HOUSTON: Fifth-seeded Tommy Haas downed top-seeded Andy Roddick in three sets to reach the semifinals of the ATP U.S. clay court championships here on Friday.

The German bounced back from the loss of the hard-fought first set to win 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-4.

Roddick fired 11 aces in the 2 hour 11minute match, but was broken four times, while he could only break the German's serve twice.

Haas is 2-1 in his semifinals so far this year. In January, he lost to World No. one Roger Federer in the final four at Doha.

In February, he beat Vince Spadea in Delray Beach. And later that month, he beat Julien Benneteau in Memphis. In both Delray Beach and Memphis he went on to win the title.

In the semifinals of the $380,000 tournament, Haas will meet American Mardy Fish, a 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2 winner over Spadea.

Fish, who is coming back from a wrist injury that sidelined him for much of last year, will be playing in his first ATP semifinal since June 2004.

In the bottom of the draw, seventh-seeded American Paul Goldstein posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Albert Montanes of Spain. He advanced to a semifinal meeting with Austrian Jurgen Melzer, who beat Spain's Fernando Vicente 7-5, 6-4.

Commanding victory

At the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne beat seventh-seeded Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-1.

The top-seeded Henin-Hardenne next plays third-seeded Patty Schnyder, while carrying an unbeaten 14-match winning streak in Charleston. "It's great, but tomorrow is another day, another situation and another good opponent," Henin-Hardenne said.

Schnyder won 6-0, 6-3 over France's Nathalie Dechy, who committed 33 unforced errors.

Nadia Petrova, seeking back-to-back WTA Tour titles, will play her doubles partner Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the semifinals.

The second-seeded Russian earned a commanding 6-2, 6-0 victory over unseeded Colombian Catalina Castano on Friday to set up a clash with the in-form 20-year-old Groenfeld.

The hard-serving German, seeded sixth, survived 13 double-faults to triumph 6-3, 7-6 over fourth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Petrova needed only 61 minutes to oust Castano.

``I really dominated my games,'' said Petrova, who won last week at Amelia Island. ``I had everything in my hands.

Petrova is 3-1 against Groenefeld in singles competition, but they have not met so far in 2006.

Groenefeld, who will be playing in her first Tier I semifinal, has won 14 of her last 17 matches on tour.

Kuznetsova has played this week with a heavy wrap over a hip abductor strain that forced her to retire during a semifinal last week at Amelia Island and she has also been putting ice packs on her right elbow after matches.

The results: At Houston (U.S. men's claycourt championships): Quarterfinals: Tommy Haas bt Andy Roddick 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-4; Mardy Fish bt Vince Spadea 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2; Juergen Melzer bt Fernando Vicente 7-5, 6-4; Paul Goldstein bt Albert Montanes 6-3, 6-4.

At Charleston (WTA Family Circle Cup): Quarterfinals: Nadia Petrova bt Catalina Castano 6-2, 6-0; Anna-Lena Groenefeld bt Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 7-6(4); Justine Henin-Hardenne bt Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-1; Patty Schnyder bt Nathalie Dechy 6-0, 6-3. Agencies

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