For just the third time in twenty-four meetings, Andy Roddick defeated Roger Federer. In an upset over the Swiss maestro, the two former #1’s battled out for two hours, going the distance. Two of the American’s three victories have now come in Miami (2008 QF, 2012 3rd round). Both players began with comfortable holds on their serves, and it led to a tiebreak. A shaky overhead by Federer kept a ball in the middle of the court and an easy target for Roddick to put away, earning the mini break. That would be all the American would need to serve out the first set tiebreak.
Federer stormed back in the second set, immediately breaking at 1 all, and breaking twice more, to race toward clinching the second set 6-1. However it was early in the third set, where Andy Roddick described his play as “one of the best return games I ever played.” Roddick played with extreme aggression, giving the sellout crowd flashbacks to 2003. After breaking Federer, he held his serve to the end, as he closed out the match with his signature serve. Game, set, match, Roddick. 7-6 (4) 1-6 6-4. Upon victory, Roddick raised his arms, his racquet, pointed to the sky, in remembrance and tribute to his agent, the late Ken Meyerson, who passed away last October.
With the loss, Roddick snapped Federer’s 16 match win streak. The Swiss maestro’s record for 2012 is 23-3, and 40-3 since the 2011 US Open.
Afterwards, both players reflected on the match.
Federer – “I had my chances. I thought Andy did well to get the first, and then to put me in the situation I guess in the third. I could have been up a break early in the third, but he did well also to fight off those break points. He served really well.
“I think he had a good overhead. 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.”
Roddick – “It was kind of a game of chess. I stayed back on the returns, which is something I have not done with him often early on. I think he might have been a little bit surprised by it. He made the adjustment like he does because he’s Roger. He started coming in a lot and putting the pressure on me, and it was 6-1 in the second and 0/40 early in the third. It was apparent that that wasn’t going to work much longer.
“So 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.”
“I felt like I was a crazy person because I think I was having full dialogues with him (his agent Ken Meyerson, from Miami, who passed away last October) the last 30 minutes of the match,” Roddick said. “I was just letting him know that I heard him.”
Roddick on-court interview.
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