The semifinals of the Memphis Regions Morgan Keegan Championships Saturday will feature a clash of former US Open champions, top seed Andy Roddick and wild card Juan Martin del Potro, along with fourth-seeded seed Mardy Fish and Canadian phenom Milos Raonic.
In play yesterday, Roddick won his sixth straight over rival Lleyton Hewitt beating the Australian in three sets. Del Potro eased by Michael Russell in straight sets while Raonic went three to oust Robert Kendrick.
Fish eliminated the hopes of Sam Querrey’s bid to repeat at Memphis.
Fish is appearing in the semis for the third time (2004, ’07) and he’s playing in Memphis for the 11th straight year. The 29-year-old American has a 15-10 career mark in Memphis. Raonic is making his semifinal debut here and the 20-year-old Canadian has made the biggest jump in the Top 100 ATP Rankings from last year, climbing from No. 156 at the end of 2010 to a career-high No. 59 this week. He will break the Top 50 (around No. 45) next week.
“My return is one of the best parts of my game,” Fish said. “I’ve played some big servers in my career. He’s going to hit his aces and serve well, but you can’t get discouraged about it.
“I’ve got more experience than him, but he’s got all the momentum in the world right now.”
Raonic, who leads the tournament with 74 aces this week, is off to an 11-2 start this season and he’s trying to reach his second straight ATP World Tour final. Last week in San Jose he captured the title (d. Verdasco) without dropping a set.
He and Fish have never played.
“I’m very proud of my performance here,” Raonic said. “It has been tough after having such an amazing week in San Jose to keep my level up, but it’s something I can overcome. I’ve been working a lot on my fitness and doing the right things after matches.”
In the second semifinal, del Potro, who has not lost his serve this week, takes a 3-0 career mark against Roddick – But the last two meetings did go the distance, with the Argentine winning 7-5 and 7-6 in the third set, respectively.. This will be their first indoor meeting and first match-up since August 2009 when the Delpo prevailed in the semifinals of the in Montreal. Roddick holds a 32-7 career mark in Memphis and he’s appearing in his sixth semifinal (4-1).
Roddick is also seeking his 50th career ATP final. The 22-year-old del Potro is appearing in his second straight semifinal after reaching the semis last week in San Jose where he lost to Verdasco 64, 64.
“It’s going to be a very, very tough match for me,” del Potro said. “I will try to beat him. I’ve beaten him every time, but tomorrow will be a different match. I think it will be a very good match for the fans and hopefully I will win.
“I’m very glad to work through to the semis… I like this country a lot. I’ve won many tournaments. My best memories in my life are in this country. I want to thank the tournament director for giving me a wild card.”
The Marseille semifinals today pit Marin Cilic vs. Mikhail Youhzny followed by Robin Soderling vs. Dmitry Tursunov. Rain has put Buenos Aires a day behind in the schedule with quarterfinal play Saturday.
At WTA Dubai, returning No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki defeating Jelena Jankovic to book her spot in the finals where she’ll await the winner of Flavia Pennetta and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
STADIUM start 11:00 am (noon ET)
 M Fish (USA) vs [WC] M Raonic (CAN) – ATP
 M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) vs  M Knowles (BAH) / M Mertinak (SVK) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM (4pm ET)
 A Roddick (USA) vs [WC] J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
 E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) vs K Anderson (RSA) / A Fisher (AUS) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
M Rybarikova (SVK) vs  R Marino (CAN) – WTA Singles Final
 A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) vs  O Govortsova (BLR) / A Kudryavtseva (RUS) – WTA Doubles Final
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