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Roddick rolls to victory

sports Updated: Feb 24, 2008 14:22 IST
Roddick beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (2)

Top-seeded Andy Roddick will meet Radek Stepanek in the final of the SAP Open, as both overwhelmed semifinal opponents after hard-fought starts on Saturday. Roddick, the tournament winner in 2004 and 2005, beat Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (2), 6-1, backing up his big serve with consistently deep groundstrokes that had Garcia-Lopez working hard for every rare opening.

Stepanek had an exciting comeback victory over Robby Ginepri, winning 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1.

Roddick didn't face any break point in the first set, and the American prevailed comfortably in the tiebreaker. From that point on, he conducted a power tennis clinic. The second set found Garcia-Lopez in trouble from the outset. The lanky Spaniard, ranked No. 75 and unseeded in the tournament, was broken in the first game and never recouped his form from the first set. In the other semifinal, the crafty Stepanek used a mix of deep groundstrokes and frequent drop shots to beat American Ginepri. Ginepri won the first set tiebreaker, but the Czech held serve on a crucial early game in the second set to mount his comeback. "I was facing two break points. That was a very important point in the match," Stepanek said, acknowledging that Ginepri had him on the ropes.

After Ginepri lost serve to fall behind 0-2 in the final set, he slammed his racket to the court, breaking it and getting a code violation warning from the chair umpire.

"At 0-3 I played a couple of flaky points, and you just can't give guys at this level the opportunity to take advantage," Ginepri said.