Roddick knocked out at Wimbledon

Updated: June 28, 2010, 8:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

WIMBLEDON, England -- Three-time finalist Andy Roddick was stunned in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Monday by an 82nd-ranked Taiwanese player who hadn't won a match here the past four years.

The fifth-seeded American was ousted 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-7 by Yen-Hsun Lu in a match that lasted more than 4½ hours.

"It never gets easier," said Roddick, a three-time runner-up at Wimbledon. "Of course I'm going to be [ticked] off when I wake up tomorrow. I mean, if you got fired from your job, you probably wouldn't wake up the next day in a great mood."

Lu sealed the victory in the 16th game of the fifth set with his only service break of the match.

The 26-year-old Lu had lost in the first round at Wimbledon four straight times and failed to win a match at the past five Grand Slams.

He's the first Asian man to reach the quarterfinals of any Grand Slam since Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan did it at Wimbledon in 1995.

"Fifth set, I don't believe I can win, because he's [a] better server than me," Lu said. "But I just tell myself, 'Even [if] I don't believe, I have to fight."

Roddick had 38 aces, but converted only one of eight break point chances. Lu finished with 22 aces.

"I thought he served better than he has against me before," Roddick said. "That being said, I had shots. I didn't take advantage of them."

While Roddick went out earlier than expected, the last two Wimbledon champions, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, continued their collision course toward a rematch of their 2008 epic final with straight-sets victories on Monday.

Federer, the No. 1 seed, reached the quarterfinals at a 25th consecutive Grand Slam tournament by easily beating Jurgen Melzer, while top-ranked and second-seeded Nadal took a straight-sets victory over Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Lu next will face Novak Djokovic, who advanced along with No. 4 seed Andy Murray.

Before Monday, Lu was 9-18 in Grand Slam matches, 11-17 on grass and 2-10 overall against top-10 ranked players. It was his first win over a top-10 player since he beat Murray in the first round of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, has lost three times to Federer in Wimbledon finals, including last year's epic match that went to 16-14 in the fifth set. He had beaten Lu in straight sets in three previous meetings.

Roddick evened Monday's match by serving a 126 mph ace on the final point of the fourth-set tiebreaker, and had a chance for a decisive break in the fifth. But, on break point at 4-4, Lu came up with a perfect backhand volley and went on to hold serve.

Serving with Lu ahead 8-7, Roddick hit a forehand long at 30-all to set up match point. Lu converted by hitting a running forehand passing shot down the line.

"Through three sets I was playing horrendously, I mean really, really badly," Roddick said. "I was trying to think of how to put balls in the court. I think the fifth set was probably the best set that I played ... but when you dig yourself a hole, it's tough to get out."

Lu said he didn't believe he could win but told himself to keep fighting.

"I just told myself, 'If I can stay longer, longer, longer, then probably something happens,'" he said. "And finally then I waited for the last chance to close the match."

Lu, who held up a finger to the sky, dedicated the win to his father, a chicken farmer who died in 2000.

Lu's coach, Dirk Hordorff, said: "Sometimes he's mentally not strong enough. But today he showed he was strong enough."

Lu sat in his sideline chair, buried his face in a towel, and immediately thought of his late father, who used to take him to tennis lessons. After Lu became the first man from Taiwan to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam, his mother and brother went to the hill where his father is buried to give him the good news.

After Monday's victory, Hordorff told his charge: "Now your family can go again, and tell him that you're in the last eight."

Roddick, meanwhile, was left to stew about what has to be one of the most disappointing losses of his career, given the tournament, the round and the opponent.

"He deserved to win more than I did," Roddick said. "That's for sure."

[+] EnlargeFederer
Adrian Dennis/Getty ImagesRoger Federer earned his 25th straight trip to a Grand Slam quarterfinal with his win on Monday.

The top-seeded Federer, seeking his record-tying seventh championship at the All England Club, swept past No. 16 Melzer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in Monday's first match on Centre Court.

"I thought I played great," he said. "Aggressive right from the start."

Melzer was playing in Wimbledon's fourth round for the first time, but he did reach the semifinals at this month's French Open. Federer did not make it that far in Paris: He lost in the quarterfinals there to Robin Soderling, ending a streak of reaching the semifinals at a record 23 major tournaments in a row.

Federer's win over Melzer makes him 80-2 on grass since 2003. He's played in the Wimbledon final seven years in a row.

Nadal, who was forced into five sets in the previous two rounds, had little trouble with unseeded Mathieu, winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in 2 hours.

Nadal, the 2008 champion, has now won 11 consecutive matches at the All England Club. He hasn't lost at Wimbledon since the 2007 final against Federer.

Nadal had only nine unforced errors and conceded just 14 points on serve, while breaking his opponent five times.

He will face sixth-seeded Soderling in the quarterfinals. The Swede beat Nadal in the fourth round at the French Open last year.

Soderling advanced on Monday by defeating David Ferrer in five sets. The sixth-seeded Soderling ousted the ninth-seeded Spaniard 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the final eight at the All England Club for the first time.

Djokovic beat former champion Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a match that lasted almost 3 hours.

Djokovic, who also eliminated Hewitt in the fourth round in 2007, needed just a single break of serve to win each of the first two sets.

Leading 2-1 in the third set, Djokovic had a medical timeout for an abdominal muscle problem before the 15th-seeded Australian rallied to take the set.

Hewitt faced two break points to go down 3-0 in the fourth but fought back to even the set. He was then broken again in the ninth game, allowing Djokovic to serve out the match.

Djokovic's best Grand Slam performance came with the 2008 Australian Open title.

Murray also advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating American Sam Querrey in straight sets.

The fourth-seeded Murray took just over 2 hours to win 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the final eight for the third consecutive year. He is the only player in the men's draw who hasn't lost a set.

Murray served out the match after breaking Querrey in the ninth game of the third set.

Murray is seeking to become the first British player to win the men's singles title since 1936.

Murray was broken just once and was the steadier of the two players. He had only 16 unforced errors, compared with his opponent's 35.

Murray next faces 10th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a berth in the semifinals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.