Roddick to meet Grosjean in final

Andy Roddick beat newly crowned world number one Andre Agassi to reach the final of the Stella Artois Championship.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Andy Roddick won America's generation battle to beat newly crowned world number one Andre Agassi and reach the final of the Stella Artois Championship for the first time on Saturday. The 20-year-old started brilliantly, winning the first set 6-1 in 20 minutes. The 33-year-old Agassi fought back and took the second set on the tiebreak, but Roddick won the tiebreak 8-6 to win a thrilling match 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6). He will face Sebastien Grosjean in Sunday's final after the Frenchman brushed aside Britain's Tim Henman 6-3 6-4. Roddick, 13 years Agassi's junior, blasted the more experienced baseliner off the court in the first set. The 20-year-old broke in the second game and went 5-1 ahead when he broke his compatriot again in the sixth game. The third seed closed out the set in only 20 minutes, with an ace, one of 27 he hit in the match. Neither serve was broken in the second set and a tiebreak was needed. Each had a break of serve, but Agassi produced the key shot at 5-5 with a perfect backhand pass that took the number two seed into the lead at 6-5. Roddick was unable to control Agassi's serve on his first set point and a deciding set was needed. Agassi looked to be heading for victory when he broke Roddick for the first time in the match in the fifth game to lead 3-2. But Roddick, who had been angered by a questionable line decision, composed himself and broke back to level at 3-3. Both players then held serve and another tiebreak was required. The second seed overhit on his own serve and Roddick, who had never beaten the newly-crowned world number one in four previous attempts, triumphed 6-1, 6-7, 7-6. The second semi-final saw clay court specialist Grosjean of France break Britain's grass court expert Henman to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set. At set point the French sixth seed showed sublime touch at the net to win the first set 6-3. Henman, a runner-up at Queen's Club in three of the last four years, could find no penetration on his serve and Grosjean went a double break up in the second set to lead 4-1. Even though the British seventh seed broke back in the next game, Grosjean held serve thereafter and booked a place in the final against Roddick. (AP)