In one of his biggest wins of this decade, Andy Roddick shocked the hot-handed Roger Federer last night at the Sony Ericsson Open 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 in the third round. Roddick, who had been mired in a slump all season, rallied late in the match behind a power surge to stun the Swiss.
Roddick was just 2-21 career against Federer entering the match. But Roddick secured his second win against Federer in Miami – he also beat Roger at 2008 Miami.
Roddick advances today to meet Argentine Juan Monaco in the fourth round. The American former No. 1 has twice won this the Miami title.
In Roddick’s presser, he spoke about his agent and Miami native, Ken Meyerson, who unexpectadly passed away last fall.
Q. You said something good was coming, you felt. Not a bad prediction.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I didn’t know if I meant this week, but, yeah, I mean, I have been feeling better and I have been feeling healthy. I have been running well the last you know, I went home after Palm Springs and got some good therapy in there and, you know, hit some tennis balls and practiced a bit.
I have had good practice sessions here this week, and tonight I, you know, played well when I had to.
Q. You still seem surprised yourself.
ANDY RODDICK: No, you know, you still have to come back tomorrow. You know, you don’t get to enjoy it for long. You know, the process starts now getting the body to recover after a late night and getting ready to go again tomorrow.
So as much as you want to kinda take it in, because obviously these wins are few and far between, you know, you do have to get ready.
Q. Roger said that tonight he played a No. 1 player in the world. Is that how you felt how you played?
ANDY RODDICK: How I played?
ANDY RODDICK: Um, yeah, I don’t know. I played well at times, for sure.
You know, that game I played the break in the third set was one of the best return games I ever played. I think I hit four forehand winners.
Gosh, even when I was serving it out, you know, the 4 All game I think or to go up 5 3 and then to close it out, I was in a little bit of a hole each time and I played good points.
You know, I was down 15 30 in that last game. You know, I’m pretty sure I made two out of three first serves, and, you know, he had a great pass. The next one, it was a 20 ball rally.
I was down 15 30 and I was thinking, Come on. Give me a break here. I played well tonight and I served really well there at the end.
Q. Your backhand, it was very solid tonight, and then you could just run around and your forehand was really on most of the time. Was that very reliable tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it was kind of a game of chess. I stayed back on the returns, which is something I have not done with him often early on. You know, I think he might have been a little bit surprised by it.
He made the adjustment like he does because he’s Roger. Started coming in a lot and putting the pressure on me, and it was, you know, down 6 1 in the second and Love 40 early in the third. It was apparent that that wasn’t going to work much longer.
So I said, Well, all right. Let’s kinda go over the top aggressive. I was able to get out of that game and play that really good game to break, and then my serve held up from there.
Q. Do you think it’s the best match you ever played against him?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, I played pretty good in that Wimbledon match; just different outcome. I held serve a lot more times that day. I would have won that one too if it was two out of three sets.
Q. Also, Roger mentioned that that game in the third set that you went, you know, to be 1 1 he thought was a crucial point in the match when you held. Did you find that, also?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, even in the second set I didn’t feel like I played terrible. I mean, I didn’t play that bad. The points he was coming up with you know, I missed a couple backhands, but it was the sixth or seventh ball that I had hit in each rally.
You know, certainly, you know, when he gets that lead he’s like a runaway freight train. That’s not really what you want to see.
So obviously down 6 1, if it would have been 2 0, the dynamic of the match would have been a lot different. You know, as it happened I was able to get out of that one and played a good game to break.
Q. Do you think he was tired at the end?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t think I haven’t seen Roger tired ever.
Q. You have now a positive record against Roger in this court.
ANDY RODDICK: That’s a stretch. I guess you could make numbers represent anything you want to, right? (Smiling.)
Q. Also, I saw you around the hotel today. Were you practicing on clay courts this morning?
ANDY RODDICK: No. There’s a sneaky little hard court down there at the end.
Q. Couple years ago when you won this tournament, you had a smashing match against Nadal, if you remember that one. Will this win spring you on to do something more this year?
ANDY RODDICK: You don’t know. I mean, 2008 I beat Roger and lost to Davydenko in the next round.
There’s no there is no script in sports, you know. I think that’s what makes it the best entertainment in the world. There is no script. You don’t know what’s gonna happen. It’s not planned.
Nights like tonight are why you play the matches. You don’t know what’s gonna happen.
It would be a little presumptuous to go from people retiring me to all of a sudden talking about winning a Masters event. You know, let’s take it for what it’s worth. It probably wasn’t as bad as it seemed two weeks ago, and it’s probably not all the way turned around because of one match.
Q. Can you talk about your reaction? After the match you were pointing up at the sky.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. My agent was from here and his wife was here. You know, I felt like I was a crazy person because I think I was having full dialogues with him the last 30 minutes of the match.
So, you know, I was just letting him know that I heard him and I was equally crazy tonight.
Q. What were your conversations with him like?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know. It was a little bit of a blur.
Q. The crowd was roaring for you. Were you aware of that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know how much I don’t know if it was all for me. At 15 30 I feel like they got really loud when I was trying to serve it out.
You know, as with any time you play Roger, he’s developed such a fan base. And side story, I you know, you’re around guys a lot, but The Garden event that we did three weeks ago was the first time Roger and I spent an entire day together doing stuff.
I’m amazed at the way he does every picture, every autograph. You know, I know what I deal with on a small scale, and it’s not what he does.
So, you know, you start to have an understanding why people are so fanatical about him. You know, I think the crowd anywhere cheers for him.
And probably in the USA it would have pissed me off not too long ago, but I fully get it now after seeing the way he is and was three weeks ago. You know, I didn’t think I could be more impressed with him, but I was really impressed with the way he went about his business for those couple days up there.
Q. Did you grasp anything during that exhibition?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I said at the time I mean, people were trying to build that up as a thing. It was an exhibition. I beat him at Kooyong in ’07 and I won six games against him at the Australian Open, so I’ve done the exhibition versus reality thing before.
If anything, it’s like playing someone two weeks before. At least they’re fresh in your mind. It’s the same for him. I don’t know that that had much bearing on tonight.
Q. Besides congratulations, did he say anything after the game?
ANDY RODDICK: Roger’s great. He said, I’m happy for you. You deserved to win tonight. Good luck. Keep it going.
He said similar, something similar in the locker room before he left tonight. You know, he was really classy about it all.
Q. He also told us to enjoy you while you’re still around. Can you stay around for longer for this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, we’ll see. I’m gonna try.
Q. In terms of just power and hitting the ball hard, was that you back to how it should be tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: There’s no back. I played well tonight. You know, really well in pockets. Biggest thing is, for no reason at all besides just hitting it, my serve has felt normal for the first time in six weeks. It’s amazing how when I make first serves big the reply comes back soft and I look like a hero because I hit the next ball big, as opposed to picking it off of my shoe tops.
It’s a lot of cause and effect. I don’t know if it’s as simplistic as just hit the ball hard as much as I read that it is. (Laughter.)
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