ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Roger Federer sprints past James Blake to reach quarters

Roger Federer made a great start at the first edition of the Madrid Open in Caja Magica in 2009, beating Robin Soderling in the second round. In a battle for the quarter-final, the Swiss took down James Blake 6-2, 6-4 in 62 minutes, flying over the court and advancing into the last eight. Roger lost 14 points behind the initial shot, fending off the only break chance he faced and producing three breaks from four opportunities to control the scoreboard and celebrate the ninth victory over the American in ten encounters. Looking sharp right from the start, Roger placed a return winner in the opening game for an instant break and hit a service winner in the next one to cement the lead and open a 2-0 gap. The American got his name on the scoreboard with a hold at 30 in game three before the Swiss earned another comfortable hold with a service winner that sent him 3-1 up.

Roger Federer eases past James Blake to reach the Madrid Open quarter-final in 2009.

Finding his strokes in those moments, Blake closed the fifth game and created his only break chance a few minutes later after Roger’s forehand mistake. The Swiss erased it with an ace and brought the game home with a forehand winner to remain in front. Federer painted a backhand down the line winner in the seventh game to move 5-2 up and cracked a forehand crosscourt winner in the next one to bring the set home in no time. James sprayed a forehand mistake at the beginning of the second set to lose serve and drift further away from a positive result.

Roger confirmed the lead with a hold at love before James held with an ace down the T line to reduce the deficit. Firing from all cylinders, Federer closed the fourth game with a service winner to move closer to the finish line. Blake secured the fifth game with a hold at love, hoping for a chance on the return if he wanted to prolong the encounter. Roger grabbed the sixth game with a service winner and placed another at 4-3 to remain in front. In his last service game, the American held at love to reduce the deficit to 4-5 before the Swiss landed three service winners in game ten that carried him over the top and into the quarters.

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