Belfast Telegraph

Roddick through as busy schedule takes toll on Federer

By Paul Newman

Roger Federer said a busy opening to the season had "taken its toll" after the world No 3's 16-match unbeaten run was ended by the world No 34, Andy Roddick, in the third round of the Miami Masters on Monday night. Federer, who lost 7-6, 1-6, 6-4, was playing his 29th match of the season.

Not since he played his 33rd match of the season in winning the Miami title seven years ago has Federer had such a busy schedule. He has won titles in Dubai, Rotterdam and Indian Wells, reached the semi-finals in Doha and Melbourne and played for Switzerland in the Davis Cup. He has also appeared in exhibitions in Abu Dhabi and New York. He is not expected to play again before the Madrid Masters in the second week of May.

"I came out a bit flat today," Federer said. "I was a bit tired, I guess, but it was more mental than physical. That's maybe 30 matches for the season. I'm just feeling like it's taken its toll a bit. But I've played more tired in the past, so this was not the most tired I have ever been. But you just start to feel it a bit."

Having taken the first set on a tie-break, Roddick lost the second and had three break points against him in the first game of the decider. However, the American held on and then made what proved a decisive break in the following game.

"The game that I played for the break in the third set was one of the best return games I've ever played," Roddick said. "I think I hit four forehand winners."

Roddick was due to meet Juan Monaco last night for a place in the quarter-finals, at about the same time as Andy Murray was scheduled to meet Gilles Simon.

Victoria Azarenka, the world No 1, reached the quarter-finals by beating Dominika Cibulkova 1-6, 7-6, 7-5. Venus Williams beat Ana Ivanovic 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 and will now play Agnieszka Radwanska. Serena Williams was facing Caroline Wozniacki last night.

l Andy Murray will not play against Belgium in Glasgow next week. The Davis Cup tie begins five days after the Miami Masters and finishes a week before the Monte Carlo Masters. Britain's singles players will be James Ward and Dan Evans. Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins complete the team.

Belfast Telegraph


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