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James Blake: Breaking My Neck Is One of the Best Things That Ever Happened to Me

Aired on 10/21/2005 | CC tv-pg
At the 2005 U.S. Open, the most discussed tennis event of the year, there was a grueling showdown between 25-year-old James Blake and Andre Agassi. Die-hard spectators stayed up late into the night to witness tennis history unfold.

Just one year before that, however, James feared he would never play tennis again. In 2004, over two months, a series of tragedies ripped through his life. James had broken his neck and was very nearly paralyzed. While recuperating, his beloved father was dying of cancer. Six weeks later, James' dad was gone.

During his father's final days, James spent a lot of quality time with him and got to know him on a deeper level, something he would never have been able to do if he hadn't broken his neck. Here, James explains how the injury that could have destroyed him became the event for which he's most grateful.

Original airdate: May 1, 1995