Roger Federer looking very frustrated after losing yet another point to Andy Roddick.
KEY BISCAYNE (Florida): World No. 3 Roger
Federer was feeling the pace of his busy start to the year after
suffering a shock 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 4-6 third-round loss to Andy Roddick
in the Sony Ericsson Open on Monday, ending his 16-match winning streak,
which included titles in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells.
'I came out a bit flat today. I
was a bit tired, I guess, but it was more mental than physical,' the
30-year-old said. 'That's maybe 30 matches for the season. I am just
feeling like it's taken its toll a bit, which is normal.'
His good run had put him in position to
overtake rival Rafael Nadal for second spot in the world rankings -
Federer needed to win this tournament without facing the Spaniard in the
final. But Roddick ensured that the Swiss would not win a record 20th
Masters 1000 title here.
After sharing the opening two
sets, the American saved three break points against his serve in the
opening game of the decider, went on to break his opponent immediately,
and maintained the advantage through to the end of the match.
'I regret missing those opportunities and giving myself maybe a chance,' said Federer.
On paper, it looked like a mismatch between the two former No. 1s, each a two-time champion in the event.
Federer had begun the night with a 21-2 win-loss record against Roddick, who was ranked 34th, the lowest he has been since 2001.
'I feel like I lost against a former No. 1,
not against a guy ranked 30 in the world,' said Federer. 'I'm happy to
see Andy play really well. He's a great champion, and enjoy him while
you have him. It was a great night for him and American tennis.'
Roddick, 29, certainly had his powerful
forehand back to its best, and was strong on serve, winning 69 per cent
of first-service points.
'The game I played for the break in the third
set was one of the best return games I've ever played. I think I hit
four forehand winners,' the 2003 US Open champion said. 'I played well
tonight and served really well there at the end.'
But he was wary of talking up his chances in the tournament too much.
'In 2008, I beat Roger and then lost to (Nikolay) Davydenko in the next round. There's no script in sports,' he said.
He added that the result - his first over a
top-three player since beating Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati in 2010 -
needed to be kept in perspective. 'It would be a little presumptuous to
go from people retiring me, to all of a sudden talking about winning a
Masters event. Let's take it for what it's worth,' he said.