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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

High-five for Roddick ahead of semi

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Andy Roddick holds up his hand, spreads his five fingers wide and says this is how many people he expects will be supporting him on Centre Court, for Friday’s semi-final against Andy Murray.

Roddick is now the only player who can stop Murray becoming the first Briton in the men’s singles final since 1938 after both men won their quarter-finals today.

“I think the crowd's going to be electric,” Roddick says. “I think it's going to be a great atmosphere, and one that I can certainly appreciate, even if it's not for me.

“I'm just going pretend that when they say ‘C'mon, Andy’, that they mean me.”

Roddick took five sets to beat Lleyton Hewitt on Court No.1, a victory he described as a sign that his career was again moving in the right direction. When he was told that Hewitt had said Roddick would start as underdog, Roddick replied: “That’s fine. Andy has been playing great.

“He's certainly kind of come into his own as a player. I'm going to go out and play a match. He doesn't really have a lot of weaknesses, or any for that matter. He's improved his serve a lot. He returns well.

“There's a certain comfort level where you go out there and it's like second nature. I think he's acquired that since last year here.”

Roddick served 43 aces in his five-set victory over Hewitt. When asked if he had the best serve in professional tennis he pointed to Ivo Karlovic, who was beaten by Roger Federer in the other quarter-final.

But he added: “With my serve, I can give myself a chance in any match. I'm happy with my percentages. I've been above 70% the whole time. I feel like with my first serve, if I'm up there, you know, then I'll hold my fair share.

“Again, I'm not going to predict anything. I'm going to have to play well, and hopefully he would probably say the same. So we'll get to it.”

Roddick also played tribute to his defeated opponent, who had fallen outside the world top 100 at the start of the year but reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final in almost three years at this year’s Wimbledon.

“It was tough from a mental standpoint, because Lleyton wasn't going away and there were kind of a lot of ebbs and flows to the match. I'm just happy to be on the good side of it,” he said.

“In your mind you're trying to stay the course for four hours, constantly figuring out what you're going to do. Your mind is just racing for four hours. So then it's relief, happiness, and almost an instant shut down mode.

“But I was happy to be through.”

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