Federer tames Roddick to storm into final
Roger Federer continued his total domination of Andy Roddick with a 6-2 7-5 7-5 masterclass in the Australian Open semi-finals.Updated: Jan 30, 2009 07:38 IST
Roger Federer continued his total domination of Andy Roddick with a 6-2 7-5 7-5 masterclass in the Australian Open semi-finals on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Federer extended his head-to-head record to 16-2 against Roddick and will now be aiming to equal Pete Sampras's record of 14 grand slam titles on Sunday.
Federer, who beat the American at the same stage in the 2007 tournament before going on to lift the title, will play either world number one Rafa Nadal or Fernando Verdasco in the final.
The Spanish pair play their semi-final on Friday.
"I thought that I played really solid," Federer told reporters. "I thought (the) level was high throughout the match.
"I had a couple good games where I served really well in the first set, and that gave me a lot of confidence going into the second one.
"I was moving well and getting a lot of balls back and making it difficult for Andy to get the upper hand from the baseline. That was kind of what I was hoping for."
Thursday's victory also meant Federer emulated Sampras by reaching 18 grand slam finals. The only person to beat Federer in a major final is Nadal, three at Roland Garros and once at Wimbledon.
Ivan Lendl played 19 grand slam finals.
However, the Swiss said he was unaware he would pull level with Sampras on the number of final appearances.
"I didn't know I reached my 18th finals in a grand slam. I'm very happy and proud about that," Federer added.
"Shows how long I've been able to keep it up and stay in good shape, stay healthy. That's really the key for success at the highest of levels.
"It's nice to be at the same level as Ivan Lendl and the same as Pete in terms of grand slam wins.
"I hope I can win the next one too."
With Melbourne being in the midst of a once-in-a-century heatwave, the roof on Rod Laver Arena was opened for the Federer-Roddick showdown after being closed for the two women's semi-finals earlier in the day when the air temperature peaked above 40 degrees Celsius.
The American's temperature was also raised to boiling point in the first set after chair umpire Enric Molina awarded Federer a point in the sixth game when the Swiss used the Hawkeye system to challenge a line call.
The ball, which had been called out, was shown to be in on the television replay and Molina awarded Federer the point, prompting an angry reaction from Roddick, who felt it should have been replayed.
Federer eventually won the game to take a 5-1 lead and while Roddick held the next game he was visibly frustrated.
"I was right on the line. Are you telling me I couldn't play a shot?" seventh seed Roddick asked the umpire. "Have you ever known me to just let a ball go?"
The second set was more even with the pair going toe-to-toe in a serving and slugging duel from the baseline before Roddick blinked first and was broken in the 11th game.
Federer sealed the second set in the next game when Roddick's backhand return smacked into the net.
Roddick continued to debate with Molina over various issues for the remainder of the match, was warned for an audible obscenity, and also berated members of the crowd for their comments during the third set.
Federer appeared content to wait for his chance in the third set before he put the pressure on Roddick when needed and capitalised on the important points.
"Let's not kid ourselves. You're down two sets to him and scraping, trying to survive," said Roddick.
"I hit the ball pretty well. He just came up with shots when he needed to. That's what he does."
First Published: Jan 30, 2009 07:36 IST