Andy Roddick took his 600th ATP Tour match en route to the final of the AEGON International on Friday, making him part of an elite number players to have achieved this feat.
It was an action packed day on the men’s side of the singles draw, with both quarter and semifinals taking place across the day.
First up reigning champion Andreas Seppi was 7-5, 2-1 up, when Philip Kohlschreiber retired due to an ankle injury. He went on to face Ryan Harrison in the semifinals following a 7-6(5), 6-4 win for Harrison over Istomin.
In the other half of the draw Roddick made it through a tight quarterfinal against Fabio Fognini 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to set up a semifinal against Steve Darcis who defeated Marinko Matosevic in straight sets 6-2 7-6(4).
In the first of the semifinals Roddick appeared to have mastered the wind, and was sailing through his match 6-3, 3-1 when Darcis retired due to a back injury.
Talking of his match, Roddick said; “It was tough, some of the toughest conditions. You know you’re going to have some lucky points. There’s going to be some that you have no business losing.
“This week has worked out. Regardless of what happens, I’ll go into Wimbledon with some wins behind me and some confidence on a surface I’m very comfortable on, so I feel like I go my game back a little this week.”
Roddick will now face reigning champion Andreas Seppi after he took just one hour and fifteen minutes to defeat Ryan Harrison 7-5, 6-1. Roddick and Seppi have only met once before at the US Open in 2008, where Roddick won the match in straight sets.
The first of today’s windy women’s semifinals saw reigning AEGON International champion, Marion Bartoli, go down in a tough three set battle to Tamira Paszek 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in a match that lasted three hours and five minutes.
Bartoli, commenting after the match said; “It was a nightmare to play in those conditions. I felt like I got chances in every single game and ended up losing them.
“I really felt like I tried my hardest and there is not much I could have done better or try harder. On the other hand Tamira played really well. She deserved to win.”
Paszek, speaking of her win said; “It was very, very tough conditions. I had to try to keep moving, keep focus.
“It feels amazing (to be in the final). I love Eastbourne. It feels like home. It’s a pleasure coming back every year.”
Paszek will play in her first final here at the AEGON International against Angelique Kerber, who had a straightforward win 6-0, 6-3 over Klara Zakapolova, which in contrast took just one hour. This will be the first time Paszek and Kerber have played each other.
Talking about reaching the final, Kerber said; “It feels very good. I come here one week ago, and the plan was to have lots of matches before Wimbledon.
“For sure Tamira will try to win the final also, but I will be out there having fun. I mean, it’s my first time here, and it’s a big thing for me.”
Elsewhere at the AEGON International history was made in the men’s doubles, where for the first time ever, four British players reached the final of an ATP tournament. In the end it was Colin Fleming & Ross Hutchins who were victorious, beating fellow compatriots Ken Skupski & Jamie Delgado 6-4, 6-3.
In the GB v USA Junior Challenge Trophy there were singles victories for all five of the British players; Joshua Ward-Hibbert, Liam Broady, Peter Ashley, Luke Bambridge and Kyle Edmund, resulting in a 6-2 win against the USA after two days of matches.
Play at the AEGON International is scheduled to begin at 12pm on Saturday with the women’s final first up on Centre Court, followed by the men’s singles final and finishing with the women’s doubles final between Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond and Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.