Roddick Blows Huge Lead to Exit Wimbledon

Posted on July 7, 2007

Andy Roddick looked to be on cruise control up two sets and a break Friday against Richard Gasquet in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, but the mercurial Frenchman's game came on-line and Roddick quickly went from a potential meeting with Roger Federer to exit-stage-left in a 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(3), 8-6 loss.

"It's tough when you double your winners to unforced errors and lose," said Roddick, who Wimbledon officials were placing on suicide watch after the American made a zombie-like appearance in his post-match interview. "I'd love to make you try to understand what it feels like in the pit of your stomach right now, but I don't know if I can do that."

Beginning in the third set the French shot-maker's groundstrokes finally began to find their mark while Roddick, who entered the match with an 18-consecutive tiebreak streak, saw his fearsome demeanor overwhelmed by the Frenchman's surge of confidence.

"When I play good with my serve and my backhand I am really dangerous," Gasquet said.

Also into the semifinals Friday were world No. 1 Roger Federer who subdued No. 20 Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-1, 6-3; world No. 2 Rafael Nadal who watched No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych unravel 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-2; and No. 4 Novak Djokovic who staged an amazing fifth-set comeback with a back injury against No. 10 Marcos Baghdatis, topping the Cypriot 7-6(4), 7-6(9), 6-7(3), 4-6, 7-5.

"This is the best tennis I played in my life," said Djokovic after the five-hour win that will undoubtedly leave him hurting for his Saturday meeting against Nadal. "These six months have been incredible for me."

Nadal will be a heavy favorite to again meet Federer in the final.

"I had to concentrate with the movement because the ball was very difficult to touch," Nadal said of the breezy conditions. "Today was very tough with the wind, but anyway I played very good."

Nadal leads Djokovic 4-1 in their career meetings, while Federer leads Gasquet 5-1.

"He's physically probably the most prepared player in the world," Djokovic said of Nadal. "We all know that. But I'll try to do my best to recover."