Indian Wells: Roddick downs Djokovic to line up clash with Nadal
Andy Roddick knocked out defending champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets on Friday to set up a semi-final clash with world number one Rafael Nadal at the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament.sports Updated: Mar 21, 2009 09:07 IST
Andy Roddick knocked out defending champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets on Friday to set up a semi-final clash with world number one Rafael Nadal at the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament.
Roddick, seeded seventh, needed just 68 minutes to dispatch the out-of-sorts Serbian 6-3, 6-2.
Djokovic, seeded third, double-faulted to give Roddick a match point, on which he fired a backhand long. He finished with 30 unforced errors.
Nadal, meanwhile, bounced back from a tough fourth-round match to notch a 6-2, 6-4 victory over sixth-seeded Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.
Two days earlier, Nadal saved five match points as he clawed his way to victory over Argentina's David Nalbandian.
There was no comprable drama in his victory over del Potro, although he hit a speed bump against the world number six in the second set.
Leading 5-1, Nadal lost three straight games, failing to convert a match point against del Potro's serve in the ninth game.
The Spaniard then bore down to close out the match with a love game and book a meeting with Roddick.
The American was satisfied with his performance, but said he knew Djokovic was below his best.
Djokovic had been gunning for his third straight appearance in the final at the first Masters series tournament of the year.
In 2007 he reached the final without dropping a set, but lost to Nadal, and last year he beat Nadal in the semi-finals before triumphing over surprise finalist Mardy Fish.
Djokovic has made a somewhat slow start to the season, but was on the upswing after capturing his first title of 2009 in Dubai two weeks ago.
By booking his semi-final berth, Roddick matched his best performance at Indian Wells, where he made it to the final four in 2005 and 2007.
He broke Djokovic in the opening game of the match and wrapped up the first set with another break.
He gained the upper hand in the second set with a break to lead 4-2 and closed it out with yet another break.
"This was one of the worst matches, certainly, that I played," Djokovic said.
In women's action, fourth-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva reached the final with a straight-sets triumph over doubles partner Victoria Azarenka.
Zvonareva, the highest seed left in the draw, downed the eighth seed from Belarus 6-3, 6-3.
In Sunday's final she'll face either defending champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia or Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.