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Roddick withdraws in Memphis; Haas Upset
Updated: 2005-02-20 09:11

Andy Roddick tested his sprained left ankle, then withdrew from his semifinal Saturday at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, hoping to be healthy enough for the first round of the Davis Cup in two weeks.

Roddick was supposed to face Kenneth Carlsen, who advanced to his first ATP Tour final since 2002.

Andy Roddick serves during the Australian Open in Melbourne. Roddick needed two tiebreakers to edge a battling Robby Ginepri and reach the semi-finals of the ATP Tour tennis tournament in Memphis. [AFP]
Now Carlsen will face eighth-seeded Max Mirnyi, a 7-5, 6-3 winner against No. 2 Tommy Haas.

Roddick, the world's No. 3 player, knew that he had a great chance to win a second title in two weeks, with just Carlsen (ranked 87th) and Mirnyi (39th) left in the field. But the 2003 U.S. Open champion decided about two hours before his match that he couldn't risk further injury with the United States facing Croatia on March 4-6.

Especially not with Andre Agassi joining the team for the first round.

"Obviously, with Andre on board, and the (doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan) playing as well as they are, I feel we have as good a shot as anyone," Roddick said. "I have to do that. The repercussions of this injury wouldn't just affect me. It would affect my teammates and playing for my country as well."

ATP trainer Bill Norris said Roddick had a sprain that reached the middle of his foot, which would not hold up in competition.

Roddick's decision surprised Carlsen. He now has a chance for his third career title and first since his last appearance in a final, at Tokyo in 2002.

"With my ranking, it's very good for me to get those points. It helps me a lot. But again, it would be nicer to have gotten it, what can you say, the right way instead of just have it handed to you," Carlsen said.

In women's play, third-seeded Meghann Shaughnessy was scheduled to play top-seeded and defending champion Vera Zvonareva in the championship of the Cellular South Cup on Saturday night.

Mirnyi and Haas played Saturday morning because Roddick was scheduled for the prime afternoon slot for television.

Haas had been broken only once this week, but he struggled with his serve, especially his second serves. He double-faulted six times and won only nine of 21 points on his second serve.

"I wasn't sharp enough," Haas said. "I don't want to use any excuses. I've never played a semifinal match before at 10:30."

Haas and Mirnyi are products of the Bollettieri Tennis Academy, and Haas had won their first seven ATP matches, including a three-set victory last week in the quarterfinals at San Jose. Haas said he should have lost that match.

Mirnyi didn't waste his opportunity this time. Serving 11 aces, including one at 140 mph, he reached his first final since Rotterdam in 2003, He won 88 percent of his first serves and overpowered Haas.

The match ended when Haas hit a backhand that looked like it might have gone over the net but instead went through a hole. The umpire didn't make a ruling until after both men walked toward the net to start shaking hands.

"It's good to get that win over him," Mirnyi said.

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