Blake loses to Kiefer at Rogers Cup

July 26, 2008 10:32 AM
TORONTO (AP) _James Blake became the latest big-name player to lose at the Rogers Cup.

German Nicolas Kiefer routed the seventh-seeded American 6-1, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the semifinals. Kiefer, ranked 37th in the world, will play Gilles Simon.

Kiefer and Simon are the unlikely victors in a bracket that featured Roger Federer, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick and Blake.

``I mean, I didn't even know what's happening,'' said Simon, the 22nd-ranked Frenchman who defeated Croatia's Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Friday. ``I'm just so confident, I want to win every match, even if I'm tired. I know I'm playing very good at the moment.''

Kiefer easily dispatched seventh-seeded American James Blake to move on. The 37th-ranked player hasn't won an ATP tournament since 2000, in Hong Kong.

But Simon wisely isn't taking anything for granted.

``I just hope that we are going to play a great match with a great fight,'' Simon said. ``Even if I died on the court, yeah, I'll just give the maximum tomorrow.''

Simon, ranked 22nd in the world, has already beaten Federer, American qualifier Donald Young and Argentina's Jose Acasuso in the tournament.

The match between Simon and Cilic was far from a classic. The players combined for 104 unforced errors, including 64 by Cilic. The 19-year-old Cilic fired 37 winners, while Simon connected on just 15 _ but that's his game. He kept the ball in play and waited for Cilic to make mistakes, which he frequently did.

The match didn't quite capture the imaginations of the center-court fans at the Rexall Centre, who were relatively quiet throughout.

``Let's go Federer,'' jeered one onlooker during the second set.

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal, third seed Novak Djokovic, eighth seed Andy Murray and 10th seed Richard Gasquet were scheduled to play later.

In doubles action, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic have moved on to the semifinals.

The No. 2 seeds defeated France's Paul-Henri Mathieu and Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (4), 6-4.

They'll play seventh seeds Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India.

The 44th-ranked Cilic made a mark in the tournament, defeating the sixth-seeded Roddick, 12th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo and Czech qualifier Lukas Dlouhy in an impressive run to the quarterfinals. ​