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Blake sets up Federer clash

Published: 10:32AM Thursday September 07, 2006 Source: Reuters

Fifth-seeded American James Blake blasted his way into the quarter-finals of the US Open on Thursday with a 6-4 6-3 6-1 demolition of 12th seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

The victory set up a clash against top seed and twice defending champion Roger Federer.

Blake, 26, who reached the quarterfinals last year before falling to eventual runner-up Andre Agassi, belted 13 aces and was never broken despite facing 15 break points.

"My serve felt great all day and somehow I fought off all those break points," Blake said, adding that the pressure will be off him against Federer.

"(Federer's) on his way to becoming possibly the greatest of all time. But he's still human. I just have to go for my shots. I have no pressure on me anymore."

Federer reached the last eight with a straight sets victory over unseeded Marc Gicquel of France.