Roddick, Fish Favorites in Los Angeles Semifinals

Posted on August 9, 2008

Top seed/World No. 9 Andy Roddick, No. 3 seed Juan Martin del Potro, No. 6 seed Mardy Fish and Denis Gremelmayr contest semifinals at the Countrywide Classic, a $475,000 ATP International Series hard court tournament, on Saturday. Two American players have reached the Los Angeles semifinals for the first time since 2002 (Agassi, Roddick, Gambill).

In the first semifinal on Straus Stadium from 1pm, fast-rising Argentine and No. 3 seed Juan Martin del Potro meets Florida resident and No. 6 seed Mardy Fish for the second time. Fish won their 2007 Memphis second round meeting 6-1, 7-6(9).

Del Potro, 19, has yet to drop a set on his Los Angeles debut this week. On Thursday he beat qualifier Andrea Stoppini 6-4, 6-2, followed by a 7-6(6), 6-2 semifinal win over qualifier Amer Delic on Friday.

Prior to this week he last reached an ATP hard-court semifinal at 2007 Adelaide (l. to Guccione).

The right-hander is on a 12-match winning streak and is attempting to reach his third career ATP final (2-0 in finals). He is currently a career-high No. 24 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on the back of winning back-to-back ATP titles in Stuttgart (d. Gasquet) and Kitzbuhel (d. Melzer).

Has also reached the ‘s-Hertogenbosch semifinals (l. to Ferrer) and Munich quarterfinals (l. to El Aynaoui) for a 21-8 record on the season (4-3 record on hard courts).

The 6’6” Tandil, Argentina, resident has a 6-4 lifetime against American opponents.

Fish, 26, is competing in Los Angeles for the fourth time. He has a 7-3 record, including a quarterfinal exit on his debut four years ago (l. to Saulnier).

The right-hander snapped a four-match losing streak with his first round win over Alejandro Falla on Monday, before advancing to the quarterfinals Wednesday with a 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-0 win over compatriot Vince Spadea. In the semifinals he beat Florent Serra 6-4, 6-4 on Friday.

The World No. 43 reached his 10th career final (2-8) at ATP Masters Series Indian Wells in March, posting wins over No. 4 Davydenko, No. 7 Nalbandian and No. 1 Federer (l. to Djokovic).

With a 22-17 record on the season (16-9 on hard courts), he also advanced to quarterfinals at Delray Beach (l. to Ginepri), San Jose (l. to Roddick) and Houston (l. to Hernandez).

He has a 12-5 career record against Argentine opponents.
In the second semifinal on Straus Stadium from 7:30pm, top seed and World No. 9 Andy Roddick of the United States challenges German Denis Gremelmayr for the first time.

Roddick, 25, is appearing in Los Angeles for the fourth time (7-3 record). Made debut in 2001 (l. to Safin in 1st RD), reached the 2002 semifinals (l. to Gambill) and 2006 quarterfinals (l. to Tursunov).

Appearing in his sixth ATP semifinal (or better) this year. This week beat lucky loser Dusan Vemic 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday and recorded a 6-3, 6-1 semifinal win over Marc Gicquel on Friday.

Has clinched ATP titles at San Jose (d. Stepanek) and Dubai (d. Lopez) this year, with semifinal exits at ATP Masters Series events in Miami (l. to Davydenko) and Rome (l. to Wawrinka), and Queen’s Club, London (l. to Nadal). Has a 30-8 record on the season (23-5 on hard courts).

Aiming to capture 26th ATP career title this week (25-13 lifetime in ATP finals).

He has an 18-11 lifetime record against German opponents (1-2 in 2008).

Gremelmayr, 26, defeated Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-2 in the 1st RD, followed by a 7-5, 7-5 win over No. 4 seed Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday and a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 5 seed Marat Safin Friday.

The 6’0” left-hander is attempting to reach his maiden ATP final.

This year he has reached ATP semifinals at Barcelona in April (l. to Nadal) and Estoril (l. to Federer) two weeks earlier (both on clay).

The World No. 89 has a 13-14 overall record in 2008 (6-5 on hard). His best win this season came over No. 8 James Blake 6-1, 6-4 in the 2nd RD in Barcelona.

The former World No. 59 (May 5, 2008) has a 3-4 career record against Americans (2-3 in 2008). (ATP Digital Services)