An injury-hampered Andy Roddick lost his composure and then the match, beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Denis Istomin on Friday in the quarter-finals of the SAP Open.
Hobbled by a fresh right ankle sprain and a troublesome hamstring that forced his retirement from last month’s Australian Open, Roddick lost every point in his first service game and never regained his rhythm. He slammed one racket, broke another, sailed a ball into the stands in frustration, argued with the chair umpire and even shouted at his own box.
Earlier on Friday, 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison closed in on his first ATP Tour singles title with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Bulgaria’s Dimitar Kutrovsky. Harrison was to face defending tournament champion Milos Raonic in the semi-finals yesterday. Raonic defeated Kevin Anderson 7-5, 7-6 (3).
After Istomin stuck a crosscourt forehand winner for a second break to go ahead 4-1, Roddick dropped his racket. When Roddick’s shot landed in the net in the next game, he sent a ball soaring into the curtains beyond the opposite baseline grandstand, receiving a misconduct warning from chair umpire Steve Ullrich — which infuriated Roddick more.
Roddick asked the umpire if the warning was for racket abuse. Ullrich told him it was for the “ball.”
Roddick responded: “I challenge you on that.”
He never put up such a fight against his on-court opponent.
The 29-year-old American chipped a racket after hitting another shot into the net at 40-30 and 1-all in the second set, yelling out profanity in the process.
Roddick regrouped to go ahead 2-1, pumping his fist and screaming: “Come on!”
AFP, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Top seed Roger Federer reached the Rotterdam Open semi-finals on Friday with a 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) win over Jarkko Nieminen, his 13th win in 13 matches against the Finn.
The Swiss star will next face unseeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who shocked fifth seed Richard Gasquet of France 7-5, 6-3, for a place in his first final of the season.
Gasquet had his chances through a 5-2 lead in the second set, but double-faulted to 5-all, allowing Davydenko win through in 97 minutes with five breaks of serve.
Nieminen, who won the Sydney title in January, but was hampered at the Australian Open by an abdominal muscle injury, pushed 16-time Grand Slam winner Federer hard.
In Friday’s other quarter-finals, Tomas Berdych, the Czech second seed, beat Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-4 and next meets Argentine third seed Juan Martin Del Potro, who eased past Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-0, 6-1.
AP, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Top-seeded defending champion Nicolas Almagro of Spain defeated Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Brazil Open.
The 11th-ranked Almagro dominated the match at the Ibirapuera sporting complex, allowing only one break opportunity to the fifth-seeded Berlocq. Almagro converted three of his 11 break points and took advantage of his six aces to overcome the Argentine in 1 hour, 30 minutes in South America’s biggest city.
Almagro’s semi-final opponent is to be Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos, who upset third-seeded Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (5), 6-3. The eighth-seeded Ramos won 79 percent of his first serve points, breaking Verdasco once in the second set to win the match between left-handers in the indoor clay-court tournament.