Murray to face Blake in Queen''s final

LONDON: Andy Murray reached his first grass-court final Saturday, while Andy Roddick''s quest for a fifth title at Queen''s Club ended when he had to retire against James Blake with a foot injury.

Murray beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 6-4 in their Aegon Championships semifinal, before Roddick had to quit at 4-4 in the first set of his match against Blake.

Roddick said the right-foot injury did not seem serious and hoped to be fit for Wimbledon, which starts June 22.

``I''m going to do everything I can to play at Wimbledon,'''' Roddick said. ``We''re scheduled to get it looked at again tomorrow and do some scans on it and see where we''re at, but initial tests showed the stability was OK. ... I''m not walking in here saying Iím going to be out six weeks or anything like that. We''re looking at days, not weeks.''''

Roddick, a four-time champion here, sustained the injury in the third game after running back on a lob from Blake. After failing to hit the ball between his legs, Roddick stumbled on the edge between the grass court and surrounding concrete.

His ankle and foot were taped after Blake had held serve for 4-3,but he retired after the next game.

``I was just going back after I hit the shot, and there''s a difference in height between where the grass court ends and where the concrete goes, and I just unfortunately stepped at a bad angle,'''' he said. ``It kind of just twisted a little bit. Running straight ahead I was all right _ side to side was suspect.''''

Blake said he understood why Roddick didn''t want to risk making the injury worse.

``It''s really unfortunate,'''' the sixth-seeded Blake said. ``The way he''s playing he''s got a chance to win Wimbledon, so he''s got to be really careful.''''

The top-seeded Murray is trying to become the first British winner of the pre-Wimbledon tournament since Bunny Austin in 1938.

Murray put Ferrero under pressure right from the start, breaking to lead 1-0 when his opponent netted a backhand.

Serving well and moving swiftly around the court, Murray then raced to a 5-1 lead, breaking a second time at 3-1 when a forehand from Ferrero clipped the net cord and landed long.

The second set was more competitive, as Ferrero saved five breakpoints in his first two service games to hold for 2-1. Murray eventually broke for a 4-3 lead after forcing Ferrero into a backhand error.

``I thought it was a good match,'''' Murray said. ``I served very well in the first set. The second set was very close with long rallies and close games and I was obviously happy to win in two sets. It was a very tough match.''''