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Federer beats Blake, Borg avenges McEnroe defeat

Roger Federer breezed past James Blake in an exhibition match yesterday, exacting further revenge on his Olympic conqueror before taking a break ahead of the new season's start.
Federer, who also beat Blake in a one-set clash in Kuala Lumpur earlier this week, was too strong for the American, showcasing his full range of shots in a 6-4, 6-4 win.
The Swiss broke Blake in the third game of the opening set to establish an early advantage over the 10th ranked American, who ended Federer's bid for singles gold at the Beijing Olympics, and went on to take the set 6-4.
World number two Federer, who was hampered by a back strain and stomach bug at last week's season-ending Masters Cup, broke Blake in the fifth game of the second set and clinched the match, despite wasting a clutch of match points.
Federer, who has huge support in Macau and elsewhere in China, said: "I think people remember that I lost here last year (to Pete Sampras) so they figured they needed to support me to come through against James."
Federer is looking forward to a break before he heads into the 2009 season which he gets underway in the Middle East ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne in January.
On the same bill yesterday, Bjorn Borg gained revenge over former arch-rival John McEnroe, winning their one-set clash 7-6 after the American beat the Swede earlier in the week in Kuala Lumpur.
The pace of the game was several notches slower than the Federer-Blake clash as the two, both sporting grey hair, again took a trip down memory lane, revisiting their bitter rivalry typified by the 1980 Wimbledon final won by Borg in five gruelling sets.
It did not take McEnroe long to indulge in his familiar antics, expressing mock anger at a line call after just two points and later smashing his racket into the net.
Borg, 52, played some impressive passing shots against the 49-year-old McEnroe, who showed a willingness to get close to the net.
"Every time I play John it's a special moment. We had such a great rivalry over the years," Borg said on court after his win.
Federer then teamed up with Borg to play against McEnroe and Blake in an event that featured players who have won 31 Grand Slam titles between them.

      
    

    

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