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Dunlop re-signs US tennis pro James Blake

LONDON - Dunlop has re-signed US tennis player James Blake on a long-term agreement to provide him with Dunlop Aerogel tennis rackets and equipment.

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Blake is currently ranked eighth in the world, and brings the Dunlop contingent within the top 12 rankings up to four players, which is more than any other racket brand. The 27-year-old is the highest ranked US player to sign with Dunlop since John McEnroe in 1981.

Dunlop first signed Blake as a brand ambassador in 1999 when Blake turned professional in the sport. However, when he slipped out of the top 100 world rankings in 2004 Dunlop and Blake parted ways. Prince then sponsored him from 2005 until now, Blake has left his sponsorship deal with Prince early to enable him to return to the Dunlop fold. Blake is also signed to Nike in an apparel deal.

Dunlop plans to unveil which one of its Aerogel rackets he will play with at Wimbledon, which starts on June 27.

Blake said: "I began my professional career at Dunlop, have played the best tennis of my career using a Dunlop frame and I am looking forward to calling Dunlop home again."

Robin Gibson, Dunlop's head of marketing, said: "James has enormous talent, presence and respect in professional tennis. He epitomises what Dunlop tennis is all about. We're excited to have him back and I know he'll have continued success playing with the Aerogel frame he chooses."

Current Dunlop players also include, Tommy Robredo, Tommy Haas, and Tomas Berdych, ranked ninth, 10th and 12th in the world respectively. Dunlop is also the official ball of Roland Garros, where the French Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament is held.

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