Roddick breaks through
By Steven Wine
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. ó Andy Roddick whacked one last thunderous serve to finally beat Roger Federer, then slowly walked to the net with his head down, as if unsure how to celebrate such a rare achievement.
With an almost flawless performance, Roddick ended a streak of 11 consecutive losses against his nemesis Thursday at the Sony Ericsson Open. Roddick dominated with his serve and took advantage of Federerís suddenly shaky play down the stretch to win 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
iI came in knowing that nobody has beaten me 12 times in a row,î Roddick told the delighted capacity crowd afterward. iSo I had that on my side.î
In the womenís semifinals, Serena Williams overcame a slow start to outlast Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. Williams needs one more win for her fifth Key Biscayne title and second in a row.
iI havenít won anything five times, except I win all the time in Uno,î Williams said. iI donít think that counts.î
Her opponent Saturday will be No. 4-seeded Jelena Jankovic, who beat No. 19 Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-4. Jankovic made the final after barely surviving her opening match, when she saved five match points.
Roddick improved to 2-15 against Federer, who came into the tournament hoping to quell talk that his game is in decline. Slowed by mononucleosis early in the year, the top-ranked Federer has yet to reach a final in 2008, making this his worst start since 2000.
iI am just sort of disappointed not to see my name playing in the finals,î Federer said. iI think I have the game to obviously be there.î
Roddickís opponent in the semifinals Friday night will be No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko, who beat unseeded Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-1.
To beat Federer for the first time since 2003, Roddick had to be at his best, especially down the stretch. He fell behind love-30 serving at 3-3 in the final set, then won the next 11 points, five of them thanks to unforced errors by Federer.