Saturday, November 6, 2010

Federer demolish Stepanek to meet Roddick in ATP Basel semifinal

BASEL, Switzerland - Roger Federer will face Andy Roddick for the first time since their epic 2009 Wimbledon final after both advanced to the semifinals of the Swiss Indoors.
The top-seeded Swiss and No. 4 Roddick set up the rematch by sweeping through their quarterfinals in straight sets on Friday. Federer eased past Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and the American rode his big serve in a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Argentina’s David Nalbandian.
More than 16 months after a classic, 4-hour, 16-minute encounter ended with Federer taking the fifth set 16-14, Roddick pretended to have forgotten all about it. “What final?” he deadpanned to reporters, before acknowledging he relished the fresh challenge.
“I always look forward to playing (Roger),” said Roddick, who hit 11 aces in his win. “You want to play the best if you are an athlete and a competitor. You want to get out there and give it a go.” Federer said his 19-2 career record against Roddick was not a fair reflection of their rivalry.
“He is much better than the head-to-head record shows. We’ve had a lot of close matches,” Federer said.
In the other semifinal, Novak Djokovic and Serbian teammate Viktor Troicki will have to set aside their focus on the Davis Cup final to play each other after both advanced with straight-set victories. Djokovic eased past 67th-ranked qualifier Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-3, after Troicki beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2.
Troicki could face Gasquet again when Serbia hosts France in the Davis Cup final next month in Belgrade. Djokovic said he is already focused on the “chance of a lifetime” to win the title in front of the home fans. “It’s the priority goal for the end of the year, to win that title,” Djokovic said.
“God knows if we are going to have another opportunity to play in the finals, especially at home. We have a quality team and if we all stay healthy and physically ready we have a chance to go the next step.” Serbia hosts France in the 17,000-capacity indoor Belgrade Arena on Dec. 3-5.
While Djokovic is the undisputed team leader, Troicki is using his performance in Basel to make a case for the second singles selection. “Viktor is playing the best tennis of his life,” said the second-seeded Djokovic, who is the defending champion in Basel.
Troicki has played some of the best tennis of his career since Serbia reached the final by beating the Czech Republic in September, winning in Moscow and reaching the semifinals in Tokyo. “Now it’s interesting to play against French players. There’s a little bit more tension,” the 24-year-old Troicki said.
“That is what is keeping me going and motivated.” The 32nd-ranked Troicki will compete for singles duty in Belgrade with No. 46 Janko Tipsarevic. Tipsarevic was courtside on Friday, returning the favor after Troicki attended his second-round loss against Roger Federer on Wednesday.
“This is our biggest strength, we have really good team spirit,” Troicki said. “We are good friends and not just during tournaments.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...