- Australian Open 2003 - Ailing Roddick sapped of energy
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Friday, July 18
Ailing Roddick sapped of energy

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Rainer Schuettler had too much energy for a tired and bruised Andy Roddick.

Rainer Schuettler
Rainer Schuettler is in his first final at a Grand Slam event.

Schuettler beat the ninth-seeded Roddick 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday in the Australian Open to advance to the final against three-time champion Andre Agassi.

Schuettler, the German seeded 31st, finished off the American in 2 hours, 19 minutes, breaking Roddick at love with a backhand down the line.

Roddick outlasted Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui 21-19 on Wednesday in the longest fifth set in Grand Slam tennis to advance to the semifinals. He injured his wrist during a fifth-set fall and consulted a tournament doctor before the match.

"I knew going out there it was sore. ... but it didn't get better,'' Roddick said. "I thought if the adrenaline started pumping -- it's a very strong thing -- but it just didn't happen.''

The 20-year-old American never considered retiring from the match.

"It was tough but I went out and tried my best,'' he said. "I wasn't going to pull out of another Grand Slam -- it wasn't going to happen.''

A hamstring injury forced him out of a third-round match against No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the 2001 French Open.

Agassi advanced Thursday with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory over South Africa's Wayne Ferreira.

Roddick struggled throughout his first semifinal in a major, but it didn't wreck his week.

"I can't complain about these two weeks. There have been a lot of special moments for me,'' he said.

After losing the first set, he had white strapping bound around a blue sweatband on his right wrist and then broke Schuettler twice to race to a 4-0 lead in the second. Roddick tied it at a set apiece with a service winner and again received treatment.

This time, a towel draped over his head to soak up the sweat, Roddick had anti-inflammatory gel rubbed into the wrist and new strapping applied.

Schuettler dominated the third set, working Roddick around the court, forcing him to run.

The German had chances on Roddick's serve in the second and fourth games but didn't break until the sixth, after the American crashed to the court.

Roddick tripped and fell over a plant box at the edge of the court, where he'd picked up an Elmo doll that had tumbled down from the bleachers, and fell behind 4-2 when Schuettler drilled a forehand winner on break point.

"Right now I'm really speechless,'' Schuettler said. "Sometimes you have a chance to realize a dream. You have to have dreams otherwise it's pretty boring.''

Schuettler's longest previous match in the tournament was 2:18 against Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian. The German got the benefit of a walkover into the fourth round when No. 3 Marat Safin withdrew because of a wrist problem.

In all, Schuettler had spent 7:53 on court in five matches, while Roddick had been on court for 13:55.

"He won the big points when he had to ... he played a smart match,'' Roddick said. "All credit, he deserves to be in the final.''

Roddick received treatment from trainer Bill Norris for his tired muscles and cuts and grazes on his hands and knees following his scrambling victory over El Aynaoui in 4:59.

The match finished at 12:47 a.m. Thursday, 1:50 after Roddick saved a match point at 5-4 in the fifth. The last set lasted 2:23.

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 Australian Open
Rainer Schuettler beat the ninth-seeded Andy Roddick 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
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