For Retiring Andy Roddick, US Open Crowd A ‘Huge Advantage’
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Refusing to allow his opponent even a glimmer of hope under the lights, Andy Murray wrapped up a straight-set win on a drama-free evening inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The man now hoping to pump up the volume at the US Open: Andy Roddick.
“I’m comfortable out there,” said Roddick, the final American male left in the tournament. “I’d be an idiot not to use the crowd right now. It’s a huge advantage. Each match is almost like it’s another memory. I’m certainly going to use them.”
One loss from retirement, No. 20 seed Roddick plays his fourth-round match against No. 7 seed Juan Martin del Potro on Tuesday night, in search of the first big-time upset in a men’s draw that has mostly gone to form — and very quietly at that.
“I think we play a little bit different,” said Roddick. “I probably serve a little bit better. He probably returns better. He hits the ball probably cleaner off the baseline. I chip the ball around a bit better probably. It’s a fun matchup.”
Third-seeded Murray defeated No. 15 Milos Raonic of Canada 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to wrap up play Monday — a day that included a walkover for No. 1 Roger Federer, who advanced when Mardy Fish withdrew because of health reasons.
“Today was by far my best match of the tournament,” said Murray, who beat Federer to win the Olympic gold medal earlier this summer but is still in search of his first Grand Slam title. “Hopefully, I can get some good rest tonight and tomorrow, get ready for the quarterfinals, you know, get pumped. Because you’re only a few sets from maybe competing for a Grand Slam final and you need to get ready for it.”
Defending champion and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic also plays his fourth-round match Tuesday, against No. 18 Stanislas Wawrinka. Through Monday, the top three men have lost a grand total of one set. Murray’s four-set win over Feliciano Lopez in the third round has been the only match to include so much as a tiebreaker.
Djokovic has gone the last two matches without facing a single break point. Against big-serving Raonic, Murray got halfway to matching that, serving 14 games without ever facing a loss. Meanwhile, he used his good return game to take away his opponent’s biggest weapon — a serve that maxed out at 140 mph. Raonic finished with 14 aces, but also six double-faults and never found an answer for Murray’s serve.
“Not much I could do,” Raonic said. “I tried everything. I tried three different ways. I tried playing back, playing high to him. I tried coming in a lot. Everything really.”
Murray’s win came a few hours after Serena Williams recorded the fifth 6-0, 6-0 victory of her career, this one over Andrea Hlavackova, who was making her deepest run into a Grand Slam.
Hlavackova said she went out against the No. 3 seed trying to win, not simply trying to keep things close, or “play for a score,” as her coach called it.
“I was in the match. I was trying to figure out how to win,” she said. “And when it was, like, 6-love, 4-love, 30-love, I was thinking, ‘Well, I’m not playing for a score, but one game wouldn’t hurt.’”
Federer didn’t lose a game because he didn’t have to play one. Fish pulled out as a precaution on his doctor’s advice. The 30-year-old Fish missed about 2½ months this season because of an accelerated heartbeat and had a medical procedure in May.
Federer’s next match is against No. 6 Tomas Berdych, a 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1 winner over No. 11 Nicolas Almagro. Berdych has split his last six matches against Federer, including a win at the 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinals that snapped a record string of 23 consecutive appearances in Grand Slam semifinals.
Federer will have at least three days of rest before their quarterfinal. (There’s a 60 percent chance of rain in Queens on Tuesday and Wednesday.)
“Maybe if I would be in his situation, I would rather play a match and win it and keep the rhythm of one day match, one day off, then play another one,” Berdych said. “Probably he doesn’t care at all.”
Murray’s next opponent, No. 12 Marin Cilic, defeated Martin Klizan 7-5, 6-4, 6-0 in a match that was moved to Ashe Stadium to replace the canceled meeting between Fish and Federer.
As it turned out, the real drama Monday was on the outer courts and much of it had to do with doubles.
Williams and her sister, Venus, got overwhelmed in the first set, then fell short in a rally attempt in the second in a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko. The Russian pair finished with a total of three unforced errors.
“We played clean tennis,” Petrova said. “And we didn’t give them a chance to get back in the game.”
Meanwhile, the Italian doubles team of Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani each pulled upsets in their singles matches — No. 20 Vinci over No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 10 Errani over No. 6 Angelique Kerber — to set themselves up for a quarterfinal meeting.
“I’ll be mean and so will she,” Vinci said. “And then afterward, we’ll be friends, just like before.”
In men’s doubles, the Bryan brothers pulled out a 6-7 (8), 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory over Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky. The win was highlighted by Bob Bryan’s between-the-legs shot at 5-5 in the second-set tiebreaker that set up a forehand winner and gave the 11-time Grand Slam champions momentum for the third set.
“There were 20 different options” for that shot, said Mike Bryan. “He picked the 21st.”
It worked, and now, the Bryans also have a date in Arthur Ashe Stadium, playing their quarterfinal after Roddick wraps up his match against del Potro.
Last week, 30-year-old Roddick announced the US Open would be his last tournament. He has since won twice, against a pair of unseeded opponents. Del Potro, the 2009 champion, is next. With Fish’s withdrawal, Roddick is the last American man left in the draw.
“It’s pretty fitting that Andy’s been the guy for so long,” Mike Bryan said. “And now he’s the last one standing.”
Will Roddick electrify Flushing with another win Tuesday night? Make your prediction in the comments below!
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