Federer hopes to avoid Henin's fate - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Federer hopes to avoid Henin's fate

By Guy Hand 23/01/2008 05:45:34 AM Comments (0)

With one world No.1 departing the Australian Open last night, the other is tonight looking to shore up a tournament which has had more rough spots than Roger Federer is used to at a grand slam.

Federer plays American 12th seed James Blake in a men's quarter-final 24 hours after previously unbeatable women's No.1 Justine Henin was blown off Rod Laver Arena by Maria Sharapova in a 6-4 6-0 quarters demolition.

Federer has also been shaken at Melbourne Park, though so far not fatally.

He was taken to the brink by Serb Janko Tipsarevic in a third round epic, then was given a more torrid time by Tomas Berdych than the straight sets scoreline would suggest in the fourth round.

Blake has never beaten Federer in seven previous match-ups, but he admits Tipsarevic going so close had shown beating the Swiss superstar could be done.

"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."

Federer's only defeat at Melbourne Park in the past five years was his five-set semi-final loss to eventual winner Marat Safin in 2005.

Today's other quarter-final pits Lleyton Hewitt's conqueror, third seed Novak Djokovic against fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer.

Ferrer has slipped through the draw with a minimum of fuss, dropping only one set in four matches.

Ferrer leads their head-to-head record 3-2, including a straight-sets victory at their most recent encounter two months ago at the Masters Cup.

In the women's quarter-finals today, eighth seed Venus Williams plays fourth-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic, while Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova plays Poland's Agnieska Radwanska.

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