Roddick, del Potro To Meet For Second Straight Week
by ATP Staff|
Fifth-seeded American Andy Roddick proved to be powerful and consistent in recording his third win this year over fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Friday, for a place in the Rogers Cup semi-finals, at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 hard-court tennis tournament in Montreal.
Roddick won 72 per cent of service points, including four aces, and crucially won 29 of 78 points on return of serve to defeat Djokovic 6-4, 7-6(4) in one hour and 44 minutes. The pair also met at the Australian Open in January and the BNP Paribas Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament at Indian Wells in March.
“I feel pretty good,” said Roddick. “The thing about the last two weeks is I've been playing real well, because I haven't been serving as well as I normally do, and so I think that's a good sign. I didn't play myself out of too many points. I felt like I was making pretty good decisions. [I] returned real well, which is nice because I was putting pressure on the games that he was serving.”
Roddick will take on sixth-seeded and top South American Juan Martin del Potro, who beat No. 2 Rafael Nadal for the second time this season, 7-6(5), 6-1. The 20-year-old Argentine is 2-0 lifetime against Roddick and last Sunday he defeated the American in a third set tie-break in the final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington. “[It will be] a little bit tough,” said del Potro on facing Roddick. “We play [recently] and [it] was so close, the match. Tomorrow I think could be the same. He has a very good serve and on this surface is very complete. I will try to do my best, and I will try to focus important [on the] moments.”
Roddick broke serve in the seventh game of the opening set and closed it out in 40 minutes. In the second set, Djokovic broke for a 3-1 lead but the Serb was broken in the next game after leading 40-15. Both players held serve the rest of the way, forcing a tie-break. Roddick trailed 3-2 but won five of the last six points to secure victory. Djokovic hit 10 aces and converted one of three break point opportunities in the pair’s sixth meeting. Roddick leads the ATP World Tour with a 33-8 tie-break record, including 4-0 this week. He also leads with a 33-6 mark on hard courts (most wins).
Overall, Roddick has amassed a 46-10 match record, including one ATP World Tour title at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis. The 26 year old captured the 2003 title (d. Nalbandian) and finished runner-up in 2002 (l. to Canas) and 2004 (l. to Federer). He has a 25-6 overall tournament record and advances to the semi-finals for the first time since 2004.
“I felt I was close throughout the whole match, but yet in important moments I played some bad shots, and [committed] a lot of unforced errors from the forehand side,” explained Djokovic. “I can say most of his service games we were quite even, [but] I just couldn't use it. In the end it's quite disappointing to lose straight sets when you know you can at least win a set and then take it from there.
“I think physically I'm quite fit, I'm moving well. But there are some things that are just not working out for me lately, and I will have to figure out a way to make it better.”
Del Potro rallied from a 2-5 deficit in the opening set tie-break to win the final five points and close out the 1:18 set. In the second set, he broke the Spaniard in the first and third games en route to a 4-0 lead. He went on to wrap up the set in 33 minutes and extend his match winning streak to nine in a row since losing to Lleyton Hewitt in the second round at Wimbledon.
“I'm happy to beat [Nadal] one more time, but I'm happy to see him in the court fighting until the final,” said del Potro. “[It] is very good for me and for everyone to see his comeback.”
He fired eight aces and saved the only break point he faced in the 11th game of the opening set. Nadal, who was making his first appearance on the ATP World Tour since a fourth round exit at Roland Garros on May 31, was broken three times.
"I was very happy with my first set," said Nadal, a two-time winner in Canada (2005, '08). "It was my best level after the injury, and I was playing very good, I think. So I am very happy about the matchup today. It was a little bit normal after almost two months outside of competition. It was tough for me to play at this level. I needed more concentration than usual. I'm very happy and everything was very positive today.
"The knees are very good, so that's very good. I must be very happy about this tournament."