Sun, Jun 13, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Roddick seerves up another world record

AP , LONDON AND HALLE, GERMANYAP, WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND

Andy Roddick between games in his quarterfinal match against Paradorn Srichaphan during the Stella Artois Championships at the Queen's Club, London, Friday. Roddick won the match while clocking the world's fastest serve at 246.2 kph.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Andy Roddick broke his own record for fastest serve with a 246.2kph ace Friday during a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Paradorn Srichaphan at the Queen's Club grass-court tournament.

Roddick served the ace at 1-0, 15-0 in the second set.

"I wasn't trying to hit it any harder than normal, and I didn't really realize until the crowd started cheering and I saw Paradorn smiling," Roddick said. "I was surprised because it was against the wind, and I didn't think I had that in me."

It's the third time this year Roddick has improved the record. He had 241.4kph serve in a Davis Cup match against Austria in February, and another 244.6kph serve in Davis Cup play against Sweden in April.

"I can't feel the difference between 146mph [234.9kph] and 153mph," Roddick said. "I can feel when I hit it big, but if you're asking if I know that's it, I have no idea. In my mind, it still counts as just one point in the match. I'm just happy to get through more than I am about hitting a big serve."

Roddick, the top-seeded defending champion at Queens, broke the seventh-seeded Paradorn twice in the opening set. After an exchange of breaks early in the second set, Roddick won four of five games to close out a 66-minute victory.

"I had one pretty bad game in the second set on my serve, but besides that it was a pretty clean match," Roddick said.

He will face Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals. The Australian, a three-time Queen's champion, won the last four games of each set to overcome Russia's Igor Andreev 6-3, 7-5.

Sebastien Grosjean, the fifth seed from France, downed Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3. Grosjean plays qualifier Hyung-Taik Lee of South Korea, who eliminated Karol Beck of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4.

Hewitt extended his career record at Queen's to 20-1. His only defeat came against Grosjean in the 2003 quarterfinals.

"I felt like I served pretty well," Hewitt said. "I just played a loose game in the second set which put me behind and under pressure for the rest of the set, and gave him a bit more confidence as well.

"But I had a lot of opportunities and didn't believe I was out of the second set at all."

Grosjean, who reached his first semifinal of the year, won six of the last seven games to take the first set. He broke twice in the second.

Hyung won the last four games of the first set against Beck, losing just four points. An early break decided the second set.

Gerry Weber Open

Defending champion Roger Federer was finally tested in beating Arnaud Clement of France 6-3, 7-5 and extended his winning streak on grass to 15 matches at the Gerry Weber Open on Friday.

In Today's semifinals, Federer will face third-seeded Jiri Novak, who slipped past German Tommy Haas 6-4, 7-6 (1) at the US$973,000 event, a warmup for Wimbledon.

Second-seeded Rainer Schuettler of Germany will play No. 6 Mardy Fish of the US in the other semifinal.

Federer breezed through the previous two rounds in impressive style, but Clement pressured him from the baseline and battled to the end of their quarterfinal, which he conceded with a long return.

"It was a hard piece of work today," the top-ranked Swiss said. "I didn't feel as good as I did in earlier matches, but a lot of that had to do with Clement."

Federer earned four break chances against Clement, and converted one in each set.

"I didn't feel as athletic today, but my concentration was good. Maybe tomorrow I will put athleticism and head together," Federer said. "But I feel super good for Wimbledon -- much better than I did at this time last year."

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