Roddick derails Nadal's ambitions to reach Miami final

ANDY Roddick rallied to beat Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in their semi-final at the Sony Ericsson Open last night.

Roddick pressured Nadal with charges to the net, even coming in behind his serve. Roddick won 12 points at the net in the final set, finished with 15 aces and lost serve only once. The match turned when Roddick won the last 11 points of the second set, including a 143mph service winner on the final point.

The sixth-seeded Roddick advanced to the Key Biscayne final for the first time since winning the title in 2004. His opponent tomorrow will be the winner of the match between Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych.

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Soderling comfortably brushed aside Mikhail Youzhny to reach the semi-finals, winning 6-1, 6-4. Youzhny shocked the No5 seed by breaking his serve in the first game of the match but Soderling reacted in style, winning the next seven games to go a set and a game up. Neither player was particularly impressive on their serve in the second set and there were four successive breaks in the second set before Soderling broke Youzhny's serve for the sixth time and then served out for the match.

Kim Clijsters won an epic battle over compatriot Justine Henin in a thrilling all-Belgian clash to reach the women's final. The No14 seed took over two and a half hours to triumph over Henin 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (8/6) and book herself a final spot against Venus Williams.

Clijsters made swift work of the first set and seemed on course for victory when she took a 3-0 lead in the second. However, Henin rallied to ensure the match went to three sets.

The final set was a tense affair, with little to choose between either Belgian, and there was a rapid exchange of breaks with each losing out on their serve three times. The tie-break was as tight as the match before Clijsters eventually battled through to end Henin's hopes of reaching her third final of the year in her fourth tournament since coming out of retirement.

The pair are now level in head-to-head statistics, with each having won 12 matches.

Earlier, Williams extended her winning streak to 15 matches as she overcame Marion Bartoli in her semi-final. The third seed is gunning for her third consecutive title after winning in Dubai and Acapulco.

"I'm very pleased to be in the final, but it's not enough," said Williams, who served out the match to love. "I want to take the title."