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American Andy Roddick Hopes to Make it to Finals of Australian Open - 2003-01-23


American tennis player Andy Roddick hopes he has enough energy left to make it to his first Grand Slam final when he takes on Rainer Schuettler of Germany in Friday's men's semifinal at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

After waging an epic five-hour battle to defeat Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco in the quarterfinals Wednesday, the ninth-seeded Roddick takes on the 31st-seeded Schuettler for a chance to meet No. 2 Andre Agassi of the United States in Sunday's final. Agassi advanced Thursday with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, win over South African Wayne Ferreira.

Roddick needed to go the maximum five sets in his two previous matches to become the youngest Australian Open semifinalist since 1992. The 20-year-old American is bidding to become the youngest finalist at the first Grand Slam event of the year since Stefan Edberg of Sweden made it in 1985.

Schuettler pulled away to beat No. 10 David Nalbandian of Argentina in four sets on Wednesday to become the fifth German to advance to the final four of this Grand Slam event since 1968. Like Roddick, Schuettler will be making his first appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal. He has had an easier time than Roddick, having dropped just two sets and advancing by a walkover on the way to the final four.

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