Federer to face Djokovic after tight win over Roddick

April 2nd, 2009 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger Federer Miami, April 2 (DPA) Roger Federer honed his game at the expense of Andy Roddick, defeating the American for the 17th time in 19 matches to reach the semi-finals of the Miami Masters.
The Swiss second seed Wednesday reinforced his long-term dominance over Roddick and earned revenge for a loss he took to the fifth seed at the event a year ago, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in just two hours.

The Swiss took the first set with a break of serve but dropped the second to an unexplained rash of errors. He stopped the rot in the third with a break of Roddick to end the enthralling contest with a cross-court winner which caught the American at the net.

Federer struck 44 winners as confidence returns to his game, breaking four times. It was a familiar story for Federer against Roddick, with the Swiss once again dominating.

“He’s playing quite safe at the moment, it’s paying off,” Federer said of Roddick’s game. “I’m happy I already played him this season so I had a sense of how he’s playing.”

Federer will now play Novak Djokovic for a place in the final after the Serb turned the corner in his match-ups with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, winning 6-3, 6-4.

The victory reversed a run of four straight losses to the Frenchman since Djokovic beat him for the 2008 Australian Open title.

“I’ve been not feeling well with the stomach last night and this morning, and probably the heat affected as well, combined of course with the pressure on the court,” Djokovic said.

“But it’s just incredible the way I stood up and tried to survive there on the court.”

Djokovic, whose only title this season came at Dubai, improved to 21-7 in 2009.

“I am very happy with today’s performance. I just knew that I need to stick in, try to wait for my chances and be aggressive. Overall, I’m really satisfied.”

The Williams sisters, with five Miami titles between them, set up another sibling showdown - their 20th, with Venus the winner of the last two, including a Dubai semi-final.

Serena held onto her top ranking with a crucial victory over China’s Li Na, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2.

The top seed must get to the final to be certain to remain atop the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) table. If Venus wins, she will dethrone her sister from the top, handing the summit spot to Russian Dinara Safina, according to WTA calculations.

Venus crushed Iveta Benesova 6-1, 6-4. “Obviously Serena’s a great player, but I think I’m just going to focus on my game.”

Serena, playing in only her fifth event of the season, put on a horror-show first set, dropping to 0-5 against China’s number 40, who beat her last year in Stuttgart.

“I just had a really slow, retarded start,” the US player complained.

“Maybe I was tired, but it’s still not an excuse, really. I definitely wasn’t moving my feet at all. I just wasn’t doing anything that made a lot of sense. I’m a little disappointed. I don’t think I played great, but I’m glad to have gotten through.”

Williams was able to turn the tables as Li faltered, with the seed running it out in th e final set despite a total of 37 unforced errors and conversions on just four of 10 break points.

“I definitely played better in the third set, which was good,” said Williams, after defeating her third Chinese opponent in as many matches. “I needed to play pretty well to win the match.”

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