Roddick reaches semifinal round

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The No. 2 seed outlasted Grosjean in five sets.

WIMBLEDON, England -- Andy Roddick knows he's a work in progress, a young player with a record-setting serve, a fearsome forehand, a Grand Slam title -- and key parts of his game that occasionally let him down.

That's why he was so pleased that excellence in two troublesome areas, volleying and returning, played such a large part in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over No. 9-seeded Sebastien Grosjean on Wednesday that put Roddick in the Wimbledon semifinals for a third straight year.

Roddick has accomplished plenty, but he seems to be carrying a slightly manufactured chip on his shoulder now that it's been 21 months since he won the U.S. Open and his ranking has dropped from No. 1 to No. 4. A long drought and big drop? Not in the least. But add in a five-match losing streak in five-setters coming to the All England Club, and even Roddick might have been excused for harboring doubts.

By outlasting Grosjean to join Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Thomas Johansson in the final four -- the first time since 1993 all of Wimbledon men's semifinalists owned major titles -- Roddick maintained he took a step toward re-establishing himself.

"I feel freer. A lot freer. There was a lot of heat on me coming into this tournament. I wanted to prove that I'm still a pretty good tennis player. I'm not gone. I'm 22 years old," said Roddick, who lost in the second round at the French Open.

"I'm still up in the world, still competing for Slams, basically three out of four of them, throughout the year. I felt like I still deserved a little bit of respect. But that being said, I'd love to take it further. I'm not satisfied yet."

He certainly wouldn't be all that pleased with a loss Friday to the 12th-seeded Johansson, who beat No. 18 David Nalbandian 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-2 to reach the second major semifinal of his 11-year pro career.

Two-time defending champion Federer will meet 2002 Wimbledon winner Hewitt in the more glamorous semifinal. Federer is ranked No. 1 and Hewitt No. 2, although the Australian was seeded third, behind Roddick.

In today's women's semifinals, defending champion Maria Sharapova faces 2000-01 winner Venus Williams, while No. 1 Lindsay Davenport faces No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo.

Federer played superb defense against No. 21 Fernando Gonzalez's swing-for-the-fences style, winning 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (2) to extend his unbeaten streak on grass to 34 matches. In a remarkably similar match, Hewitt ended the run of No. 26 Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (2).

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: