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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ace Roddick surges past Hewitt

Photo Titled Roddick gets ready to strike
Andy Roddick looking for a big serve out on No.1 Court.

Andy Roddick may call himself just an “old married dude” but he gave his younger semi-final opponent Andy Murray plenty to think about with his five-set victory over Lleyton Hewitt.

Last year Roddick suffered his earliest exit at Wimbledon when he was beaten in the second round by Janko Tipsarevic. This year he will play British favourite Andy Murray for a place in the final.

The sixth seed booked his fifth Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-3, 6-7 (12-10), 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Hewitt that took two hours and 55 minutes.

Considering how, before match, Roddick had spoken highly of his opponent, he certainly hit the ball hard at him. Roddick served 43 aces in the match, with a top speed of 140mph. At one stage the All England Club could have been liable for danger money after a Roddick serve hit a ball girl and the next two nearly took out the line judge.

Under pressure and facing two break points at one point in the second set, Roddick pulled three consecutive aces from up his sleeve and the crisis was averted. That was the story of Roddick’s day. Not only did he serve aces, he served them when they mattered.

It had been an ominous start from the American who won his first service game to love, including a 139mph ace, then promptly broke Hewitt’s serve. The Australian had, however, gifted him the 2-0 lead by serving two double faults with the score at 40-40. But that was all Roddick needed to keep his opponent at arm’s length for the first set – as Hewitt did not win more than two points in any of Roddick’s five service games.

The second set was a more open affair. Hewitt took a 3-1 lead but the sixth seed broke back three games later. Both players had the chance to break serve again and dictate the set but neither could take it.
The set went to a tiebreak where Roddick led 5-2 before stumbling towards a set point at 6-5. Roddick found the net on successive points and it was Hewitt, who spurned two set point opportunities, who won the tiebreak 12-10.

The match tightened again in the third set. Neither player got a look in on the other’s serve and it went to a tiebreak. Having fought so hard to reach that point, Hewitt then produced his worst tennis of the set. He double faulted twice and fluffed a forehand so badly he smashed his racket into the ground in disgust – and they were just the memorable mistakes – as Roddick coasted to a 7-1 win.

An up-and-down fourth set followed that was won by Hewitt during which he appeared to suffer a leg injury. But this was not obvious from the way the 2002 champion battled in the fifth.

The crucial break came with the score at 4-4. The game was taken to deuce and the Australian spurned three chances to close out the game. When Roddick got a single chance to snatch the break he took it, passing Hewitt at the net with an exact forehand, before serving out for victory.

Court 1 - Gentlemen's Singles - Quarterfinals
Lleyton Hewitt AUS 37126164
Andy Roddick USA (6)Winner66107746

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