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Roddick, Isner to meet in semi-finals of US Open tune-up

Roddick enjoys a 3-1 advantage in career meetings with Isner. — Reuters file picRoddick enjoys a 3-1 advantage in career meetings with Isner. — Reuters file picRALEIGH, North Carolina, Aug 26 — Andy Roddick and John Isner set up a mouth-watering semi-final between two big servers after the Americans won their respective quarter-final matches at the Winston-Salem Open yesterday.

Top-seeded Roddick crushed seventh seed Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-1 6-4 while fourth seed Isner recovered from a shaky start to beat eighth-seeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 1-6 6-3 6-4.

Roddick enjoys a 3-1 advantage in career meetings with the towering Isner but he predicted a tough encounter in the last four with his six-foot nine-inch compatriot.

“It’s just whoever can scrape a return back on a big point and hope that something good happens,” Roddick told reporters after keeping his US Open preparations on a smooth winning track.

“The biggest thing is you’ve just got to try and take care of your own serve. I don’t often go into a match with the second-best serve but that will be the case tomorrow.”

Roddick, whose build-up to the season’s final grand slam had been interrupted by an abdominal injury, is bidding to reach his third ATP World Tour final of the year.

Isner was delighted to turn his match around against Baghdatis, who will be his first-round opponent at the US Open starting at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

“It was the second time I’ve played him this summer and I’ve had good success,” said Isner. “For sure I don’t give any players rhythm because on my serve I’m keeping the points short.

“A lot of the guys like rhythm and Marcos is one of those guys. When he gets into a groove from the baseline, that’s when he plays well and has good results.”

Ninth-seeded Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, who upset fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the previous round, ended his golden run yesterday when he was beaten 3-6 7-6 6-2 by French qualifier Julien Benneteau. — Reuters