SONY ERICSSON OPEN 2012
Federer Sets Roddick Showdown
by Peter Holehan|
Roger Federer set up a third-round showdown with Andy Roddick at the Sony Ericsson Open after defeating American Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-6(3) Saturday.
Federer stayed red-hot by topping unseeded American Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-6 (3), to win for the 40th time in his past 42 matches.
During one sequence, Federer fired back-to-back aces and then strategically placed a drop shot that sent Harrison charging to the net and out of position for Federer’s put away shot.
Harrison had pushed Federer to a tight two-set match in their previous meeting last March at Indian Wells, but this time the 29-year-old Swiss overwhelmed the 19-year-old by winning on 85 percent of his first serves.
Federer got off to a rousing start. He earned points on 23 of his first 25 first serves and had a first-serve percentage up at 80 percent.
Harrison acknowledged that Federer was a tougher opponent than the last time they met.
“He [Federer] played a lot better this time than whenever I played him last time,” Harrison said. “Score line was similar, but the quality was a lot better. So I think that's a good thing. I think I did some things well, especially in the second set. I started coming back. 5 6 service game was a tough service game in the second set, and I did well to keep it together. And then there was, you know, three or four points in the breaker that literally fractions just decided 'em.”
While Harrison is still seeking his first win against a top 10 opponent (0-11 career), Federer believes that it’s only a matter of time before he has a break through moment.
“He'll make his move up the rankings,” Federer said. “He's got a great second serve, and I think a player once said, You're only as good as your second serve. That's a great base for him. He's a good athlete. I hope he stays healthy so he can show everyone what he's got.”
Federer improved to 41-11 here and is now one away from tying Pete Sampras for second most all-time wins at the Sony Ericsson Open. Andre Agassi holds the most career wins in Miami with 61.
Earlier in the day Roddick got off to a fast start and rolled past big-serving Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3, 6-2. Roddick’s serve kept him in control. The No. 31 ranked American fired nine aces, including two in the final game. The stingy Roddick did not allow Muller a break point opportunity and has now defeated him three straight times.
“You know, biggest thing was serve was there,” said Roddick, who improved to 32-10 in Miami. “It's amazing how you don't get in trouble on service games. “You know, tennis, the numbers don't lie a lot of the times. I remember missing three or four returns all day, and when you put that many in, the likelihood of that guy missing a first ball goes way up. When you're putting first serves in and you're up at 68%, you're not finding yourself down Love 15 or 15-30 and then all of a sudden you're in that flux zone."
The stingy Roddick did not allow Muller a break point opportunity and now has defeated him in each of the last three head-to-head meetings.
“When your unforced errors are six or seven, you know, you're gonna look better,” Roddick said. “So that's what I did for a very long time. I haven't been doing it this year. Today was the stat sheet, it was the what I want to see afterwards.”
Roddick advances to face another two-time champion in No. 3 Roger Federer.
World No. 5 David Ferrer battled through some sluggish moments to defeat 19-year-old Aussie Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4. Both players struggled to make the most of their break point opportunities. Ferrer converted on four of 10 chances while Tomic was just two of seven.
As the match wore on, mistakes escalated for Tomic, who was troubled by 49 unforced errors.
Ferrer (20-2 this year) took advantage of second serve return points where he took 15 of 27.
Ferrer, a semifinalist in 2005-2006 in Miami, has already won three ATP World Tour titles thus far in 2012 with victories in Auckland, Buenos Aires and Acapulco.
Next up for Ferrer is No. 30 Julien Benneteau of France who needed three sets to triumph unseeded German Benjamin Becker 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Benneteau relied on his first serve by winning points on 46 of 58 attempts while registering 10 aces.
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