Roddick sets up dream final against Federer
Andy Roddick will try to topple top seed and defending champion Federer in the US Open final on Sunday.india Updated: Sep 10, 2006 04:55 IST
American flag-bearer Andy Roddick will try to topple top seed and defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland in the US Open final on Sunday.
Roddick had too many weapons for tiring Russian Mikhail Youzhny in Saturday's semi-finals winning 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.
Earlier Federer was at his imperious best despatching another Russian, Nikolay Davydenko, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4.
The results set up a dream final similar to last year when Federer won in New York for the second time in defeating another American, Andre Agassi, in straight sets.
The big-hitting 24-year-old Roddick will provide a different challenge to Federer, but on paper at least he is up against heavy odds.
The Swiss master leads their head-to-heads by a crushing 10-1 including two previous wins over Roddick in the 2004 and 2005 Wimbledon finals. It will be the first time they have met in the final at Flushing Meadows though.
Roddick, has been gathering momentum since recently convincing American legend Jimmy Connors to become his coach and he signalled he was getting back to his best after a lean spell by winning in Cincinnati.
Against Youzhny, the conquerer of second seed Rafael Nadal, the American needed a set to find his big game, but once he did he never looked in trouble, especially on his own serve.
Youzhny seemed deflated after losing the third set tie-break and he looked a beaten man even before Roddick grabbed the all-important break of serve to lead 5-3 in the fourth set.
The ninth seed paid a glowing tribute to Connors for his contribution to his US Open run.
"I am definitely a lot more confident in the last few weeks," he said.
"The sense of belief he has brought me from the beginning has been a nice change. His excitement and his passion for the game - it's nice.
"Mentally I am in a good place right now."
Federer became the first man since Rod Laver in 1961/62 to win through to six straight Grand Slam finals in outclassing Davydenko, a tough if unspectactular Russian.
The world No.1 stunned his opponent with the level of his play in the first set and although he dropped his own serve in each of the two following sets, he was always totally in charge, getting in some practice on his serve and volley action.
He admitted that he had expected a tougher challenge from the seventh seed.
"I've had some tough matches with him. I've played him eight times and, okay maybe I've beaten him eight times, but I've lost a set on four occasions.
"At the Australian Open match this year, it was really close against him. So I expected something similar.
"But I came out and played really well and I hope I can keep it up for one more match now."
Federer said he expected a hostile reception on Sunday night as he was taking on an American playing in front of his home crowd.
But he said that was understandable and would not affect his own performance.
"I think it's more enjoyable if the crowd really gets into it. They make you get the best out of yourself."
Roddick though promised that the final would be "a battle."
"I am going to go out and throw it all at him," he said. "I am just going to go for it. I am not going to lay down. I am going out there to win the US Open.
First Published: Sep 10, 2006 04:55 IST