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Andy Roddick upsets Rafael Nadal to reach Miami final

Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal
Roddick had lost his last three matches against Nadal

Andy Roddick came storming back from a set down to beat Rafael Nadal and reach the final of the Sony Ericsson Open.

American Roddick was struggling to stay with Nadal from the baseline at the outset but turned the match around with some attacking play to win 4-6 6-3 6-3.

Nadal's wait for a first title since last May goes on, but the Spaniard will overtake Britain's Andy Murray to go third in the rankings on Monday.

Tomas Berdych upset fifth seed Robin Soderling 6-2 6-2 in the second semi.

The Czech, who eliminated Roger Federer in the fourth round, broke serve four times and faced only one break point in reaching only his second Masters 1000 final, having won in Paris in 2005.

The 16th seed will start as underdog against Roddick, who admitted he "took a lot of risks in the last two sets," in his victory over Nadal.

I am playing well...The worst thing is I lost two semi-finals in three sets. But if you are there, you are going to have your day

Rafael Nadal

"That's what I had to do," he said. "My comfort zone of moving the ball around and maybe chipping it around a little bit doesn't work against Rafa.

"I had to try to come up with something that at least took him out of his comfort zone a little bit and it paid off."

Nadal admitted: "He plays a very aggressive game and started to play more aggressive in the game where he got the break. It was a change, and it was surprise for me."

The Spaniard went into Friday's semi-final with a 5-2 record against Roddick, including victories in their last three meetings, but with both men on their way back to top form it was an eagerly-anticipated clash.

Nadal last lifted a trophy at the Rome Masters in May 2009, after which he suffered two spells on the sidelines with knee problems.

Roddick, the 2004 champion in Miami, has been steadily working his way back into the form that made him world number one in 2003 and he found that level of play when he needed it on Friday.

606: DEBATE
Nadal fan

It was Nadal who made the better start with an early break in game three, and he kept his opponent quiet by dictating play from the baseline on his way to sealing the first set.

Roddick, who reached the final last time out at the Indian Wells Masters 1000, was a subdued figure until a brilliant eighth game in the second set.

A blistering forehand winner saw the American break to love for 5-3 and moments later he took the set with his 11th point in a row, bringing to life a crowd that was sweltering in the Florida heat.

Roddick battled through a testing first service game in the decider, saving a break point, and a magnificent defensive lob in the following game helped him get the breakthrough at 2-1.

Worryingly for fans of the Spaniard, he was clearly furious at the changeover and he slammed his fists into his thighs apparently unhappy with his movement.

The four-time French Open champion battled hard and had his man under pressure at deuce in game eight, but Roddick held his nerve and then broke again to seal victory in one hour and 58 minutes.

Nadal, who also lost in the semi-finals in Indian Wells, said: "I just have to keep working like this, keep improving. Two semi-finals in a row, first two Masters 1000s of the season, it has been a positive American hard-court season for me.

"I am playing well. I had very good matches in these two tournaments - those are the positive things. The worst thing is I lost two semi-finals in three sets. That's it.

"But if you are there, you are going to have your day. You're going to win one day."



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see also
Soderling eases into Miami semis
02 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Nadal sets up Roddick semi-final
01 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Berdych defeats Federer in Miami
31 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Off-colour Federer wins through
30 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Nadal overcomes brave Nalbandian
28 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Fish punishes out-of-sorts Murray
27 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Djokovic makes shock Miami exit
27 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha out of Miami tournament
26 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Gasquet slump continues in Miami
25 Mar 10 |  Tennis


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