Ginepri makes surprise run to RCA Championships final

July 23, 2005 08:00 PM
Robby Ginepri celebrates his win over Karol Beck in the semifinals of the RCA Championships© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Robby Ginepri came to the RCA Championships trying to jump start his career. Now he's on the verge of winning his second career title.

On Saturday, the unseeded Georgia native followed the same plan that helped him upset two-time defending tournament champion Andy Roddick -- stay calm, serve well and fight back. Ginepri rallied from a one-set deficit for the second straight day, this time taking out 10th-seeded Karol Beck 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

"I was really pleased with my will to fight today,'' Ginepri said. "After a big win last night and being down a set, I was just trying to stay positive. Good things happen when I stay positive.''

It's the first time Ginepri has reached an ATP final since winning at Newport, R.I., in 2003.

To earn another title, Ginepri now must beat American Taylor Dent, the fourth seed, in the RCAs first all-American final since 1992. Dent beat seventh-seeded Greg Rusedski 6-4, 6-4. No unseeded player has ever won the title in Indianapolis.

Ginepri hopes to change that after a week full of surprises.

He's already beaten four of the top 10 seeds -- Beck, Roddick, No. 8 Vincent Spadea and No. 9 Paradorn Srichaphan. The wins over Roddick and Beck, who is from the Slovakia, were firsts for Ginepri.

Against Beck, Ginepri won the service battle -- getting 65 percent of his first serves in compared with 54 percent by Beck, committed just one double fault and won 60 percent of the points on his second serve.

"On the important points, he made great shots and he also served very well,'' Beck said. "He stayed calm and was playing great, and when he's doing that it's tough to beat him.''

Still, the match didn't follow Ginepri's script.

Beck dominated early, forcing Ginepri to move around more and lunge at shots on a warm day. Rain forced a 53-minute delay just 21 minutes into the match.

When play resumed, Ginepri fought back from a 15-40 deficit to avoid one service break but Beck cashed in on his next chance, hitting a forehand winner down the line to close out the first set.

"The rain really didn't bother me, but I would have liked it not to rain because after the delay, I didn't really seem to have a good rhythm,'' Ginepri said.

Early in the second set, Ginepri turned things around. He got his first service break in the fifth game of the second set, when Beck lost on an unforced error. He followed that by winning the longest game of the match, winning on his sixth game point when Beck's shot sailed long. He broke Beck again and closed out the set by staying on serve.

The turning point came late in the third set. With the set tied at 3, Beck began wearing down. He opened the critical game with a double fault and lost another point when the ball hit the tape and dropped down on his side of the net. It ended when Beck double faulted again.

"There was only one game where I served very bad,'' Beck said. "It was a bad game for me and he took it.''

Ginepri didn't lose again.

He won all four points in his next service game, then closed out the match with another service break when Beck's backhanded drop shot landed in the net.

"I'm playing better, I know more about my game and I'm smarter on the court,'' Ginepri said. "I'm making better decisions, and I'm really glad to be here.''