INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Tim Henman frustrated Andy Roddick with his tenacious net play and defeated the big-serving American 6-7 (6), 7-6 (1), 6-3 in the Pacific Life Open quarterfinals on Friday.
Two-time women’s champion Lindsay Davenport reached her fifth final in her last seven appearances at Indian Wells, beating Nathalie Dechy 6-2, 7-6 (4).
Davenport, a former No. 1 player, will face top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne in Sunday’s final. Henin-Hardenne took only 56 minutes to defeat Anastasia Myskina 6-1, 6-1 in their semifinal.
Irakli Labadze, 0-4 this year coming into the tournament, beat James Blake 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-1 in the men’s other quarterfinal.
Andre Agassi plays top-ranked Roger Federer, and Labadze, a 22-year-old from Tbilisi, Georgia, faces Henman in Saturday’s semifinals. The men’s finals also are Sunday.
The clash of styles — Roddick’s power game against Henman’s accurate ground strokes and volleying — made for an entertaining duel.
Henman holds a 3-1 career edge over Roddick, with all three earlier meetings coming last year. Six of the 11 sets they’ve played were decided by tiebreakers, with Henman winning four.
“I told him when we shook hands that next time we’ll have to play a close one,” Roddick joked. “Credit goes to him. He just toughed me out.”
Henman, a 29-year-old tour veteran from London, said, “It’s always been very, very tight against him. Sometimes they go your way.”
Henman, beaten in straight sets by Lleyton Hewitt two years ago in the tournament final, was facing match point in the 12th game of the second set against Roddick. But Roddick hit a forehand long, Henman followed with a service winner, then Roddick netted a return to take it to a tiebreaker.
Roddick began it with a double fault, and got his only point when Henman’s forehand was wide on the second point. Henman simply outplayed Roddick — who looked increasingly frustrated — in the third set.
As he did throughout the match, Henman sent Roddick scrambling with well-placed groundstrokes in the tiebreaker, then came forward to volley for winners.
“When I was returning, he’d stay back, take the first forehand, kind of bully it to one of the corners, then come in,” Roddick said.
Henman, whose fastest serve was 127 mph to Roddick’s 143, had only two aces to Roddick’s 11. Henman won 52 points in 77 chances at the net while the 21-year-old Roddick, much better on the baseline, took 28 points in 46 approaches.
Roddick, who finished last year at No. 1, lost for the second time in a week. Vincent Spadea beat him in the semifinals at Scottsdale, Ariz., last Saturday.
Davenport passed her first real test of this Indian Wells tournament, trailing Dechy 6-5 and 0-40 in the second before beginning her comeback.
Davenport lost the final to Kim Clijsters last year after winning the title in 1997 and 2000.
She obviously would like another trophy.
“It would be great. One more match and hopefully that will come true,” she said. “But it’s still a long way to go.”
Davenport, ranked No. 4, is without pain for the first time in more than two years. She was hampered in 2003 by a toe ailment that was corrected by surgery in October.
Watching Rafa Nadal churn his way through the claycourt season over the past few weeks, it seems nothing much has changed since his French Open triumph a year ago despite a lengthy injury layoff.
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