- Title: USA: TENNIS - Rafa Nadal reaches US Open semis in convincing style
- Date: 11th September 2011
- Summary: SLATE INFORMATION
- Embargoed: 26th September 2011 18:13
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA6V6YACY9UTEYTYXFGG33XGUV5
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Defending champion Rafa Nadal routed former winner Andy Roddick 6-2 6-1 6-3 on Friday (September 9) to reach the semi-finals of the U.S. Open.
Nadal, the only men's player yet to lose a set in the tournament, set the tone early by breaking the American in his first two service games to race to a 4-0 lead and going on to break Roddick six times in all in the one-hour 53-minute romp.
The second-seeded Spaniard advanced to a last-four clash with fourth-seeded Andy Murray of Britain, a 7-5 6-4 3-6 7-6 winner against American John Isner.
Saturday's other men's semi-final will pit top-seeded world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia against 16-time grand slam winner Roger Federer, who owns five U.S. Open titles.
Roddick, who was overwhelmed by the Spaniard's pounding, pinpoint groundstrokes, looked sluggish and twice received leg rubdowns from the trainer during the match.
At a post-match news conference Nadal told reporters that the 2003 winner was probably tired after his four-set win against fifth seed David Ferrer of Spain.
"I ask him (Andy Roddick) how was him, but he told me, I am fine. But I think he was tired because the match of yesterday. You know how tough is play best of five two days in a row, and he played against very difficult opponent like David yesterday. So is always a very hard match against him, and probably he was tired. That happens when the rain comes," said Nadal.
But Nadal, 25, showed no mercy on the court. The 10-time grand slam winner powered 35 winners past the hapless Roddick including 22 forehand winners. The American managed only one backhand winner and none from the forehand side in the match. The Spaniard then turned his eye toward the semi-finals.
Nadal defeated Murray in this year's semi-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon. Murray beat Nadal in the U.S. Open semi-finals in 2008 before falling to Federer in the final.
At the news conference, Nadal also reflected on the tournament's postponement of the men's singles finals from Sunday (September 11) to Monday (September 12) because of rain delays. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said that they came to the decision as a result of a collaborative exchange between the players and the organizers. Nadal was asked by reporters if he was involved in discussions with organizers. He said he wasn't.
"Not mine. I wasn't there. After what happened at few days ago is normal they want to say a collaboration with the players, but I think was a meeting with the ATP what changed the situation. They feel that if they put the final on Sunday we are gonna keep talking. So that's probably why. And for one or for other reason, I think they did a good job," he said.
Later, when Murray appeared in the news conference room to speak with reporters, he appeared exhausted.
"It's tough playing a lot of matches regularly, but I had zero reserves. I didn't have any time to train this summer, so playing a tough match like yesterday I felt - I played a four-setter yesterday; I felt like I played six sets. Came out today and I just couldn't -- you know, I was trying to push up on serves, and I felt like I was falling over as opposed to pushing up. Just didn't have much," he said.
But it appears that there are no long breaks for the the American during the rest of the year though. He said he plans to play two weeks in Asia and another two weeks in Europe.
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