James Blake‘s singles career came to an end late Wednesday night at the U.S. Open. In his last tennis match, Blake lost to Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7, 6-7.
Blake was leading the match, after jumping out on the 6-foot-10 Croatian two sets to zero. He gave up the lead and lost the fifth-set tiebreaker in disappointing fashion.
“I don’t know when it’s gonna hit me. I don’t think I’ll be sleeping much tonight,” Blake said amid a standing ovation from the crowd at Arthur Ashe stadium. “Thanks for staying, for everyone, I can look at the clock, it’s after midnight, and I still got a lot of people here supporting me. It’s hitting me now that I’m never going to have this again in my life, and I need to appreciate every single one of you for being here,” he said.
Blake announced his retirement on Monday, and talked about his efforts in the sport.
“I did the best I could in every situation, and I know probably anyone in here that’s covered me before has heard me probably annoyingly give the answer often that fit my goals, when I was playing tennis, instead of rankings-based, were, one, to keep getting better and try and improve every day, and, two, when I’m done playing, put my rackets down and be content with what I did and happy that I did everything the right way.”
Blake was 366-256 overall in his career.