Murray to face Roddick in semifinals
STEPHEN WILSON | 7/2/2009, 7:34 a.m.
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Most of the talk at Wimbledon has been about the likelihood of a final between Roger Federer and Andy Murray. It turns out another Andy is also making a strong title run.
Andy Roddick overcame former champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 Wednesday to set up a semifinal matchup against Murray. Five-time champion Federer will meet German veteran Tommy Haas in the other semifinal on Friday.
This is Roddick's best showing at Wimbledon since 2005, when he lost in the final to Federer for the second year in a row. He lost in the third round in 2006, the quarterfinals in 2007 and second round last year.
Roddick served 43 aces against Hewitt in a 3-hour, 50-minute match that swung back and forth until the American got the decisive break for a 5-4 lead in the fifth set, converting his second chance with an easy forehand into the open court.
"It certainly wasn't short on drama," Roddick said. "It was tough from a mental standpoint because Lleyton wasn't going away and there were a lot of ebbs and flows to the match. I'm just happy to be on the good side of it."
When it was all over, Roddick let out a sigh and raised a fist, then threw his racket down, sat in his changeover chair and covered his face with his hands.
"It's a mixture of happiness, of relief," Roddick said. "In your mind, you're kind of 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 kind of an instant shutdown mode."
Roddick and the other men get a day's rest Thursday, which is set aside for the women's semifinals featuring the Williams sisters against two Russian opponents.
Scheduled first up on Centre Court was second-seeded Serena vs. No. 4 Elena Dementieva. Five-time champion and third-seeded Venus was paired in the second match against top-ranked Dinara Safina. The sisters have met in three previous Wimbledon finals, with Serena winning the first two and Venus coming out on top last year.
Roddick knows he will be battling more than just Murray in his next match. Murray, who swept Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal, is bidding to become the first British player to win the men's title since Fred Perry in 1936.
"I'm looking forward to it," Roddick said. "We might be able to count the people for me on this (one) hand. But I think it will be something to remember. I think the crowd's going to be electric. I think it's going to be a great atmosphere, one that I can certainly appreciate, even if it's not for me.
"I'm just going to pretend when they say, 'Come on, Andy' that they mean me."
Murray holds a 6-2 edge against Roddick, including a straight-set win at Wimbledon in 2006.
"Andy has been playing great," Roddick said. "He's certainly come into his own as a player. He's certainly capable of hitting all the shots. He doesn't really have a lot of weaknesses."
Murray, meanwhile, said he is trying to ignore the media hoopla and just focus on his tennis.
"I realize that if I don't bring my best game then I'm going to lose to guys like Hewitt or Roddick," he said. "I feel confident because I've won a lot of matches on the grass. But every day when I get up to play the matches, I know that I'm going to have to perform very well, and that gets the nerves and the adrenaline going and makes me better."
Federer reached his 21st consecutive Grand Slam semifinal by taming 6-foot-10 Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (3). Federer, who has won 17 straight matches, is closing in on his sixth Wimbledon title and record 15th Grand Slam championship.
"It would be writing in the history books of tennis," Federer said. "It's not there yet. Still far away. Many points, many serves, many forehands. We'll see."
Haas upset fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 to advance to his first Wimbledon semifinal. The 31-year-old German was the oldest player in the quarters, while the 22-year-old Djokovic was the youngest.
Haas led Federer two sets to love in the fourth round of the French Open a month ago, only to lose in five.
"This is the best results, the best tennis I've played here, the best I've been feeling," Haas said. "Unfortunately, my next opponent is a really tough hurdle to go by. We had a good battle at the French, but I'm realistic of who my opponent is."