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Roddick, Blake Advance to Legg Mason Tennis Final

  • Jonathan Tannenwald

Andy Roddick and James Blake, both of the United States, have advanced Saturday to the final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington.

Andy Roddick of the United States beat Thailand's Paradorn Srichapan in the first semifinal in straight sets, 7-6, 6-2. Both players held serve throughout the first set,

resulting in a tiebreak which Roddick won, 7-4. The 22-year-old American took control from there, hitting eight aces and breaking Srichapan twice in the second set. While Srichapan was once again cheered on by a large group of Thai fans, he said that the drums and noisemakers could not help him overcome Roddick's powerful serve.

"You know, it's tough to get, because when the ball lands it just bounces away. I mean, that's his big weapon, the service game," he said.

In the second semifinal, American James Blake also won in straight sets, beating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-3. Once again, both players held serve for much of the first set, but Blake was able to get the break in the final game to win the set. He got another break in the fourth game of the second set and held serve for the rest of the match, serving up two aces in the final game to seal the win.

Blake said that the break of serve allowed him to take control of the match once and for all.

"It was a really good feeling to know that I could just keep the pressure on my serve and possibly give him really no option to break me," he said.

Looking ahead to Sunday's final, Roddick said that he is excited to meet his countryman on the hard courts in the nation's capital.

"He's one of the good guys on tour and I always want the best for him. That being said, I would want to beat him badly tomorrow," he said.

The final will pit the 2001 champion, Andy Roddick, against the 2002 champion, James Blake. It will also be the first all-American championship match in this tournament since 1990.