Andy Roddick rallied from a set down and upset Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open The turning point for Roddick was late in the second set and then he continued his fine play and parlayed it into a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the two-time Sony Ericsson Open finalist Nadal, who showed very rare signs of frustration as the match slipped away.
Roddick's serve was the key as he fired 15 aces and won 47 of 55 points on his first serve to claim his first win in his past four meetings with Nadal. After reaching the Indian Wells final two weeks ago (l. Ljubicic), Roddick has advanced to consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals for the first time since 2003 (Montreal and Cincinnati), which led into his triumph at the U.S. Open.
Early in the match, playing from deep behind the baseline, Roddick was unable to put Nadal under pressure. But a change in mindset midway through the second set to go on the attack proved the difference. Nadal was clearly surprised by the change in tactics and Roddick started taking control of the points both at the net and the baseline.
Seemingly out of nowhere, with Nadal serving at 3-4 in the second set, Roddick broke the Spaniard to love after crushing three massive forehand winners. Then, continuing with his newfound attacking game plan, Roddick held to love in the next game to clinch the set. Roddick clipped 12 winners against just five unforced errors in the set.
Dating back to the Indian Wells final, in which Roddick lost two tie-breaks, the former world number-one ranked player has held 62 of his past 64 service games. Against Nadal, Roddick hit 37 winners to 25 unforced errors, with Nadal hitting 29 winners to 25 unforced errors.
Roddick, who won the Sony Ericsson Open title in 2004, improved to a 30-9 win-loss record at the event. In the final against either Robin Soderling or Tomas Berdych, Roddick will attempt to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title since August 2006 in Cincinnati.