Federer, Djokovic reach Madrid semi-finals

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/f/federer11.jpg' class='caption'> Roger Federer's dominance of Andy Roddick carried over to the clay when the second-ranked Swiss player won to reach the Madrid Open semis.

Updated: May 15, 2009 16:26 IST
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Roger Federer's dominance of Andy Roddick carried over to the clay on Friday when the second-ranked Swiss player won 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-1 to reach the Madrid Open semi-finals.

Federer won their first career meeting on the red surface to improve to 18-2 against the sixth-ranked American.

"His game translates well to most anything," Roddick said.

Novak Djokovic also advanced to the semifinals after a 6-4, 6-4 win over wild card Ivan Ljubicic. The third-seeded Serb will face either top-ranked Rafael Nadal or his Davis Cup teammate Fernando Verdasco, who played later.

Top-ranked women's player Dinara Safina advanced to the last four with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Ukrainian player Alona Bondarenko.

Amelie Mauresmo will face Caroline Wozniacki in the other women's semifinal after both players won their matches on Friday.

Roddick, who received a walkover into the quarterfinals after Nikolay Davydenko withdrew with a leg injury, broke in the second game to take a 2-0 lead before Federer broke back and held for 2-2.

Federer, who won here two years ago when the tournament was played on indoor hard court, broke again in the 11th game before serving out the set.

Roddick saved three break points in the ninth game of the second set to hold on for a tiebreaker, where the American rallied from 3-0 down to even the match.

But Federer stopped the American's momentum with an early break in the decider and used his strong serving to hold on for the win. Federer won 49 of 56 first-serve points, and hit 15 aces.

"It was a close match. I bounced back well in the third (set)," said Federer, who enjoyed the quicker points created by the Spanish capital's 600-meter altitude. "I feel I have decent control over the ball this week."

Fourth-seeded Andy Murray played No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro later to decide Federer's next opponent.

Roddick remained without a clay-court win against a top-10 player.

"There are some good things to take out of it. I've definitely felt worse going into the French Open," Roddick said.

Djokovic's late break in the first set was enough to go ahead in a match heavy on ground strokes. The Serbian player then slammed his racket into the ground after netting a break point in the seventh game of the second, but responded by sending a crosscourt forehand onto the line for another break chance that he converted with a soft drop shot. Ljubicic hit his 37th unforced error for Djokovic to clinch the match.

Safina looked set to roll over Bondarenko after an early break for 3-0.

But the Ukrainian, ranked 45 spots below her opponent, rallied to even it at 4-4 before losing her serve in the 10th game.

Safina then began spraying shots wide and was unable to handle a crosscourt return as Bondarenko broke to open the second set.

But Safina recovered quickly, and will next face either Jelena Jankovic or Patty Schnyder, who played later.

Mauresmo rallied for a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win over Agnes Szavay of Hungary. She broke for a 3-1 lead in the second set when Szavay netted a forehand and then played a soft forehand passing shot to break again before holding to even the match.

The 21st-ranked Frenchwoman then broke her Hungarian opponent to open the decider before saving a break chance for 2-0.

Szavay repelled two break points in the third game before hitting long to trail 3-0 and Mauresmo was never threatened thereafter.

"There are some things I do better now, and some things that I am not as good at as I used to be," Mauresmo said. "Things are evolving, changing a little bit."

Ninth-seeded Wozniacki beat Russian qualifier Vera Dushevina 6-0, 6-4 for her tour-high 72nd match win of the season.

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  • Andy Roddick
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  • Leander Paes
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