A raucous record crowd of 12,606 enjoyed Wednesday night tennis on Key Biscayne, turning the Sony Ericsson Open into the US Open for one night, cheering on Andy Roddick and Roger Federer as the two battled 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a contest going to the world No. 2 Swiss.
“It would have been easier if I had played terrible, but I gave it a go in the third,” said Roddick, who left the court quickly and was in a sour mood after again giving it his all and coming up short against Federer for the 17th time in 19 tries. “I just didn’t catch a break there. He had two very good let cords in the third, but at least it became a battle.”
Roddick squandered two break point chances on Federer’s serve at 3-3 in the third. Then with Roddick serving at 4-5 deuce, a Federer backhand passing shot hit the net and jumped over Roddick’s outstretched racquet. Federer hit another pass on match point to clinch victory.
“I enjoyed it,” Federer said. “It was a good match. Crowd really got involved. I think they wanted to see as much tennis as possible and down to the wire kind of stuff. It was an interesting match. I should have had it under control in the second set. Kind of lost that and was under quite a bit of pressure in the third set…When I get through those kind of tough matches, sometimes I go on to win the tournament and I don’t ever look back. I hope that’s what’s going to happen right now.”
In the afternoon quarterfinal, Novak Djokovic topped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-4, and will next face Federer.
“Roger, there’s not much to talk about him,” Djokovic said. “He’s so consistent on major events. He’s been so dominant the last couple of years.”
Federer takes a 7-2 career lead into his semifinal with Djokovic, and has won their last two meetings.
In today’s quarterfinals, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal faces Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, and Andy Murray squares off against Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco.
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