MONTREAL--(lawntennismag.com) Friday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, 3rd seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic beat the 5th seeded
American Andy Roddick 7-6(7-4), 6-4 in the quarterfinals to advance to today's semifinal versus Rafael Nadal of Spain.
Roddick and Djokovic had never played each other at an ATP Tour or Grand Slam event prior to Friday. This was mainly because Novak is only 20
years old and has not played the ATP Tour many years, but he showed Friday why this year he is one of the hottest players on the tour. As I expected,
Novak pressured Andy from the baseline and served big to make the match a very difficult one for Roddick.
Djokovic reached a ranking of fourth in the world earlier this year thanks to a win at Indian Wells as well as two other titles. Novak also reached the
semifinals at the French Open and Wimbledon. He served 13 aces against Roddick and won 81 percent of the points on his first serve Friday.
"It's true that I served really well and probably was my best element in the game today," Djokovic said. "It was very important against a player
like Roddick to hold a serve and have a good base, which I managed to do. But I returned well, especially in the second set, and I put quite a
lot of pressure on him because he doesn't expect so many returns in from the players the way he serves."
After winning set one in a tiebreaker, Djokovic was tied with Roddick at 4-4 in set two before breaking Roddick's serve and closing the match out by
holding his own serve.
Men's semifinals play today also includes world number one Swiss Roger Federer versus Czech Radek Stepanek.