Federer, Roddick enter Cincinnati final
Cincinnati, August 21:
Andy Roddick defeated Lleyon Hewitt for only the second time in eight matches on Saturday to reach the final of the Cincinnati Masters, where he’ll face Roger Federer in a repeat of the last two Wimbledon finals. America’s Roddick beat third-seeded Australian Hewitt 6-4, 7-6 to earn his first victory in their career series since June 2004 on grass at Queen’s Club in London. The result gives Roddick the chance to change his fortunes against Switzerland’s Federer, who bolstered his own confidence with a resounding semi-final comeback victory over wild card Robby Ginepri 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Federer, the world number one, has allowed Roddick just one win from 10 meetings, winning their last five including the last two Wimbledon finals. Roddick rained down 23 aces, striking 43 winners and just 18 unforced errors. The win improved his record this season to 49-10 with four titles. Hewitt had won all five of the pair’s previous meetings on hard court before Rodick came through in one hour, 35 minutes. Federer’s triumph put him within a victory of a ninth title this year. Victory over Ginepri boosted the stylish Swiss to 63-3 for the season as he aims to extend a winning streak in finals to 22 in a row. Federer has not lost in his past 17 matches this season dating to a semi-final setback at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
TORONTO: Seventh-seeded Belgian Kim Clijsters eased past Russian Anastasia Myskina 6-4, 6-1 to reach her second WTA Tour final in as many weeks, where compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne awaits. Belgian fourth seed Henin-Hardenne booked a spot opposite Clijsters in the final by ousting French second seed Amelie Mauresmo 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in the night semi-final, taking a 4-3 lead in the career rivalry of the former number ones. Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne have a long rivalry, but haven’t met for more than a year as each has battled health problems. Clijsters missed much of last season with a left wrist injury but has won a WTA Tour-best five titles this year and hopes to add another at this $1.3 million tuneup for the US Open.
Myskina, a former French Open champion who had won 13 of her previous 15 matches, slipped to 3-7 lifetime against Clijsters. American Lindsay Davenport, the current world number one, was not entered here. Russian Maria Sharapova, the top seed, pulled out of the event before it began after aggravating a right pectoral strain last week in Carson, California.