Nadal, Roddick rip up opponents in straight sets

March 21st, 2009 - 11:07 am ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal Indian Wells (California), March 21 (DPA) Rafael Nadal will aim for a third straight victory over Andy Roddick when the top seed and the on-form American square off in the semi-final at the Indian Wells Masters.
Both seeds whipped through quarter-final challenges in straight sets, with 2007 champion Nadal overwhelming Juan Del Potro 6-2, 6-4 as the Argentine took treatment on a wrist in the opening set.

Roddick, seeded seventh, dismissed Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-2 to send the defending champion out in a 68-minute rush.

The rout improved Roddick’s best start of his career. He stands 23-3 after playing in his fifth quarter from as many events in 2009.

Djokovic won Dubai last month but crashed to a pair of Davis Cup defeats a week later. Roddick ended each set with a break as the Serb lost serve four times.

“I just didn’t have any momentum on the court, no feel for the ball, no movement,” complained world number 3 Djokovic.

“Overall it was a very bad day, there’s not much to say. He played very solid but he didn’t do anything special. It was all me making an incredible amount of unforced errors. This was one of the worst matches, certainly, I’ve played.”

Nadal broke four times against Del Potro, with the South American saving a match point in the penultimate game before the Spanish inevitably advanced.

“It will be an interesting match against Roddick,” said Nadal, who beat the American in the Davis Cup and on grass at Queen’s club in 2008. “Andy’s playing fantastic, he had a good win over Novak.

“All I can do is play my best, like always.”

Australian Open winner Nadal stands 4-0 against Del Potro and owns a 19-2 record for the season. He has now reached the semi-finals for the fourth straight year.

Roddick won the Memphis title last month and now has 20 victories at Indian Wells.

On the women’s side, Vera Zvonareva followed up on a defeated doubles partner Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-3 in their semi-final.

The fourth-seeded Russian winner took less than 90 minutes to go through in spring heat in the desert. Zvonareva, who reached the Australian Open final four, now owns a 4-0 record over Azarenka and has not lost a set in that series.

“I was trying to concentrate and tried to keep my returns in as much as possible,” said the winner. “It’s not going to happen every day, but I’m pretty satisfied about my game overall today.

“I had a few mistakes here and there, but I was going for my shots. I’m happy to win this one.”

Azarenka, who had put out top seed Dinara Safina a round earlier, will move into the WTA top 10 for the first time as a result of her performance.

Zvonareva will face the winner from fifth seed Ana Ivanovic, defending her 2008 title, and tournament teenaged surprise packet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

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