Roddick blows commanding lead
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Two points. That's how far Andy Roddick was from getting another crack at Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Two points. Up two sets and a break against a kid making his Grand Slam quarterfinal debut Friday, and later just-tha...
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Two points.
That's how far Andy Roddick was from getting another crack at Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
Up two sets and a break against a kid making his Grand Slam quarterfinal debut Friday, and later just-that-close to winning, the No. 3-seeded Roddick unraveled, losing 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3), 8-6 to No. 12 Richard Gasquet of France.
A white baseball cap tugged over his eyes, the usually gregarious Roddick discussed the defeat deliberately and in a monotone, as if he couldn't quite believe what happened.
"Well, it's another lost opportunity at Wimbledon," the American said. "I'd love to make you try to understand what it feels like in the pit of (my) stomach right now, but I don't know if I can do that. I don't know if I'm articulate enough."
He lost to four-time defending champion Federer at the All England Club in the 2003 semifinals and the 2004 and 2005 finals. Another showdown loomed because they were in the same half of the draw this year, and Federer beat 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in an earlier quarterfinal Friday.
Might Roddick have been thinking ahead, even a tad, once he built his big lead against Gasquet?
"No," was Roddick's reply.
So instead of having all top four-seeded men in the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time since 1995, Gasquet will be the interloper facing No. 1 Federer on Saturday, while No. 2 Rafael Nadal meets No. 4 Novak Djokovic.
Not only does Federer take a 52-match winning streak on grass into his semifinal, but he also had the advantage of having played a little more than 1½ hours Friday in his rain-suspended match against Ferrero and walking off court before 3:30 p.m. Gasquet's struggle against Roddick, in contrast, lasted more than 3½ hours and finished after 8 p.m.
"I am tired," said Gasquet, who hit more aces than Roddick, 23-22, and far more winners, 93-60. "I played a lot of time, with a lot of pressure."
His wasn't even close to the longest workday, though. Djokovic played for 5 hours -- 5 minutes shy of the longest one-day singles match in the tournament's 130-year history -- before pulling out a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (9), 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5 victory over No. 10 Marcos Baghdatis on Court 1.