Andy Roddick has survived a three-set scare against towering South African Kevin Anderson to set up a dream final between the top two seeds at the Brisbane International.
It is not often Roddick finds himself facing an opponent outhitting him on the tournament’s ace count, but that is exactly what he had to contend with squaring off against the 6ft 7 giant today.
“Well you can’t teach 6ft 7 that’s for sure. You don’t see a ball coming from that angle too often,” Roddick said afterwards.
Coming into the match with a perfect eight-from-eight record at Pat Rafter Arena, the American took advantage of Anderson’s nerves breaking in the opening game and ramming home the advantage with a double break to go up 3-0.
Anderson finally held to make it 1-4 and games continued with serve as Roddick closed out the first set 6-2.
Serving at 40-0 in the second set, Roddick stopped play when he noticed people attending to a woman who had collapsed in the crowd.
With both players concerned for her welfare, Roddick raced to his chair and grabbed a cold bottle of water, handing it over the barrier, drawing a warm cheer from the crowd.
The break in play did no harm to Anderson as he started to lift.
“I felt like I was in control pretty much the whole match though,” Roddick said.
“Even in the second set I had more looks at his serve than he had at mine. I actually broke more than I probably thought I might.”
After 13 games in a row went with serve, Anderson sensed an opportunity and broke to take the second set 6-4, with Roddick venting his frustrations by smashing his racquet.
The joy was short-lived as errors crept back into the South African’s game and Roddick closed out the third set 6-2.
The American is well aware of what lies ahead with top seed Robin Soderling a mighty hurdle to clear if he is to defend his title.
“He would probably say the same; we’re going to see the best of what we’ve seen this week against each other tomorrow,” Roddick said.
“He’s playing great. He served real well today. He was in control of that match the whole time, a little dicey towards the end, but he’s been very in control of all his matches this week.
“He’s won all three times we’ve played indoors, I’ve won twice when we’ve played outdoors and this [court] is kind of a hybrid so we’ll see.”
Sunday’s men’s doubles final kicks off at 12 noon with the men’s singles decider to follow. Some tickets still remain for the men’s final at Pat Rafter Arena. Tickets can be purchased online from Ticketek.