Fed Express loses steam in Miami
The effects of a successful early season came back to bite Roger Federer after the world No.3 was dumped out of the Miami Masters by home favourite Andy Roddick.
The Swiss has been on a roll since losing his Australian Open semi-final to Rafael Nadal way back in January, winning 16 successive matches to take titles in Rotterdam, here in Dubai and then at Indian Wells.
However, his third round clash with the big-serving Roddick proved a step too far even for someone of his titanic talents, Federer going down 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 at Key Biscayne. And the 16-time Grand Slam champion blamed that brilliant hot streak for his first defeat in two months.
“I came out a bit flat, I was a bit tired, but it was more mental than physical,” Federer said. “That’s maybe 30 matches for the season. I am just feeling like it’s taken its toll a bit, which is normal.
“But I’ve played more tired in the past, so this was not the most tired I have ever been, but you just start to feel it a bit,” he added. “I didn’t just get the lucky break that I got in Indian Wells.” After sharing the first two sets, Roddick saved three break points against his serve in the opening game of the decider, went on to break his revered opponent immediately after and then maintained the advantage through to the end of the match.
“I have been playing so much. I tried to push myself and gave myself a fighting chance, and then when things were under control, he fought off those break point chances… and had the perfect game after that,” Federer said.
“I regret missing those opportunities and giving myself maybe a chance.” Roddick ended Federer’s streak of 77 consecutive wins against players outside the top 20, the 30-year-old saying: “I feel like I lost against a former No.1, not that I lost against a guy ranked 30 in the world.
“I’m happy to see Andy play really well. He’s a great champion, and enjoy him while you have him. It was a great night for him and American tennis.”
But Roddick added: “It would be a little presumptuous to go from people retiring me to all of a sudden talking about winning a Masters’ event. Let’s take it for what it’s worth.”