Roddick improves career record vs. Federer to 2-15
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Andy Roddick whacked one last thunderous serve to finally beat Roger Federer and then slowly walked to the net with his head down, as if unsure how to celebrate such a rare achievement.
With an almost flawless performance, Roddick ended a streak of 11 consecutive losses against his nemesis Thursday at the Sony Ericsson Open. Roddick dominated with his serve and took advantage of Federer's suddenly shaky play down the stretch to win 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
"I came in knowing that nobody has beaten me 12 times in a row," Roddick told the delighted capacity crowd afterward. "So I had that on my side."
He improved to 2-15 against Federer, who came into the tournament hoping to quell talk that his game is in decline. Slowed by mononucleosis early in the year, the top-ranked Federer has yet to reach a final in 2008, making this his worst start since 2000.
"I am just sort of disappointed not to see my name playing in the finals," Federer said. "I think I have the game to obviously be there."
To beat Federer for the first time since 2003, Roddick had to be at his best, especially down the stretch. He fell behind 0-30 serving at 3-3 in the final set but then won the next 11 points, five of them thanks to unforced errors by Federer.
Twice during the stretch Federer shanked shots.
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"I figure I was due," Roddick said. "He hadn't missed a ball in a crucial moment for about six years against me. I figured the law of statistics had to come my way eventually."
Federer lost serve at love to fall behind 5-3, losing the only break point he faced in the match. Roddick closed out the victory with a 140-mph service winner, and he served well throughout, hitting 18 aces -- including two in the tiebreaker.
That helped him end a streak of 10 consecutive sets lost against Federer.
"I always said it's tough to play against Andy -- you know, that serve," Federer said. "He's always going to have a chance. That's why I'm quite amazed about my record against him."
Roddick improved to 1-0 against Federer since his recent engagement to swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, who watched from the stands.
"Being happy and content off the court is only going to help in my mind," Roddick said.
Seeded sixth, he's two rounds from his second Key Biscayne title.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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