Nadal Tested; Federer, Roddick Set Meeting at Sony Ericsson Miami
Foes Roger Federer and Andy Roddick will resume their rivalry at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami after winning fourth round matches in straight sets on Tuesday.
Federer stopped the run of American qualifier Taylor “The Tank” Dent 6-3, 6-2, while Roddick tamed the flamboyant Frenchman Gael “Force” Monfils 7-6(2), 6-4.
Roddick beat Federer last year in Miami in three sets, but the Swiss holds a distinct 16-2 edge in their career head-to-head meetings.
Dent, ranked No. 467 in his comeback attempt from back surgery, was 0-8 in break point opportunities in one game alone in the first set against the Swiss. The big American’s first serve percentage let him down in crucial stages of the match.
Federer is still seeking his first title of 2009, with Roddick next standing in his way.
“I love playing against him,” said Federer of Roddick. “I played him at the Australian Open and played well against him there. He’s seems like he’s changed a couple of thing in his game, so should be a good match, I’m sure. I think on the big occasions I just have that extra gear that not many players have. So I feel like that’s an advantage, because of my talent, because of my experience. But in a match, best of three against a guy like Andy, it’s all to play for really. He’s always been dangerous. I’ve always respected him a huge amount.”
World No. 3 Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 21 seed Tomas Berdych.
“Nothing is easy in these stages of the tournament,” Djokovic said. “I’m playing a Top 20 player, and a player who has won against basically all the top players in this moment — so it’s never easy to play, on this surface especially.”
Djokovic will next face No. 10 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who outlasted countryman and No. 7 seed Gilles Simon 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2.
“I lost to Tsonga four times in a row, so he has a little advantage probably there,” said Djokovic of his next round. “But I think all the matches we played were very close. It’s going to be a challenge for me to win.”
In other results Tuesday, No. 4 seed Andy Murray steamrolled Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-0; No. 6 Juan Martin Del Potro topped No. 11 David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2; No. 8 Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco scalded No. 18 Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-2; and in the final night match, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal escaped a hot-handed No. 16 seed Stan Wawrinka 7-6(2), 7-6(4).
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