Roddick's woes continue at Nasdaq

Friday, March 31, 2006

The American suffered a loss in the quarterfinals.

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Andy Roddick shanked a service return, sending the shot straight up, then took off his cap and used it to catch the ball.

Give Roddick credit for trying to make the best of a bad day. He hit another bump in his bid to shake an early season slump Thursday, losing to David Ferrer 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Nasdaq-100 Open.

Roddick, who slipped from third to fourth in the rankings last week, has yet to reach a final this year.

"I feel a lot better leaving this tournament than I did a couple of days before this tournament," he said. "I feel like I'm on the verge of playing really good tennis again."

The loss cost Roddick a shot at top-ranked Roger Federer in the semifinals. Defending champion Federer rallied from a break down in the opening set and beat No. 9-seeded James Blake 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Federer has reached the semifinals in his past 13 tournaments.

In women's action, Maria Sharapova blew a big lead, drew boos for taking a bathroom break and won only when opponent Tatiana Golovin was forced to retire in tears because of an ankle injury.

The hollow victory Thursday night earned Sharapova a berth in the final at the Nasdaq-100 Open.

Sharapova failed to convert four match points in the second set and played for another 75 minutes before Golovin twisted her left ankle and fell chasing a shot in the corner. Golovincalled it quits with Sharapova serving and leading 6-3, 6-7 (5), 4-3, ad in.

Sharapova will face No. 12-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in Saturday's final. Kuznetsova reached the women's final by beating top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo for the second time in five weeks, 6-1, 6-4.

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