Injured Roddick misses out on Murray final

Andy Roddick feels his ankle injury before retiring from his semifinal against fellow-American James Blake.
Second seed Andy Roddick is forced to retire with an ankle injury during the first set of his Queen’s Club semifinal against fellow-American James Blake, meaning he misses out on a final showdown against British top seed Andy Murray.

Roddick, who was bidding for a record fifth title at the London grass-court tournament, injured his right ankle when he slipped at the back of the court in the fourth game of the first set. He eventually called for treatment three games later and resumed only after having his ankle and foot heavily bandaged. However, Roddick was clearly still in some discomfort as he served in the next game and decided to take the safety-first option with Wimbledon starting in just nine days. Blake, beaten in the 2006 Queen’s final by Lleyton Hewitt, admitted he did not take much pleasure from this victory. Speaking after the match, Blake said: “It was unfortunate but Andy is such a great player and he doesn’t want to endanger the injury anymore. He normally moves so well and you could tell this wasn’t the same Andy Roddick.” Meanwhile, Murray swept into his first-ever Queen’s final with a ruthless 6-2 6-4 win over unseeded Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero.

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Murray is bidding to become the first Briton to win the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event since Bunny Austin in 1938. The world number three has not dropped a set in four matches and, in reaching his fifth ATP Tour final this year, he also becomes the first British finalist here since Tim Henman in 2002. “I felt it was a good match. I started well but the second set was very close,” Murray said in a courtside interview after the match. “I’m obviously happy to win in two sets. I was very happy with the way I played all round. “I didn’t have the easiest draw so it’s been a good week all around and hopefully I can finish it off on Sunday,” added the Scot. Meanwhile, in women’s action, Maria Sharapova crashed out in the semifinals of the Birmingham grass-court event, beaten in straight sets by China’s Li Na. Russian Sharapova had been bidding for a third victory in the tournament, after winning in both 2004 and 2005, but went out 6-4 6-4 in a match lasting 90 minutes. Fourth seed Li, the highest-ranked player left in the competition, will face Magdalena Rybarikova in the final, after the 13th-seeded Slovakian beat Indian Sania Mirza 3-6 6-0 6-3.