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Blake advances to Weber semifinals

Blake advances to Weber semifinals
James Blake, shown during the 2008 French Open, advanced Friday to the semifinals of the Gerry Weber Open tournament in Germany. | License Photo

HALLE, Germany, June 13 (UPI) -- No. 2 seed James Blake needed a pair of tiebreaker wins Friday to move into the semifinals of the $1.12 million Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Germany.

The decision moved Blake into Saturday's semifinals against Philipp Kohlschreiber while the other semifinal features world No. 1 Roger Federer playing local favorite Nicolas Kiefer.

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Blake played the tightest quarterfinal of the day Friday, winning 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) over Andreas Beck while Kohlschreiber advanced to the Weber semifinals for the second straight year with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) decision over Robin Soderling.

Federer skipped the Weber last year but won the event each year from 2003-06 and hasn't lost a match on a grass court since 2002. The latest victim in that string was fifth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis, who fell, 6-4, 6-4, on Friday.

Kiefer should be fresh for the Federer match. He was leading 4-0 Friday when Michael Llodra retired with a left arm injury. Federer has won 10 of the 13 times he's played Kiefer, but Kiefer is the last player to have beaten Federer at Halle, taking a semifinal match in 2002.

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