defeats an ill Vahaly
Tenn. -- Andy Roddick proved his wrist is just fine, beating an
ailing Brian Vahaly 7-5, 6-1 Saturday to reach the final of the
Kroger St. Jude tournament.
will play Taylor Dent for the title Sunday. Dent overcame problems
with his serve and defeated Vince Spadea 6-2, 6-4. Dent, the son
of former Australian star Phil Dent, is in the finals for the second
time in his career.
missed the past four weeks recovering from a sore right wrist that
knocked him out of the semifinals of the Australian Open.
main priority of coming here and playing was to be healthy. Anything
after that was just a bonus,'' Roddick said. "I'm very happy
and kind of surprised I made it to the final.''
playing in his first ATP semifinal, was weakened by a stomach virus
and didn't get to sleep until 6:30 a.m. Saturday. He tried to settle
his stomach before the match, but the tight first set left him dehydrated,
nauseous and troubled by poor depth perception.
was the first time since 1995 that an ATP tournament had four Americans
in the semifinals. In that tournament in San Jose, Calif., the final
four were Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Mal Washington and Jim Courier.
the women's side, third-seeded Amanda Coetzer was set to play defending
champion Lisa Raymond for the Cellular South Cup title.
was in full control in his semifinal. He served 14 aces, double-faulted
once and didn't give his friend a single opportunity to break him.
tried to hold serve to force the tiebreaker in the first set but
pushed a forehand wide, then rushed a forehand into the net. He
won the next two points with a service winner, then a 116 mph ace
only to double-fault and then send a forehand into the net on set
dominated the second set as Vahaly had trouble moving around the
court. When the match ended with Roddick breaking Vahaly for the
third time, Vahaly quickly grabbed his back and headed to the locker
room. He apologized for rushing out without signing autographs.
unfortunate, but I've been throwing up for a good while in the locker
room,'' Vahaly said.
entered this week having lost all three of his matches. Now he hasn't
lost this week, including four tiebreakers.
Spadea, Dent used his big serve to get into and out of trouble.
He had 11 aces and his serve reached 132 mph. But he double faulted
seven times, including four in the first game of the second set
in which he fought off three break points.
led 5-4 in the second when he broke for the only time in that set.
Spadea had game point at 40-30 when Dent forced deuce. Then Dent
scrambled across court and hit a forehand that Spadea backhanded
into the net. Dent won as he scooted a backhand off the net, and
Spadea shanked a backhand.
maybe as flawless as he can play,'' Spadea said.