Roddick on a roll as Ferrer falters in Tokyo

October 3rd, 2008 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Andy RoddickTokyo, Oct 3 (DPA) Second seed Andy Roddick bore down on a second Asian title in as many weeks, earning a revenge win over Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the Japan Open Friday.The American, who laid down a modest seven aces, said that his quarter-final loss to the Serb in Washington last summer may have been in the back of his mind, but it was not driving his victory.

“You don’t think about revenge,” said the former number one, who added: “I hit the ball the best I have all week.

“I felt a bit bad after my first match, but I’ve gotten better with each one. I feel Ok and hope I can get through this weekend.”

While Sunday’s Beijing champion was advancing at his first career tournament in Japan, top-seeded holder David Ferrer was toppled 6-1, 7-5 by on-fire Argentine Juan Del Potro.

Del Potro, who turned 20 last week, won his 28th match from his past 29 starts, claiming four titles and a US Open quarter-final place.

“You never feel like you have an edge against Ferrer,” said the winner. “It was a positive mental attitude that helped me win this match when he made a comeback in the second set.”

Czech ninth seed Tomas Berdych stunned Chile’s number three Fernando Gonzalez 6-0, 6-4 to line up against Roddick while 2007 finalist Richard Gasquet put out Rainer Schuettler of Germany 6-3, 6-2.

Gasquet will test himself against Del Potro. “After (Rafael) Nadal and (Roger) Federer, he’s playing the best right now,” said Gasquet, who lost the Stuttgart clay final in July where the Argentine lifted the first of his trophies.

“He’s playing like a Top 5. He cannot be any more confident, especially after winning two matches at home in Davis Cup for Argentina.

“If I am to have a chance,the key is to serve really well. It’s tough to find any weakness in his current game.”

Fifth seed Ferrer, ranked 12th in the world, is seventh in the race for one of the four spots remaining at the eight-man Masters Cup in Shanghai next month.

“I tried everything to win, but Juan is playing with a lot of confidence,” said Ferrer, who plans to take a few days of holiday before playing in Madrid in a week.

“I’m not surprised that he did so well,” the Spaniard said. “He’s been winning a lot of matches. He’s improving every week.”

Del Potro raced through the first set and broke Ferrer in the final game to claim the quarter-final victory in just more than 90 minutes.

The winner overcame six double-faults, losing his serve only once as he broke Ferrer five times.

Del Potro improved to 40-9 on the season and 18-4 on hard courts after playing in his eighth quarter-final of 2008.

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