Seventy-three years,and counting

American Andy Roddick ended Andy Murray’s dream of becoming the first British man to play in a Wimbledon final since 1938 by winning their semi-final 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7) 7-6 (5) on Friday.

Written by Reuters | London | Published: July 4, 2009 2:50 am

American Andy Roddick ended Andy Murray’s dream of becoming the first British man to play in a Wimbledon final since 1938 by winning their semi-final 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7) 7-6 (5) on Friday.

Sixth seed Roddick,a former world number one and the 2003 US Open champion,served magnificently and matched Murray’s vaunted ground strokes after breaking the third-seeded Briton in the final game of the first set.

Murray reacted by breaking at the start of the second set and held serve to level the contest. However,he failed to take advantage of three break points in the first game of the third and a set point in the tiebreak,allowing the American to take a two-sets-to-one lead.

Roddick recorded the fastest serve of the tournament,230 kmph in the first set,and landed 75 percent of his first serves compared to Murray’s 52 percent. “I had to play my best tennis today,” the 26-year-old said moments after walking off court. “Most people hadn’t given me a chance,to be fair he had all the pressure on him and I could come out swinging.”

Roddick’s reward for reaching the final is a date with five-time champion Roger Federer. But that is likely to be a mammoth task since the Swiss holds a 18-2 record over the American and has beaten the sixth seed in all three of their previous meetings at Wimbledon — in one semi-final and two finals.

Murray paid tribute to Roddick’s service game and the support of the Centre Court crowd on another hot,sunny day. “I hope they will give me the same support next year,” he told a news conference.

Nearly there

ROGER Federer stands one match away from a record 15th Grand Slam title after he snuffed out the challenge of Germany’s Tommy Haas 7-6 7-5 6-3 to reach the final.

Federer edged his 31-year-old rival in a display of sheer brilliance before a mesmerised Centre Court crowd,ending the match with a brilliant slam-dunk smash.

By downing Haas in just over two hours,he became the first man to reach seven successive Wimbledon finals since the abolition of the Challenge Round in 1922. Haas,the oldest man left in Wimbledon at 31,never got a break point against Federer.

Now the Swiss has the chance to break his tie with Pete Sampras. “This is just another great opportunity to get into the history books,” he said. “It’s not the only reason I play tennis,but going for something this big,it’s extraordinary.”

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