Djokovic, Roddick face off in quarters at Rogers Cup

Aug 10, 2007 - 7:37 PM MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Andy Roddick will finally come face to face with the player that has challenged his standing as the best player behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The fifth-seeded American will square off with third seed Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the $2.45 million Rogers Cup on Friday.

With Federer and Nadal clearly head and shoulders over the rest of the players in the world, the next-best interesting battle is for the world's third ranking - a position that Roddick used to have a solid hold on until his struggles from the end of last year.

Since reaching the U.S. Open final last August, Roddick has won just one title - last week at Washington - and only reached a semifinal once in the last three Grand Slams.

Meanwhile, the 20-year-old Djokovic has emerged on the ATP Tour, climbing up to fourth in the world due in part to a win at the Masters Series Indian Wells among his three titles in 2007 and semifinal showings at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Now, the upstart Djokovic will get get his first shot at the 24-year-old Roddick on the American's best surface.

A winner and two-time finalist here, Roddick reached the quarterfinals of this event for the fifth time in six appearances with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Marcos Baghdatis on Thursday.

Djokovic rolled into the round of eight with a 6-2, 6-3 rout of David Nalbandian on Thursday. In two matches, the Serb has dropped just 11 games.

The defending champion and world No. 1, Federer continued his dominance over Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, 6-3, 6-4.

It was the 10th straight win over Hewitt for Federer dating back to 2004.

Included in that run is a 6-0, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 dismantling in the final of the U.S. Open in 2004. That was the first of three straight titles at Flushing Meadows for Federer, who remains the favorite for the year's final Grand Slam.

Federer, who raced out to a 4-2 lead in the first set, fired 13 aces. He broke the Australian three times and saved two of three breaks chances in finishing off the match in 1 hour, 25 minutes.

The Swiss star's next opponent will be Czech Radek Stepanek, a 6-4, 7-5 winner over fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko.

It was the third straight victory over a seeded foe for Stepanek, who also upset No. 6 Fernando Gonzalez and No. 12 Tommy Haas.

Prior to Friday's loss, Davydenko had been able to string together consecutive wins for the first time since June. The Russian is currently the central figure in a gambling probe by the ATP Tour following his retirement from a second-round match at Sopot, Poland last week.

In Friday's lone night match, the second-seeded Nadal will have his hands full with local favorite Frank Dancevic.

Ranked 91st in the world, Dancevic continued his surprising run by rallying past Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, on Thursday.

Nadal, the 2005 champion here, is coming off a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Paul-Henri Mathieu on France on Thursday.

First prize is $400,000.






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