Roddick lives to fight another day
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:37
Well, you can’t say we don’t pick ‘em. Roddick versus Hewitt, tennishead’s match of the day, was indeed the best of the men’s quarter-finals – a five-set thriller that swung back and forth before Roddick finally edged ahead of the Australian to take it 6-3 6-7(10) 7-6(1) 5-7 6-4.
The match fell just short of the four-hour mark as the former champion and two-time finalist slugged out a gripping encounter for a semi-final showdown against British No.1 Andy Murray.
Hewitt got off to a poor start, double-faulting to hand Roddick an early break. It was all the invitation the American needed, as he produced another blistering service display to claim the first set in just 27 minutes.
The second set was a much tighter affair – and the ensuing tie-break was much, much tighter. It took 22 points to before Hewitt finally pipped the two-time finalist, who had seen three set points of his own pass him by.
The third set also went to a tie-break, but this time Roddick dominated, dropping just one point as Hewitt struggled with a left thigh injury. It looked like the beginning of the end for the Australian, especially when he fell a break behind at the start of the fourth set.
But Roddick made too many unforced errors as the Australian adapted to cope with his hampered movement, keeping rallies as central as possible to prevent Roddick running him around the court.
It worked too, as Hewitt broke back twice to nick another set and take it to a deserved decider.
Things were no less tense in the fifth, but when it mattered Roddick was in better shape to take his chances. The No.6 seed got the breakthrough in game nine, forcing more errors out of Hewitt to move 5-4 ahead.
As you might expect fro a Hewit encounter, it wasn’t over yet. Bad-tempered and drained, Roddick gave the Australian a sliver of hope at 30-30.
But the American’s big serve brought him to match point, and when Hewitt made an ill-advised foray into the net Roddick sealed victory.