- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 16, 2006

12:28 p.m.

SHANGHAI, China (AP) — Andy Roddick was eliminated from the Masters Cup by defending champion David Nalbandian 6-2, 7-6 (4) this morning, enabling top-ranked Roger Federer to advance to the semifinal of the $4.45 million season-ending tournament.

Nalbandian advanced to the semifinal, and Federer later beat Ivan Ljubicic 7-6 (2), 6-4, extending his winning streak to 27 while improving to 15-0 in Masters Cup round-robin matches.

Federer, broken in the opening game, closed with an ace after breaking fourth-ranked Ljubicic once in each set. He is seeking his third Masters Cup title.

Roddick was philosophical about ending the season on two losses after climbing back into the Top 10 since Wimbledon. He was only one serve away from victory against Federer in an early-round match.

“I think two nights ago was a little bit more emotionally taxing than tonight,” he said. “It’s a downer, don’t get me wrong, but I can still take a lot of positives away from the last four months.”

Nalbandian, who upset Federer to win last year’s Masters Cup, said it was difficult to enjoy the win after learning that a young relative had died in an accident in Argentina.

“It was terrible [but] I can do nothing from here,” he said. “I try to push as hard as I can on the court.”

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