Safin beat James Blake of the United States in a Sunday match, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3. He came out the winner thanks in no small measure to the few unforced errors made - 35 against Blake's 50. Also, Safin had 20 ace serves whereas his opponent served just two aces.
It will be remembered that Safin won a five-set match vs. the US veteran Todd Martin at the tournament's preceding stage.
In the quarterfinals, he will take on the American Andy Roddick, rated the best tennis player of 2003.