Tournament Coverage

Teenager Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina continued his winning streak by outplaying veteran Andy Roddick. His powerful groundstrokes and consistency gave del Potro his first ATP hard court victory. Last month he won two clay court titles in Stuttgart and Kitzbuhel.

del Potro now holds a 14-match winning streak, which is second-longest of this season behind only Rafael Nadal (32 consecutive wins).

del Potro is the first teenager to win the Los Angeles title since Pete Sampras in 1991. This win moves del Potro into a tie for 6th place with Nicolas Kiefer in the US Open Series.

By Steve Pratt

You couldn’t have asked for two more dominating semifinal performances Saturday at the 82nd annual Countrywide Classic as top-seeded Andy Roddick moved into his first Los Angeles final and will face perhaps the hottest player on tour in 19-year-old Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in today’s 1 p.m. final at UCLA.

Roddick, trying to win his third ATP title of the season, dropped just four games for the third consecutive night, needed just 62 minutes to beat unseeded German Denis Gremelmayr, 6-2, 6-2. Showing he’s more than worthy of a world top 20 ranking, Del Potro dismissed American Mardy Fish, 6-2, 6-1, in just 81 minutes for his 13th consecutive ATP match victory.

Bothered by nagging neck and shoulder injuries coming into the tournament, Roddick hasn’t unleashed his fastest serve here, but it’s been solid and consistent enough during the week. He has yet to lose a service game holding his serve all 24 times.

Fish was impressed with Del Potro’s game (he has the second-longest winning streak on tour this year, only behind Rafael Nadal’s 32 consecutive wins) and his size. “He’s shown that he can play on any surface,” Fish said after the match. “He’s 19 years old which is scary. He’s a big, big kid too. He moves extremely well, as well as anybody else. He’s got a big serve and not many weaknesses. The sky is the limit for him.”

Fans at UCLA aren’t the only ones looking forward to today’s final. Fish said he wouldn’t mind sticking around and watching. “It’s certainly going to be a good match to watch,” he said.

The former world No. 1 Roddick will be playing in his 39th career final today. He has a 25-13 record in final-day matches. Del Potro, currently ranked No. 23 in the world, holds a 7-4 record over Americans.

In the doubles final, India’s Rohan Bopanna and American Eric Butorac will face Travis Parrott of the U.S. and Dusan Vemic of Serbia. Bopanna and Butorac defeated Del Potro and Fabio Fognini 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-5 in one semifinal while Parrott and Vemic downed Russians Igor Kunitsyn and Marat Safin 7-5, 6-4.

Bopanna has lost all four ATP doubles finals he’s played in while Butorac will also be playing in his fifth ATP final (3-1) with all three wins coming last year with partner Jamie Murray. It will be a return trip to the final in Los Angeles for Butorac who lost to the Bryan twins here two years ago.

For questions or comments email Steve at steve@tennisnews.com

[1] Andy Roddick (USA) d Denis Gremelmayr (GER) 6-2 6-2
[3] Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) d [6] Mardy Fish (USA) 6-2 6-1

Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Eric Butorac (USA) d J del Potro (ARG) / Fabio Fognini (ITA) 7-6(4) 4-6 10-5
Travis Parrott (USA) / Dusan Vemic (SRB) d Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) / Marat Safin (RUS) 7-5 6-4

Andy Roddick - USA