Roddick into Doha final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:12
France’s Monfils, who appeared to be hampered by a back problem, could not repeat his brilliant performance in beating world number one Rafael Nadal on Thursday as Roddick clinched a 7-6 (7/1) 3-6 6-3
The American will next face either Roger Federer or Andy Murray.
Roddick saved four break points in the third game but could not prevent Monfils making the breakthrough at 3-3.
His advantage was short-lived, however, as the fourth seed broke straight back and the set went to a tie-break.
A double-fault from the Frenchman on the second point set the tone as Roddick raced into a 6-1 lead before taking the set at the first time of asking.
Monfils was not as dynamic as in his stunning victory over Nadal, and treatment to his back perhaps provided an explanation.
The Frenchman changed tactics in the second set, eschewing long baseline rallies by frequently using the drop shot to bring Roddick to the net. And it worked well, Monfils breaking in the fourth game before comfortably wrapping up the set.
Roddick began to play the fifth seed at his own game in the decider and forged ahead with a break to make it 3-1, but Monfils stuck to his plan and a series of superb passing shots earned him parity again.
Despite that setback, Roddick was clearly in the ascendancy by now and some fierce groundstrokes saw him break again for 5-3. And this time there was no way back for the Frenchman as Roddick sealed victory in a match lasting more than two hours.