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Stepanek outfoxes Roddick to reach final

CZECH Radek Stepanek beat top seed and defending champion Andy Roddick 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to reach the SAP Open final in San Jose, California, on Saturday.

The world No. 21, who lost to Roddick in last year's final, will meet another American, Mardy Fish, in the final.

Fish saw off compatriot and doubles partner James Blake 6-3, 6-2 in his semifinal.

Third seed Blake was hampered by an ankle injury and the pair later withdrew from their doubles semi.

"I didn't know he was that injured until the first game he served," Fish said.

Stepanek, who won in Brisbane last month, saved 10 of the 11 break points he faced against Roddick on his way to his first career victory in five meetings over the three-time San Jose champion.

"I lost so many matches against him and finally today, in such a magical place as San Jose, I finally did it," the 30-year-old Stepanek said.

In Rotterdam, the Netherlands, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal chalked up his 11th victory in a row on Saturday, defeating unwell Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final of the ABN Amro.

He next plays Britain's Andy Murray, who beat Croat Mario Ancic 6-1, 6-2.

Monfils is the only player to beat Spaniard Nadal this year in the Qatar Open quarterfinals last month.

"I feel sorry for Gael," Nadal said. "He did not play his best because of stomach problems and I was thinking more about him than myself.

"I saw him vomit when I went to the toilet after the first set. That disturbed my concentration."


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