Roddick reaches the final again, meets del PotroAug 10th, 2009 | By editor | Category: In News, Sports
WASHINGTON: Andy Roddick advanced to the final of the Legg Mason Classic for the fourth time, setting up a meeting with Juan Martin del Potro.
Roddick beat American compatriot John Isner 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5 and Argentina’s del Potro downed Chilean Fernando Gonzalez 7-6(2), 6-3 in the semifinals on Saturday.
Roddick and Isner were even through most of the third set before the former broke serve to go up 6-5.
Isner had skirted trouble earlier in the set. He faced break point at 4-4 before fighting back and closing out the game with his 19th ace. He was not as lucky in his next service game, hitting an attempted cross-court forehand into the net on the second break point.
Roddick then clinched the issue, finishing with a backhand winner down the line. “Every service game I held was a battle,” Isner said. “Eventually, he kind of broke me down, got me at 5-5, and that was it.”
Roddick only faced two break points in the match, saving both in the third game of the first set.
Both players relied on big serves. Isner had 20 aces and did not double fault, while Roddick had nine aces against one double fault.
Roddick, who entered with a 29-6 record in tie-breakers this year, had a rare tie-breaker loss in the first set. He wasted no time reasserting himself, getting the first service break of the match in the second set’s opening game. He broke Isner a second time for a 5-2 lead, and served out the set.
Del Potro registered his first career win against Gonzalez in four attempts. The two last met in the 2007 Australian Open.
“It was very tough for both of us,” del Potro said. “The court was so hot, and after the first set, Fernando was so tired. I felt tired too, but with my serve I had short points.”
Temperatures in the Washington area were around 30 degrees with moderate humidity for the afternoon match.
Serving down 5-6 in the first set, del Potro faced three break points in a game that went to deuce six times. He forced the tie-breaker when Gonzalez’s shot landed just beyond the baseline during a lengthy rally, and quickly jumped ahead to take the first set.
The Argentine then broke the fourth-seeded Gonzalez twice to go up 5-0 in the second set. “It was tough, physically and mentally, after that first set,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez’s fatigue showed early in the second set when he fell on court during a point. Gonzalez stayed there for a moment, and when del Potro walked towards the net, Gonzalez smiled and reached out a hand. Del Potro stepped over the net and helped Gonzalez up, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Gonzalez had 34 unforced errors, and del Potro had 29 as both players struggled at times in the conditions.
Flavia Pennetta capitalised on an error-strewn performance by Maria Sharapova to book a final with Samantha Stosur at the L.A. women’s championships. Pennetta, the 10th-seeded Italian, won 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Former world No. 1 Sharapova committed 61 unforced errors and 16 double faults in her match against Pennetta.
Sharapova blew a 3-1 lead in the third set, dropping her final three service games as she continued to struggle with her serve in her sixth tournament since returning from right shoulder surgery.
Sharapova wore tape on her right shoulder for the first time this week. A double fault set up Pennetta’s second match point. Sharapova sent a forehand wide to lose the match and drop to 9-2 in three-set matches this year.
In the other semifinal, Stosur lost just four points on her serve in the first set. She earned the only break in the second game, also the only one that went to deuce. The Aussie won 81 per cent of her total service points in the 62-minute match.
The results (semifinals):
At Washington: Legg Mason Classic: Juan Martin del Potro bt Fernando Gonzalez 7-6(2), 6-3; Andy Roddick bt John Isner 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5.
At Los Angeles (L.A. women’s championships): Samantha Stosur bt Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-2; Flavia Pennetta bt Maria Sharapova 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. — AP