Andy advances to Sunday's Nasdaq-100 Final...
April 3, 2004
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) -- As a youngster, Andy Roddick made the one-hour trip down I-95 from his home in Boca Raton to watch tennis on Key Biscayne, sitting in the upper deck of the stadium.
He'll have a courtside seat Sunday -- but only during changeovers. Roddick will take on Guillermo Coria in the final of Nasdaq-100 Open.
"I have a lot of memories from this place," Roddick said.
There are more to come. Like Coria, Roddick will play in his first Key Biscayne final.
There were some difficult matches along the way for the second-seeded Roddick, but not in the semifinals. He played nearly flawless tennis Friday night to beat Vince Spadea 6-1, 6-3 in 65 minutes.
"I wanted to set the tone early, and it worked for me," Roddick said. "I pretty much dominated from start to finish."
Roddick, who leads the ATP Tour in victories this year, improved to 25-5 and avenged a defeat last month against Spadea at Scottsdale, Ariz.
Roddick took the first set in 21 minutes and won seven consecutive games. He lost only eight points on his serve and kept Spadea on the defensive by consistently pounding deep groundstrokes while committing just 11 unforced errors.
"You survive long enough and you start playing well,'"Roddick said, "and I think that's what happened tonight."
To reach the final, Roddick needed a pair of three-set victories, pulling out his quarterfinal match only when Carlos Moya became rattled nearing the finish.
The next challenge will be Coria. Roddick is 2-0 against the Argentine and won their most recent meeting in the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston last November.
"I'm still pretty hot about my loss," Coria said. "I would like to have revenge. ... I'm going to fight hard every point. Roddick is going to have to earn it."
The third-seeded Coria overcame four match points to beat Fernando Gonzalez in an all-South American semifinal, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1. The three-set match was Coria's third of the tournament.
"Coria has used about three of his nine lives so far," Roddick said with a laugh. "We both probably shouldn't be here."
The unseeded Spadea had been on a run over the past month that included his first tournament title at age 29. But against Roddick, Spadea conceded he played too tentatively in breezy weather.
"He was playing really well and blasting on all his cylinders," Spadea said. "I was playing like I was sort of in a hurricane, just kind of guiding the ball and waiting for him to do something."
Roddick came out firing with two service winners and an ace to take the opening game at love. Spadea lost his second service game with four consecutive unforced errors to fall behind 3-1, and when Roddick erased two break points to take the next game, he was in front to stay.
Four unforced errors and a double fault cost Spadea another service game to start the second set. The rout left the crowd mostly subdued, but midway through the second set, a fan shouted, "Hide the children!"
Spadea sailed a backhand long to reach match point, then slammed his racket to the concrete, but the fit didn't help. He went skidding in the corner as he tried unsuccessfully to dig out Roddick's final shot of the night.
"That was probably one of the best matches he can play," Spadea said. "That's what makes him Andy Roddick." Current Mood: content