Shock loss for Federer and tearful farewell for Roddick

2012-09-07 00:00

NEW YORK — Roger Federer was knocked out of the U.S. Open in the early hours of yesterday morning (SA time) when he lost a quarter-final thriller to Tomas Berdych just hours after his old rival Andy Roddick bid a tearful farewell to his tennis career.

Federer was unable to conjure up any of his old magic as Berdych stormed to a surprise victory (7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3) and handing the world number one his earliest exit from Flushing Meadows in nine years.

“It couldn’t be better,” Berdych said in a courtside interview. “There is no better feeling. There is no better moment than this one.”

Federer could not hide his disappointment after arriving in the Big Apple full of hope following his win at Wimbledon in July.

“There were so many moments I thought, man, it’s just not happening for me,” said the five-times U.S. Open champion. “It was just a very disappointing match for me.”

Roddick made his final appearance at Arthur Ashe Stadium when he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round, while Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova both dug themselves out of trouble to stay alive on a drama-charged day at the last grand slam of the year.

Only Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had an easy time, both romping to comfortable victories to enhance their status as the favourites for the singles titles. Williams, full of confidence and self-belief, demolished Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic in less than an hour to raise hopes of an American winner after Roddick departed.

“I feel like I’m going to get more focused and serious, and start playing Serena tennis in the next couple of rounds, if I get to play two rounds. That’s my goal,” she said.

Williams will play Italian Sara Errani in today’s semis after she defeated her doubles partner Roberta Vinci (6-2 6-4).

“A quarter-final with your best friend, of course, is difficult,” said Errani. “We know each other very well and we’ve played together many times, so it was strange to see her on the other side of the net.”

Olympic champion Murray produced an extraordinary turnaround to beat Croatia’s Marin Cilic (3-6 7-6 6-2 6-0) on a gusty Louis Armstrong court. The Scot lost the opening set and then fell two service breaks down at 5-1 in the second, before rallying back to win — reeling off the last 11 games in a row.

“It wasn’t the best of starts,” Murray said. “He got nervous towards the end of that [second] set once ... then I played a great match after that.”

OVERNIGHT RESULTS

Men singles quarter-finals: Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) beat Roger Federer (SUI x1) 7-6 (1) 6-4 3-6 6-3; Andy Murray (GBR x3) beat Marin Cilic (CRO x12) 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 6-0.

Fourth round: Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x7) beat Andy Roddick (U.S. x20) 6-7 (1/7) 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 6-4.

Women singles quarter-finals: Serena Williams (U.S. x4) beat Ana Ivanovic (SRB x12) 6-1 6-3.

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