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It's Federer vs. Roddick

TORONTO, AUG. 1. Andy Roddick advanced to the final of the Tennis Masters Canada with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Nicolas Kiefer of Germany on Saturday, setting up a rematch of his Wimbledon final against Roger Federer of Switzerland.

Earlier, Federer extended his unbeaten streak to 22 matches with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Thomas Johansson of Sweden.

Both Roddick and Kiefer had a hard time converting break opportunities in the first set. Kiefer had a triple-break point in the fifth game but Roddick used his cannon-like serves to come back with five straight points. Roddick later had two set points but Kiefer came back to tie it at 5.

Roddick hit four consecutive aces to go up 6-5 and then broke Kiefer's serve to take the set. Roddick got another break to take a 4-2 lead before closing out the match in about 90 minutes.

In the early match, Federer rallied from a sloppy first set that included several unforced errors and came out strong in the second, breaking Johansson to take commanding 4-1 before closing it out.

Johansson was on the defensive the rest of the way as Federer overpowered him with timing and finesse.

Federer hasn't lost since dropping a third-round match to Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten at Roland Garros. He improved his match record to 56-4 on the season, including 28-2 on hard courts, which includes Federer's win over Roddick at Wimbledon.

The 29-year-old Johansson won the title at Toronto in 1999, and entered with a world ranking of No. 59.

Indian duo in fine form

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi continued their good run and made the doubles final of the $2.56 million Masters series tennis tournament in Toronto, Canada.

The eighth-seeded Indian pair beat the fourth-seeded Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and the Daniel Nestor of Canada 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 30 minutes, converting four of the six breakpoints that came their way.

There was a bit of drama as Leander was hit on the head by a shot from Nestor, who had won the Olympic gold in Sydney with Sebastien Lareau. Later, Nestor caught his own partner Knowles square on the head with a swinging forehand volley.

"It looks like Nestor had it in for everybody today, but it is fine now. It hurts a little but nothing too serious'', Leander was quoted as saying after the match.

"I think if anyone should have got hit out there it was me, the way I was playing'', Nestor was quoted by the tournament website.

The Indian duo will take on the second-seeded Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Max Mirnyi of Belarus in the final. Bjorkman and Mirnyi beat Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) in the other semifinal.

Mirnyi in partnership with Mahesh had won the title last year, while Leander and Mahesh had won the tournament as a pair in 1997, the year when they took the world by storm.

Third straight final

At Carlsbad, French Open champion Anastasia Myskina outlasted fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 to reach the final of the $1.3 million Acura Classic.

Third seed Myskina now meets American Lindsay Davenport, who earlier in the day stormed into her third successive final by overcoming Russia's Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-4.

Davenport, the fourth seed, beat Serena Williams last week to win the JP Morgan Chase title and Venus Williams to clinch the Stanford title the previous week.

Davenport hurt her right knee in the second set but believes she will be fit for the final.

The results (semifinals):

At Toronto (ATP Tennis Masters): Singles: Roger Federer bt Thomas Johansson 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Andy Roddick bt Nicolas Kiefer 7-5, 6-3. Doubles: Mahesh Bhupathi & Leander Paes bt Mark Knowles & Daniel Nestor 6-4, 6-4.

At Carlsbad (Acura Classic): Lindsay Davenport bt Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-4; Anastasia Myskina bt Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (15). — Agencies

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