No. 6 seed James Blake, getting stronger with each match, is a victory away from earning his third consecutive U.S. Open quarterfinals berth. Germany’s Tommy Haas stands in his way…
Blake and Haas square off Monday in the fourth round. He leads the head-to-head series 3-1, against Haas, who notched his lone victory at the ATP Masters Series Paris on carpet last year.

“He got me last time and I’ve had some matches where I’ve played well against him,” Blake said. “Hopefully, Monday will be another one of those. We have a ton of great points and a lot of shot making, both of us just kind of banging and being aggressive and going for our shots. He can beat anyone on any give day. I’ll be ready for a bit of a dogfight.”

Blake advanced to the fourth round Saturday night, defeating Stefan Koubek 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-1. After rallying to win the third set tiebreak, Blake was flawless in the four set, committing no unforced errors and smacking 10 winners. Told that Koubek called him “lucky,” Blake responded: “Who was it that said, ‘the more I practice the luckier I seem to get.’ You kind of make your own luck. That’s what I felt like I did. I don’t remember any let cords or line hits. I felt like I played a pretty solid breaker.”

Blake says he draws inspiration from a group of family and friends who form the J-Block. Though small in number, the J-Block usually gets the partisan crowd roaring, especially when Blake gets on a hot streak.

“I know the crowd will be behind me again,” Blake said. “I love that feeling and being here in New York. I definitely have that support and I’m excited about that.”