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Author`s name Alex Naumov

Andy Roddick to meet Roger Federer in final

Defending champion Andy Roddick set up aa final against top-ranked Roger Federer at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament with a 6-4, 6-4 win Friday over Scotland's Andy Murray.

Roddick has only one win in 13 ATP Tour matches against Federer, who is on an eight-match streak against the American.

Although the last match was close, Federer having to save three match points before winning their round-robin match at the season-ending Masters Cup in November.

There's nothing riding on the Saturday final at Kooyong, an invitation-only warmup for next week's Australian Open, but Roddick has no intention of wasting the chance.

"I'm going to go out there and try to win a tennis match," he said. "It's always nice to get a shot at Roger."

The main idea is to fine tune for the season's first major. The earliest Federer and Roddick could meet at the Australian Open is in the semifinals.

A win "would be great," Roddick said. "At the same time, I'm going to reiterate the fact that we're here for preparation and we're here to kind of get a feel and play some good tennis in a nice environment before the Aussie Open, the AP reports.

"I mean, let's say I do come out here and beat Roger tomorrow, I wouldn't come in here acting like a world beater — I'd probably have to do it on a bigger stage before you read too much into it."

Federer, bidding for a 10th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, skipped his regular season-opener at Doha this year and came straight to Melbourne.

He had a patchy start, coming within two points of a loss before beating Radek Stepanek on Wednesday, but had an easier time in a straight sets win over 2005 Australian Open champion Marat Safin in his second match to qualify for the final.

In matches in the relegation bracket, Radek Stepanek beat Ivan Ljubicic 6-2, 6-2 and Fernando Gonzalez continued Tommy Haas' winless run with a 6-4, 7-6 (8) defeat.

Source: AP

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