A-Rod gets Federer’s number in Miami
Originally published on: 27/03/12 10:08
One of the most lop-sided rivalries in tennis has just got a trace more respectable. Defeated in 21 of his past 23 meetings with Roger Federer, Andy Roddick secured a scalp few expected, beating his long-standing nemesis 7-6(4) 1-6 6-4 in Miami to make it three wins out of 24.
It might have been the air of South East Florida – the American’s last scalp of the world No.3 came at Crandon Park in 2008 – or that he had a fresh plan of action for Federer after beating him in a friendly exhibition in Madison Square Garden earlier in the month. Perhaps even it was the extra emotion coursing through the Nebraskan’s veins that made the difference, for he was certainly thinking of his former Miami-based agent Ken Meyerson, who tragically died of a heat attack in October, when he pointed to the sky after his victory.
Whatever the cause for the win, it was a monumental effort from the world No.34, who won just one game in the second set and found himself 0-40 down early in the third but recovered his composure and settled on all-out attack. “I said, ‘Well, all right. Let’s kinda go over the top aggressive.’ I was able to get out of that game and play that really good game to break, and then my serve held up from there,” said Roddick.
The result brought an end to Federer’s 16-match unbeaten spell that had seen him pick up titles in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells as Roddick joined Rafael Nadal and compatriot John Isner as just the third person to beat the 16-time Grand Slam champion in 2012.
“I think he had a good overhead,” said Federer. “He played aggressive and clutch served when he had to. It was his credit. For me, it was obviously a tough loss. The one service game where I got broken, he really goes for it and it all works out.”
Federer has mastered Roddick in seven finals, four of which came at Grand Slams – at Wimbledon in 2004, 2005 and 2009 and the US Open in 2006. Their closest bout came in the four-hour-16-minute Wimbledon final in 2009 that saw the Swiss strike a remarkable 50 aces, almost double Roddick’s 27.