Miami, Apr 3 (DPA): The 2004 champion, Andy Roddick, fought back after losing the opening set to reach his second straight final at a Masters 1000 event with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Rafael Nadal in Miami Friday.
Less than a fortnight after losing to Ivan Ljubicic in the Indian Wells trophy match, Roddick was back at the business end of an event as he waited for a Sunday finals opponent from Swedish fifth seed Robin Soderling and Czech number 16 Tomas Berdych, conqueror of Roger Federer at Crandon Park.
Roddick will be playing in his fourth ATP final of the season. He has lost two straight (San Jose and Indian Wells) after starting the year with victory in Brisbane.
The American who grew up in South Florida received as much support as the popular Nadal in a packed stadium, with cheers of "An-dy, An-dy" filling the air at crucial points.
Roddick, seeded sixth, leads the ATP with 25 season victories following his first success over Nadal since a win in Dubai in 2008.
In the interim, the Spaniard has won matches at Queen's club, London, Davis Cup and Indian Wells a year ago.
Roddick held his nerve after dropping the first set, coming back to seal victory in just over two hours. The American earned the second set as he broke for 5-3 with a cross-court winner before serving to level.
In the third, Roddick went up a break in the third game with a return into the net. Roddick reached a match point six games later, which Nadal lost by a forehand return long.
The one-time number one hit 15 aces and 37 winners, converting on three of six break points. Nadal broke once and managed 29 winners.
The Spaniard is still searching for answers after winning his last title 11 months ago in Rome. Nadal came to the court with a 5-2 edge over Roddick and now stands 16-4 on the season.
Nadal has never won the Miami title, finishing runner-up in 2005 and 2008. Roddick's win was his 30th at the event.