Roddick to face Stepanek in Brisbane final

SYDNEY (Reuters) - American Andy Roddick recovered from a slow start to beat Tomas Berdych 1-6 6-3 6-4 on Saturday and join defending champion Radek Stepanek in the men's singles final at the Brisbane International.

Stepanek had earlier cruised into Sunday's championship decider with a 6-2 6-1 win over Frenchman Gael Monfils but Roddick was made to work much harder to prevent an all-Czech final.

"I didn't feel I played that badly in the first set, he just started so well," Roddick said.

"The biggest part of the match for me was the first few games of the second set. I just wanted to make sure I stopped his momentum."

Berdych raced through the opening set in just 34 minutes after twice breaking Roddick's serve but failed to achieve the feat again for the remainder of the contest.

Roddick took the second with an early break then broke Berdych again late in the third before serving out the match after more than two hours on the Pat Rafter center court.

"I like to confuse and conquer sometimes," Roddick said.

Stepanek needed just an hour to book his place in the final after Monfils was troubled by a shoulder problem.

"Before the match I decided not to kill my shoulder," Monfils said.

"It has been 10 days of pain now. Maybe I need two or three days off without tennis, hopefully it will be much better."

Stepanek, now in his 15th season on the professional tour, had little sympathy for the Frenchman's woes.

"I think I also broke him mentally. Mental toughness, that's 80 percent of the game.

"I am experienced, physically fit and playing a different game to the others, that is my advantage."

Kim Clijsters was due to face her fellow Belgian in Saturday's women's singles final.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by John O'Brien)