Here's the Scottsdale update. Andy lost a tight three-setter. I was following it on line with a gal who was watching it live on TV, and she said Andy had a trainer out and wasn't moving well in the third set. She said he didn't run down balls, and seemed to be hurting. But Andy does't really mention that, and is giving credit to Spadea, so perhaps it just wasn't his night.
Who would have thought a Kiefer/Spadea final?
Talk about parity. Well done to them both.
Oh, I don't have the Acapulco update yet, but Moya faces Verdasco in the final. I believe they are 1-0, with Carlos beating him on hardcourts last year -- perhaps Miami. *too lazy to look it up* Vamos, Carlos!
RESULTS - MARCH 6, 2004
Singles - Semifinals
(4) V Spadea (USA) d (1) A Roddick (USA) 67(5) 63 64
(7) N Kiefer (GER) d V Hanescu (ROM) 46 75 64
Doubles - Semifinals (4) Leach/MacPhie d (1)Allegro/Koenig 63 76(4)
Coetzee/Haggard d Kiefer/Moodie Walkover (Kiefer exhaustion)
ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2004
Stadium Court - Noon
(4)V Spadea (USA) vs (7)N Kiefer (GER)
Coetzee/Haggard vs (4) Leach-MacPhie
ATP MEDIA NOTES Ė SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2004
SPADEA UPSETS RODDICK; KIEFER ADVANCES TO SECOND STRAIGHT FINAL
No. 4 seed Vincent Spadea rallied to beat top-seeded Andy Roddick 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, and advance to his third career ATP final, the first since August 1999 in Indianapolis. Spadea is trying to capture his first career ATP title. The 29-year-old Boca Raton, Fla. resident lost a tight opening set tie-break and fell behind 0-2, 15-40 in the second set before getting out of trouble. He then broke Roddick three consecutive times to win the set. In the final set, the only break came in the ninth game as Roddick lost serve at 0-40.
Roddick was limited to six aces while double faulting five times. Spadea, who converted four of seven break points in the two hour and three minute match, hit 40 winners to Roddick's 23.
The win over No. 3 Roddick was Spadea's first win over a Top 5 opponent since beating No. 2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in three sets in the quarterfinals of Lyon in 1999.
No. 7 seed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany advanced to his second straight ATP final as he rallied to beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes. Hanescu, who was appearing in his first career ATP semifinal, was three points away from reaching the final, serving at 6-4, 5-4, 15-0. But the 26-year-old German battled his way back to break Hanescu in that game and in the 12th game when the Romanian double-faulted. The only break in the third set came in the 10th game as Kiefer hit a winner on his first match point.
Kiefer has won eight of his last nine matches since beginning the season with an 0-4 record. Kiefer, who reached his first ATP final in the U.S. two weeks ago in Memphis (l. to J. Johansson), is playing in back-to-back finals for the first time in his career. This is his 14th career ATP final (6-7) and he is trying to win his first ATP title since Hong Kong (d. Philippoussis) on Oct. 8, 2000. Since then, he is 0-4 in ATP finals.
In the doubles final, No. 4 seeds Rick Leach and Brian MacPhie take on South Africans Jeff Coetzee and Chris Haggard. Leach-MacPhie were finalists in San Jose last month and Coetzee-Haggard are coming off a runner-up effort in Memphis two weeks ago.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID:
Spadea: "It's a great victory and I can't totally cherish it yet but I just have to focus on tomorrow. But it's always a great accomplishment, to beat a player who's ranked as high and what he's accomplished, especially the way it happened, being down a set and a break and almost two breaks. I could have easily been complacent and folded. I felt like I was very close and the tie-break was bothering me a little bit and throwing me off my rhythm and my ability to fight. I was just trying to forget it and keep the ball in play a little bit. I knew he had a long day yesterday and he had the two matches, with the last one going three sets at night. I felt like if he's going to take this in straight sets I might as well have him hit five to eight balls in each rally unless he hits an ace. I felt like I needed to step up a bit in terms of my effort."
(on how the win ranks in his career) "The win is definitely up there, beating a Top 3 or Top 4 player. It's a big highlight career wise and for 2004 and I'll just try to feed off it and use the momentum tomorrow and the rest of the year. It doesn't happen every day but it's a big career highlight. I don't know if it finally hit me. I've been focusing on one day at a time. Theses matches all come in one and the same. It could have been a quarterfinal match but it was the semis and I'm in the final."
(on getting to his first final since 1999) "Looking back I haven't been to a final since 1999 so it's a great relief now to be able to know I'm still there and contending for titles when I play well and have my mind into it."
Roddick: "I'm frustrated a little bit because I was looking good and thought I may have made the upswing to where I was playing really well in the second. Then it was weird because I starting serving badly. I think it was great tennis and Vince played really well during the match. I felt I let it get away a little bit. It was weird because I starting serving badly and that's not normal the case."
"I thought I regrouped well in the third. I was putting pressure on him in the service games, but he was coming up big. He was taking the ball off the baseline and hitting really well. It took that one bad game on my serve and that was it. Vince played great throughout the match, but I let it get away."
"If I'm being honest, I feel like I let him back into the second set. I had a couple break points to go up a double break. I had a pretty good swing on one of my forehand returns and just clipped the net, but after that he just out-toughed me."
Kiefer: (on losing first and second set leads) "I had many chances and I didnít take them. I didnít feel so good this morning and just tried to stay in there. I was up a break 4-1 in the first set and I didnít pay attention and he didnít do anything special. I didnít play my game and I didnít find my game today. I just focused on trying to stay in there. In the second set, I was up a break again at 3-1 and at 5-4 he was serving for the match. I started a comeback, nothing special. I just tried to focus and I saw he was getting a little tired and I did it."
(on withdrawing from doubles) "I wanted to be safe. I didnít feel so good. I was tired and weak and didnít want to take the risk just to injure myself where I couldnít play in the final tomorrow. I donít like this because when I play I want to give 100 percent. Normally Iím not like this and when I go play doubles I give it 100 percent. It wasnít easy. I donít like this decision, but he (Moodie) was OK with it."
"I slept very bad and I couldnít eat much this morning. I had a long day yesterday playing singles and doubles and I felt a little tired. I think itís quite normal. I just have to get over it. If you win these matches while feeling not good itís good for my mind."
(on reaching the final) "When you play great winning is easy. When you win by fighting and just staying in there and focusing on your big shots. I didnít play my best at the net today but I tried to stay in it. When I didnít play that good I tried to use my legs and run and focus on something. I know that Iím fit and I have to continue to work on my game and Iíll be ready."
"I think what I was missing the last few months was fighting. I would get down and I just wouldnít stay in. In this sport, and this is a good example, if you stay in and fight, everything is possible. This is what I tried to put in my head and now it is there. When you get into a final you want to win it, but this shows me Iím still there. This gives me a lot of confidence in my game. Two weeks ago in Memphis I had my chances. I mean everybody who plays in a final can win.
(on trying to get back to his Top 10 form in 1999) "Of course I want to go back. I want to be happy when Iím old. But this isnít my goal. The reason I play tennis is that I want to go to the top. Iím getting my fighting spirit back and I just have to get a few shots and this is coming. I think it can be a good season. I donít want to rush. It can be this year or next."
Hanescu: "I wasnít nervous, but my play wasnít so great today. From the beginning my serve was, I can say terrible. I couldnít make my first serve and itís very difficult to play against Kiefer with a second serve. The courts are very slow. The court is different than the other one. I played all three matches on the clubhouse court and the center court is bigger and more difficult to play in."
"Of course I can learn from this and I hope to play well in the next tournament. I have to think about it. Iím not prepared to tell you what is important and what wasnít important and what mistakes I made. Yes, I was tired from the beginning. I played two matches yesterday and from the beginning I was tired. It was very tough for me.
No. 4 seed Vincent Spadea takes on No. 7 seed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany in the final of the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic. Spadea is attempting to capture his first career ATP title while Kiefer is looking to win his first ATP title since October 2000 in Hong Kong.
The winner of the best-of-three sets final earns 35 INDESIT ATP 2004 Race points and $52,000 while the finalist collects 24 Race points and $30,600.
Kiefer, who is coming off his first career ATP final in the U.S. in Memphis two weeks ago (l. to J. Johansson), is trying to win his seventh career ATP title. The 26-year-old German has won eight of his last nine matches after an 0-4 start this season.
FIRST-TIME 2004 WINNERS -- There have been two first-time winners on the ATP circuit this year: Antony Dupuis (Milan) and Joachim Johansson (Memphis). Spadea is one of three players who are trying to win their first ATP title on Sunday. In Dubai, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez takes on top-seeded and world No. 1 Roger Federer while in Acapulco, top-seeded Carlos Moya plays another Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the final.