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Andy Roddick beats Rafael Nadal to reach Dubai semis

Latest update : 2008-03-07

The sixth-seeded American Andy Roddick, who just parted ways with coach Jimmy Connors, beat Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal 7-6, 6-2. He will next face third seed Novak Djokovic in semis.



DUBAI, March 6 (Reuters) - Andy Roddick did not appear to be
missing the services of a coach during his 7-6 6-2 quarter-final
victory over Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal in the Dubai
Championships on Thursday.
 

The sixth-seeded American, who said he had parted ways with
his coach Jimmy Connors, will next face third seed Novak
Djokovic after the Serbian swept aside Russia's Igor Andreev 6-2
6-1.
 

The other semi-final will be between fifth seeded Russian
Nikolay Davydenko, who defeated Britain's Andy Murray 7-5 6-4,
and unseeded Feliciano Lopez.
 

Lopez upset fellow Spaniard and fourth seed David Ferrer 6-4
6-3.
 

Roddick placed Nadal under pressure from the start, holding
serve with the first of his 17 aces and then forced Nadal to
save four break points to level at 1-1.
 

With both players refusing to cave in and saving numerous
break points, the set headed into a tiebreak.
 

Nadal swiftly took a 3-0 lead but Roddick fired two
successive aces to keep pace and eventually claimed it 7-5.
 

"I felt I was getting the best of him throughout the set,
and then all of a sudden I'm down 3-0 in the tiebreaker pretty
quick and that was a little discouraging," said Roddick.
 

Roddick surprisingly faced little resistance in the second.
Nadal began to make far more errors and after Roddick broke
twice to lead 4-1.
 

A 241 kph ace set up match point and he closed it with yet
another ace.
 


 

'GREAT ATMOSPHERE'
 

"It's a fast court, the crowd was really into it and the
atmosphere was great. I wasn't going to get better conditions
for myself against Rafa. I knew that and tried to take
advantage," said the former world number one.
 

Nadal admitted that Roddick's powerful serve had put his own
game under pressure.
 

"You feel a lot of pressure when you are serving because if
you lose any serve, the way he was serving tonight it's tough,"
said Nadal.
 

"But in a way I am not disappointed with my game tonight. I
didn't play badly."
 

Murray, who knocked out top seed Roger Federer in the first
round, began brightly against Davydenko and had chances to win
the first five games, but the Russian fought off a break point
in the second game and another at 2-1.
 

The Russian earned a crucial break at 5-5 when Murray netted
a double-handed backhand.
 

In the second set Murray had an opportunity to turn the
match around, breaking to love as he built a 3-0 lead. But his
advantage was short-lived as Davydenko broke back in the fifth
game and once more to lead 4-3.
 

Djokovic needed just 56 minutes to defeat Andreev, winning
the last five games of the first set and the final four games in
the second.
 

Date created : 2008-03-06

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