Roger Federer had to work to defend his top ranking and earn a berth in the Australian Open finals, as American James Blake put up a good—though ultimately futile—fight today. Despite plaguing Federer with his powerful forehand, Blake fell 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-4, as the crowd roared support for both men. Federer next faces Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
No. 3 Djokovic started things off smoothly in his quarterfinal victory, defeating No. 5 David Ferrer 6-0, 6-3, 7-5. After giving the shouting crowd a taste of their own medicine in the third set, Djokovic apologized, explaining that "sometimes it's difficult to stay calm on the court." He'll need his composure during this rematch of the US Open finals, which Federer won.