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Semifinal showdown in the desert

With no Roger Federer waiting in the wings, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick have a viable opportunity to earn their first title of the year. But first, they must get past each other.

Updated: March 17, 2007, 2:37 PM ET
By Matt Wilansky | ESPN.com

The maelstrom the world's top player, Roger Federer, caused with his early dismissal at the Pacific Life Open was a stunning turn of events. But for Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick -- who have been chasing his tail for over three years -- this tournament has taken on a very different dynamic.

While their ostensible reaction to Federer's dismissal was downplayed to an extent, it was quite transparent that the wide-open draw has given both players inner hope. Nadal and Roddick have each ...

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