06 December, 2013

Blake Serves For A Cure At Armory in New York

The James Blake Foundation brought tennis to New York’s 69th Regiment Armory last night for the 2013 edition of Serving for a Cure.  The event, first held in 2005, raises money for the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund, supporting early detection cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 
 As in previous years, the popular American was able to draw the support of some his high profile tennis pals including former World No. 1 and Fox Sports 1 host Andy Roddick as well as the current top-ranked American, John Isner.  The centerpiece of the event was a doubles match with Isner and Roddick taking the court for a light-hearted exhibition against Blake and Real Husbands of Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe.  Kodjoe, though better known as an actor, is an accomplished tennis player in his own right, having been a four-year letter winner in the sport at VCU.  The actor held his own with the tennis champs, prompting Andy Roddick to crack at one point “If I could retire again, I would” after a Kodjoe passing shot whizzed by him. Though the mood was kept light by emcee Justin Gimelstob, there was still some competitive fire on display.  Roddick smacked his racquet on the court after an error that cost his side a game; while Isner briefly argued with officials over what he felt was a botched line call.

In addition to the tennis, the event served up a VIP dinner, a silent auction for memorabilia from stars from Roger Federer to Eddie Vedder and a mid-match auction during which Gimelstob joked that he was auctioning off naming rights for Blake’s second child.  

Serving For A Cure started in memory of Blake's father, Thomas Sr. who died of stomach cancer in 2004.  To date, the events have raised over $2 million for cancer research.

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