Sun, Feb 18, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Roddick loses cool, recovers to beat Spadea

AP AND AFP , SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA AND COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL AND ANTWERP, BELGIUM AND MARSEILLE, FRANCE

Andy Roddick returns to Vince Spadea during the quarter-finals of the SAP Tennis Open in San Jose, California, on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

Andy Roddick regained his composure after a shaky second set and beat Vince Spadea 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 on Friday to advance to the semi-finals of the SAP Open.

"Maybe in a weird way getting into it might have helped me," Roddick said.

"That's the best I focused for a set this week. That's probably the best I played in a set this week. I knew I had to bear down," he said.

Roddick yelled at himself after his numerous errors, kept up an argument with the chair umpire for many games, hit a ball into the upper deck to earn a code violation warning, and had a few run-ins with Spadea.

At one point, Roddick hit a short ball almost as hard as he could right toward Spadea's head. The two also jawed at each other during the break after the second set.

"We were probably annoying each other," Roddick said. "It's just part of it. It's not the first time something happened like that. It probably won't be the last."

Roddick admitted there's some resentment of Spadea because of a tell-all book he wrote last year titled, Break Point: The Secret Diary Of A Pro Tennis Player. But Spadea doesn't think the book has led to bad blood with his competitors on tour.

"I don't think so," he said. "I don't think most players read the book. There's no way someone read that book cover to cover."

The momentum of the match changed after Spadea won the tiebreaker with three sharp volleys before Roddick missed wide on a backhand.

Roddick held serve to start the third set and then broke Spadea at love -- taking advantage of three errors on groundstrokes and a double fault on break point. Roddick broke again to go up 5-1 and closed it out on his serve.

"I just lost the momentum. My energy kind of went down," Spadea said. "I made too many unforced errors in that one game. ... I just didn't use the momentum in my favor."

Roddick, a two-time champion here, will play defending champion Andy Murray in the semi-finals. Murray beat Lee Hyung-taik 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), winning the third-set tiebreaker after failing to close out the match on his own serve.

After Murray hit a ball long on match point at 6-5, Lee hit back-to-back winners to force the tiebreaker. But Murray won it when Lee hit a forehand long to set up a rematch of last year's semi won by Murray.

The other semi-final pits big-serving Ivo Karlovic against sixth-seeded Benjamin Becker.

The unseeded Karlovic knocked off his second seeded US player in as many days, recording 17 aces to beat fifth-seeded Mardy Fish 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Karlovic, who is ranked 103rd in the world, had 29 aces in his three-set win on Thursday over second-seeded James Blake.

Karlovic got the only break of the match in the third game of the second set, taking advantage of a double fault and net-cord winner to earn two break points.

Fish saved one with a service winner, but then missed wide with a forehand to lose the game. He slammed his racket to the court in frustration, figuring his chances of breaking Karlovic were slim.

Karlovic proved that to be true, holding his serve at love the next game when Fish couldn't get a single return in the court during the game.

Juan Monaco advances

Argentina's Juan Monaco swept to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Brazil's Thiago Alves in a rain-delayed match and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Brasil Open on Friday.

After bad weather postponed their match on Thursday, the 69th-ranked Monaco dispatched Alves and prepared to face compatriot Juan Ignacio Chela or Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the next round.

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