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Roddick, Fish get to semifinals at UCLA

Special to The Times

The owner of the world’s fastest serve used that weapon to storm through his quarterfinal match Friday as Andy Roddick beat Marc Gicquel, 6-3, 6-2, in the Countrywide Classic at UCLA.

Roddick broke his own record with a 155-mph serve in 2004, but Friday his serve was not about his speed but his accuracy as he won 79% of the points on his first serve and did not double fault.

“Between the shoulder and the neck I haven’t done a whole lot of serving,” Roddick said. “I had a decent rhythm on it tonight, and I think more importantly I cut down on the double faults from last night.”

After Roddick and Gicquel held serve to 4-3 in the first set, Roddick broke Gicquel and then held his serve at love in the final game to take the set. In the second set, Roddick broke Gicquel on three of his four service games while facing only one break point on his serve, winning the set in 32 minutes.

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“The second set was probably the first good set I’ve played in four months or so,” Roddick said. “I felt like I clicked in and the ball started doing what I wanted.”

Roddick and Gicquel had met once before, in the first round of the Australian Open, where Roddick triumphed 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

This time Roddick felt a strong backhand may have thrown off Gicquel.

“I felt like I was winning the cross-court backhand rallies which really put the onus on him,” Roddick said. “He couldn’t win those rallies so that meant he had to come up with something different, which maybe put him out of his comfort zone a little bit.”

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With the win, Roddick moves on to the semifinals, where he will face unseeded Denis Gremelmayr of Germany tonight.

Gremelmayr advanced by dispatching fifth-seeded Marat Safin, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The other semifinal will pit third- seeded Juan Martin Del Potro, who beat Amer Delic, 7-6 (6) 6-2, against sixth-seeded Mardy Fish, who beat Florent Serra, 6-4, 6-4.

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Featured matches

Today at UCLA (play starts at 1 p.m.):

Juan Martin Del Potro (3) vs. Mardy Fish (6).

Not before 7:30 p.m.:

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Andy Roddick (1) vs. Denis Gremelmayr.

Igor Kunitsyn/Marat Safin vs. Travis Parrott /Dusan Vemic


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