James Blake

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Life served up more drama than James Blake could have anticipated today.

The retired tennis star, who during his playing days was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, was mistakenly detained Wednesday by New York police detectives who mistook him for a suspect in a theft case they were investigating.

The NYPD confirmed in a statement to E! News that Blake was detained with regard to an investigation into fraudulently purchased cell phones "after being misidentified by a cooperating witness. Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately. In regards to the alleged improper use of force, the Police Commissioner directed the Internal Affairs Bureau to investigate."

Right, about that...

Blake told the New York Daily News that he wasn't merely detained—rather, he said he was tackled and handcuffed while outside his Manhattan hotel waiting for a car to drive him out to Flushing Meadows for the U.S. Open, which is in its second week.

James Blake, Hilaria Thomas, Alec Baldwin, US Open

Steven Freeman

"It was definitely scary and definitely crazy," Blake is quoted in the paper. "In my mind there's probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there's no reason for anybody to do that to anybody."

The 35-year-old athlete added, "You'd think they could say, 'Hey, we want to talk to you. We are looking into something.' I was just standing there. I wasn't running. It's not even close...It's blatantly unnecessary."

James Blake

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton echoed Blake's concern, telling NY1: "It's very disturbing, the idea that he claims he was rushed by a person in a pair of t-shirt and shorts who pushed him to the ground and he was assisted by four others who identified themselves, ultimately, as police officers, and that he suffered an injury during that. Just the nature of what he described is not what we do."

And while the NYPD has yet to comment directly on the accusations that Blake was racially profiled, you can bet that those cops have already been convicted in the court of public opinion. Here's a sampling of the tweets decrying what happened:

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