it up” quote comes the days of the J-Block cheering section, a group of t-shirt wearing fans that boisterously rooted on the Fairfield native during his comeback title in 2005, then again in 2007 when he beat good friend and fellow American Mardy Fish.

Wednesday Blake and former world No. 1 Jim Courier will do battle in a first-ever Men’s Legends Event before he battles another former world No. 1 in Andy Roddick.

“He promised not to beat me too bad,” joked Courier, who played here in 1996 and 1997. “It was fun to play here back then so I’m excited to get out there.”

“There’s some flashes of brilliance left in both of us, but we’ll see how it goes,” Blake said, smiling. “I have really positive memories here, so it’s going to be a lot of fun stepping on that court. You remember those moments.”

Blake said he expects some of the J-Block to be back, though he’s now sure they’ll be “quite as rowdy” a decade on.

The event originated earlier this year with tournament director Anne Worcester, Blake said.

“Anne has been great about supporting this tournament and Connecticut tennis,” Blake explained. “I thought it was great. I’ve had so much fun here and she’s done such a great job at keeping this event here. So we called upon some of the greats to come out here and play.”

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