Tennis

Tennis stars hoping to bring relief to Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

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In the wake of this tragedy, some of the world's best tennis players are hoping to bring some joy to the people of the region. In the inaugural Baha Mar Cup from November 7-10, fans will get the chance to rally with Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, rising star Coco Gauff and former world No. 1 Andy Roddick.Included among the list of household names appearing is the 39-year-old American James Blake, who retired from professional tennis in 2013. "Tennis players have always been great with helping out others in need and so when a tennis player asks for a favor I'm happy to help," Blake, the former world No.4, told CNN World Sport's Don Riddell. "So I'm going to Nassau. We are going to have a clinic with some of the kids in the area, play an exhibition and hopefully I can still hit the ball around."READ: Margaret Court calls for grand slam anniversary honor at Australian OpenREAD: Roger Federer: The power and presence of the $120 million man

Spreading joy

Blake last visited the Bahamas 20 years ago. Back then, the idyllic cluster of islands were as haven for honeymooners and holidaymakers. Today, the scene in many parts is gut wrenching."I saw the damage," Blake said. "The destruction was so sad to see, to see an island basically decimated. Nassau, from what I heard, was not hit so I'll get to see that. It's a beautiful tourist destination so I'm going to that part and see some of the places that weren't hit."Blake continued: "From what I hear, the rebuilding process is extremely difficult and probably going to be extensive and very long. We want to do what we can. I know it's a drop in the bucket what we're doing. We're using what we have and abilities we have. Start where you are and do what you can. This is what I can do to help."READ: Injured Kim Clijsters puts comeback on hold, will miss Australian OpenREAD: 'There is nothing left' on this island in the Bahamas after Hurricane DorianSince retiring from professional tennis, James Blake has turned to philanthropy and charity work.

Add some spark

All proceeds and winnings from the tournament will go directly to supporting victims, particularly in communities in the islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama that bore the brunt of the Hurricane Dorian's impact.Blake, whose foundation raises funds for cancer research and who regularly features in charity tennis tournaments, is conscious of the sensitivity surrounding his trip to the Bahamas."Yeah, that is a little bit of mixed emotion," he said. "But I think this is the best thing we can do to make a difference. Hopefully we can have some of those people who were displaced, they can be there and have some fun as well. I have a feeling that for the last month or two their life has been anything but Read More – Source