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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Roddick reaches final
By Nick Crowther
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Roddick
The American dropped his first set of the championships
Andy Roddick reached his first Wimbledon final after a 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-5 victory over Mario Ancic of Croatia.

The second seeded American had been up a set but was facing break point when the match was stopped on Friday night after a rain-disrupted day.

Ancic returned to win it and the second set and looked in control in the third when there was another stoppage.

But Roddick claimed the crucial break and, after another tight fourth set, went ahead 6-5 and served out to win.

"He was making it tough in the last game so there's a lot of relief," said the 21-year-old.

"He came out firing today but later I was able to make some adjustments and made it through."

I have to congratulate him - he played better
Ancic on Roddick

And, looking forward to the final against Roger Federer, he added: "I'm so excited. He's the best and I can't wait."

It was always tipped as a battle of serves and lived up to its billing early on.

Ancic won the opening game with his first ace and although Roddick made two double faults in his first service game, he won to love by his third and warmed up to a 143mph rocket in his next.

And it was Roddick who made the first breakthrough, sending a backhand past Ancic at the net to go 5-4 up.

He saved two break back points in the next game before clinching the set, after 34 minutes, with another superb pass.

Roddick made the breakthrough again in the fifth game of the second set but was facing break point himself when the match was stopped on Friday night even though it was not actually raining at that point.

Ancic returned on Saturday to win a lengthy rally to break back and took the set 6-4 as Roddick looked distracted.

Indeed the American was forced to save five break points early in the second but gradually found his rhythm

And Ancic was annoyed when play was stopped again with just a few spots of rain in the air.

Rightly so, because Roddick came out on fire, broke the Croatian and served to love to take a 2-1 lead.

A tight fourth set went with serve before Roddick had to save a break point at 3-4 with an ace.

Ancic double faulted to hand the second seed a 6-5 lead and, although he needed three match points, Roddick served out for victory.

The 20-year-old Croat refused to blame the rain delays for his defeat, saying: "Obviously the first delay helped me a lot - I broke him straight away.

"I don't know why there was a second rain delay because all the other courts were playing. But it doesn't really matter - it didn't really affect me too much."

Ancic said that Roddick had just outplayed him on the key points.

"It was a pretty big match and it came down to three or four balls," he added. "I have to congratulate him - he played better."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Andy Roddick




SEE ALSO
Wimbledon men's semi-finals photos
03 Jul 04  |  Photo Galleries



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