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   Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 13:48 GMT
Roddick wins epic tussle
Andy Roddick
Roddick now faces Rainer Schuettler in the semis
A Roddick bt Y El Aynaoui 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 6-4 21-19

Andy Roddick reached a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time with a five-set victory over Younes El Aynaoui in the Australian Open.

The titanic struggle finally came to an end just before 1AM local time after five hours as Roddick took a gruelling fifth set 21-19.

The ninth seed now faces number 31 seed Rainer Schuettler for a place in the final.

While the quality occasionally wavered, the tension never did as the match twisted one way and then the other.

Younes El Aynaoui
El Aynaoui had beaten Hewitt in the last round
Both players used their powerful serve and forehand to devastating effect, with the Moroccan taking the first set 6-4 after breaking in the first game.

Neither player could find an edge in the second set, with Roddick eventually levelling with a single mini-break in the tiebreak.

El Aynaoui, who had beaten top seed Lleyton Hewitt in the last round, edged ahead again when a dubious linecall went his way to hand him the third set 6-4 with the only break.

Roddick berated the umpire, but returned immediately to break his opponent for the first time in the match and went on to level the match at two sets all.

So it came down to a deciding fifth set, and once again there was nothing between the players.

El Aynaoui, 11 years older than his opponent, showed signs of tiredness and handed Roddick a break with a double fault to trail 10-11.

But El Aynaoui raised himself to break straight back, and Roddick had to wait a full hour more before he had another chance.

Then El Aynaoui put a forehand long to lose his serve, and this time Roddick served out for a 21-19 final-set win.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's Barry Millns
"A match that lit up the Melbourne night"
 USA's Andy Roddick
This is the kind of game I was losing last year"
 Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui
"I wasn't far from winning the match"
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