Roger Federer has always been somewhat of a bane on Andy Roddick’s career. They’ve met in four grand slam finals, with Federer winning all of them. Roddick has only beaten him twice in 23 matches. Last night, at the Madison Square Garden, he got a rare win, beating Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7) but alas, it was only an Exhibition match.
Roddick did give the crowd most than a win in his first time playing in the Madison Square Garden, something that was quite special to him – To be able to play here where so much history has happened, so many events have happened in every area of entertainment, it was a real special experience for me. It was a great atmosphere. I really enjoyed myself and that led to me playing well. Hopefully I can use this a little bit.
Roddick, winner of 30 singles titles, hasn’t won one since February 2011 at Memphis. He hasn’t made it past a Grand Slam quarter final since the 2009 Wimbledon final, where he lost to Roger Federer in an epic five set match. At 29, falling quickly down the rankings (30th in the world right now), with more and more parts of his game betraying him, it was a nice solace during a very rought stretch in his career.
Besides enjoying the win, Roddick gave a few pleasing moments by imitating Rafael Nadal after someone from the crowd kept yelling ‘Come on, Rafa’. He used his left hand on one play, did the grunts, did the sleeves and the fist pump. Nadal and Sharapova are probably the main targets of impersonations on tour. Maybe that’s why Nadal takes so much joy in beating the hell out of everyone, except for Djokovic, who he hasn’t beaten in 18 months.
For Federer, currently enjoying a 10 game winning streak, it was nothing but fun. He even made it sound like he wanted Roddick to win so he can get back in shape. Maybe Federer wants the old guard to stick around a wee longer, getting tired of fresh and young faces trying to dethrone him from the top 3-4 spots in the world – I heard Andy was struggling a little bit so it’s good see him play so well and hopefully make a run again into the top 10.
The most unexpected moment of the evening was during the earlier match between Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova. Wozniacki dragged her boyfriend, the recent winner of the Honda Classic, Rory McIlroy to play a point against Sharapova. He wasn’t too pleased, but actually managed to win it. He said he’s won a few off Carolina in the past as well.