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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Roger Federer vs James Blake: Quarter Final of Australian Open 2008

Roger Federer and James Blake are going to face each other in the quarter final clash of Australian Open 2008. World no. 1, Roger Federer is gearing up to win her 13th grand slam titles, going another step further to catch Pete Samprpas’ record 14 grand slam titles. The Swiss was the champion of Australian Open for last two years meaning the Australian Open title of this year would be his third in a row.

American James Blake does not have any such goal in the tournament. However, do not think that he is packing up to catch the return flight. In fact, Blake has not reached the semi final of any grand slam tournament so far and reaching the quarter final, the 12th seed has already marked his best Australian Open success. Naturally, Blake will be inspired to play all out against Federer to try to make it to the semi final.

Well, Blake could find another target ahead of him to reach this time around. Blake had seven meetings with Roger Federer so far, but the American found it too difficult to win any of those previous seven matches. So, once he has been in good form, he will certainly try out his best to win this time around. Indicating their 2006 Masters Cup final match up, where Federer won 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, James Blake has said that he had played pretty well that day, but admitted, it was not enough as the Swiss was up to the mark. He said:

"I thought I played pretty well in the finals of the Masters Cup," said Blake. "Was just kind of blown away by how well he played that day. If that's the case again, you know, it hurts, it's disappointing at the time, but by the time I got on the plane or got off the plane I just said, 'you know, what could I have done?'

"He played too well. I can't beat myself up about it. I can go out and practice and see if I can get better, see if there's any way to defend what he was doing that day. But try to learn something from all of them. So far I've learned he's pretty good."

Yes, it is true that when Roger Federer is in his prime, others have hardly anything to do that day. Actually, Blake’s hopes lies herein as the world no. 1 could not show enough dominance in the last two matches. Federer had to survive through a hard-fought five-set victory against unseeded Janko Tipsarevic from Serbia. Then Tomas Berdych took the every bit of Federer’s strength before losing in straight-sets in the fourth round. Taking Federer’s unimpressive victories as evidence, James Blake found his inspiration before he takes on Federer today.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

"Just (Tipsarevic) taking him to 10-8 in the fifth shows that it doesn't matter who you are, you can play your best and take him to the limit," Blake said.

"Every time I've stepped out on the court with him I've felt if I play my best, I give myself a shot."

Well, Roger Federe does not seem to be worried enough ahead of the quarter final clash with James Blake. He knows it very well that he does not need to concentrate on others. What he needs is to put in his natural performance, which is enough to break down anyone in a particular day. However, Roger Federer has been full of praise about James Blake, referring his aggressive style of game.

ESPN reported:

"[Blake] plays incredibly aggressive tennis. Improved his serve a lot, his backhand. So have to be very careful. I know his game sort of suits my game. I've had some great matches against him where I always play my very best. So we'll see how it goes this time around. Definitely got to play offensive myself, put him on the back foot as well.

"I'm excited to play against him. He's one of the nicest guys on tour, very respected on tour, very sportsmanlike."

Roger Federer has already become a legendary figure in Men’s tennis. There are many who are now predicting where he would stop after his retirement. Roger Federer won all of the men’s singles grand slam titles except French Open in the last two years. Now, ahead of the Roger Federer vs James Blake quarter final match of Australian Open 2008, it is really very hard to bet on James Blake, considering all the facts related to them. It is, however, true that if Blake can make it possible, then, no doubt, he is going to enter into the history of tennis, even before playing any grand slam final in his career.

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