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Federer upset in Rome

May 9, 2008 at 8:25 PM

ROME, May 9 (UPI) -- Radek Stepanek surprised Roger Federer in two sets at Friday's quarterfinals of the men's Masters Series tennis tournament in Rome.

The match went to tie-breaks in both sets, with Stepanek -- ranked 27th in the world -- beating the top-seeded and world No. 1 Federer 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7).

It was the Czech's first win against Federer since 2002.

In the second set, Stepanek served at 4-2 and 5-3 and Federer went on to fail to qualify for a final for the sixth time in seven tournaments.

"You have to get him on a day when he is so-so," the 29-year-old Stepanek said. "But I'm happy with the win. There is no better win than to beat No. 1 player in the world."

Stepanek advanced to a semifinal match Saturday against third-seeded Novak Djokovic, who was dismantling Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 1-0 when the Spaniard retired with a right wrist injury.

In other quarterfinal action Friday, sixth seed Andy Roddick beat No. 14 Tommy Robredo 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), advancing to a semifinal match against qualifier Stanislas Wawrinka, who upset eighth-seed James Blake 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

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