BNP PARIBAS SHOWDOWN
Rejuvenated Roddick Stuns Federer In Exhibition
New York City, U.S.A.
by Paul Macpherson|
Andy Roddick may have found the spark to rejuvenate his 2012 season after stunning Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6(7) in Monday night’s BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition in front of 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden in New York. The former World No. 1, who has slipped to No. 31 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, saved two set points in the second-set tie-break before capitalising on his first match point.
Roddick came into the match with a modest 4-4 record on the season. Last week he showed some encouraging signs at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, winning two matches before falling in three sets to eventual champion Kevin Anderson, who fought off three match points against Roddick in the quarter-finals.
In his post-match interview, Roddick made fun of his 2-21 career record against Federer. “I’m obviously in Roger’s head,” he joked. “He had no idea how to play me and I capitalised on that… The whole night felt surreal. I could feel Jeremy Lin wanted me to win tonight. I felt his energy in the building.” Monday’s victory does not count towards Roddick’s official FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record with Federer.
Federer said: “I loved my time [at Madison Square Garden] with [Pete] and to do it here with Andy, one of my greatest rivals, was great. We’ve had some great battles in great stadiums, and this is one of them.”
Roddick uncorked his booming first serve on the fast indoor hard court at Madison Square Garden and played aggressively from the back court and net to take the fight to Federer, who just two days earlier had flown in from Dubai, where he had won his second consecutive title (Rotterdam). Roddick was also sharp on return. Earlier on the exhibition card, Maria Sharapova defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-4.
The evening is part of Tennis Night in America, an annual celebration of tennis in collaboration with the USTA, with over 1,400 facilities hosting youth tennis events featuring 10 and Under Tennis throughout March, from youth registration sign-ups to Kids’ Tennis Clubs and Play Days. It is part of an effort to encourage more children to start playing the game and have fun with it with equipment sized right for them, including smaller racquets, foam balls and shorter courts.
The Showdown was played on a court with blended lines, featuring the shorter court lines for 10 and under Tennis for a pre-match demonstration, as well as the regulation professional lines.
Roddick and Federer both now head to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the season's first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, where men's main draw play begins Thursday.