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Page last updated at 05:37 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 06:37 UK

Federer edges to win over Roddick

Sony Ericsson Open, Miami
Date: 25 March to 5 April Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, live scores/text commentaries on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live on Sky Sports.


Roger Federer
Federer lost to Roddick in last year's Miami semi-finals

Roger Federer won a tense encounter against Andy Roddick to set up a semi-final against Novak Djokovic in Miami.

The second seed overcame the in-form American, and some partisan home support, to win 6-3 4-6 6-4.

He will face Djokovic in the Masters event last four after the Serb third seed produced some of his best tennis to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-4.

If Djokovic were to win the semi-final, Britain's Andy Murray would be unable to pass him in the rankings this week.

The remaining men's quarter-finals on Thursday will see Rafael Nadal face sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro at 2000 BST, and fourth seed Murray take on eighth seed Fernando Verdasco at 0000 BST.

Federer went into his match against Roddick with an overwhelming 16-2 record in career meetings.

I got maybe a touch lucky at that deuce passing shot

Roger Federer

But Roddick is enjoying one of his best-ever starts to a season, while the Swiss star has been suffering a relative lack of form recently - and lost to the American at the same stage in Miami last year.

That background gave the majority of the 14,000 spectators real hope that the home favourite could cause an upset, and Roddick nearly obliged.

Federer began well, breaking twice on his way to taking the first set, but he double-faulted on break point at 3-3 in the second to allow Roddick back into the match.

The fifth seed served out the set, after Federer missed a chance to break back in game 10, and the final set began with four love-service games as both players stepped up a gear.

606: DEBATE

In a desperately tight encounter, Federer grabbed the breakthrough thanks to a slice of luck.

At 5-4, he fought back from 40-15 down and then saw a backhand pass attempt clip the net and loop over Roddick.

Another backhand pass sealed a 17th victory for Federer in 19 meetings between the pair, and he said: "I should have had it under control in the second set.

"I lost that and was under quite a bit of pressure in the third set, so I'm happy I got through it.

"I got maybe a touch lucky at that deuce passing shot but I hit it well and came up with a great shot at match point."

Roddick said: "It's easier if I would have just played terrible the whole time. I at least gave it a go there in the third, and didn't really catch a break there."

Djokovic had lost his last four matches against Frenchman Tsonga but was always in control this time, despite battling a stomach ailment and requiring treatment for apparent heat-related symptoms.

"I have to be very happy with today's performance, because I have been struggling to find a way to win against him in the last four encounters," he said.

"I just knew that I needed to stick in and try to wait for my chances and be aggressive.

"Today I think I tried to be closer to the line, more in control, and just put the pressure on him. So I think that's what I did."



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see also
Miami photos
30 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Murray reaches last 16 in Miami
31 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Murray battles through in Miami
28 Mar 09 |  Tennis


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