Originally created 07/03/05

Federer and Roddick are familiar foes



WIMBLEDON, England - Andy Roddick is 1-8 against Roger Federer and has lost their past four meetings, including last year's Wimbledon final.

So does Roddick have something new in mind for today's rematch at the All England Club?

"I might try to push him into a wall or something before we go out on court," Roddick said with a laugh.

Barring a run-in with Roddick, Federer goes into the match a heavy favorite. The two-time defending champion has a 35-match grass-court winning streak, a 20-match winning streak in tournament finals and an extra day of rest.

Federer had Saturday off after beating Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals, while Roddick played three-plus sets to complete a rain-interrupted semifinal victory over Thomas Johansson 6-7 (6), 6-2, 7-6 (10), 7-6 (5).

"I think it's a little bit of an advantage" for Federer, Roddick said. "We played three pretty hard sets."

Roddick is 32-2 on grass since 2003, with both losses to Federer at Wimbledon.

"I will look at the last two matches here in Wimbledon I've played him, but also try to remember the other matches I've played against him, what worked, what didn't work," said Federer, 4-0 in Grand Slam finals. "I'll definitely have a sort of game plan against him."

Roddick's game plan Saturday was to beat Johansson and get another shot at Federer.

"I've watched bits and pieces of pretty much all of (Federer's) matches. You know, he's a pretty good tennis player," Roddick said. "I feel like I'm playing pretty well. Today I thought I played very well."

Roddick started the day leading 6-5 in the first set after rain had halted play Friday. Johansson held in the first game Saturday to force a tiebreaker, and Roddick failed to convert two set points.

"It's tough coming out of a locker room and all of a sudden getting thrown into the boiler of a tiebreaker in the semifinal of Wimbledon when you've been on the court for about 3 minutes," Roddick said.

Roddick rallied in the second set, won the pivotal third-set tiebreaker and reached match point by hitting a forehand return that kissed the net cord twice before landing for a winner.

"I definitely got very lucky with the one that trickled over," Roddick said.

Said Johansson: "It was just unlucky that it happened at 5-all in the tiebreak."

Roddick's next swing was a service winner for the victory. He improved to 16-5 lifetime in tiebreakers at Wimbledon.

"He's not letting things get him down now. He's staying with the game plan, the task at hand and what he needs to do out there on the court," Roddick's coach, Dean Goldfine, said. "He realizes he has some different options that he can rely on and he's able to turn some of these matches around now."

The Grand Slam final will be Roddick's first in a year. The 2003 U.S. Open champion is bidding for his second major title.

"It comes down to big points," Roddick said. "He won them last year. I'm going to try to win them this year."

Andy Roddick
- Right-hander, 22, born in Omaha, Neb., and lives in Austin, Texas
- Ranked No. 4
- Playing Wimbledon for the fifth time
- Has dropped five sets
- Two of his matches were suspended overnight
- Has hit a tournament-leading 97 aces
- Has a 16-5 career record in tiebreakers at the All England Club
- Is 32-2 on grass since 2003, with both losses to Roger Federer at Wimbledon, in the 2003 semifinals and 2004 final

Roger Federer
- Right-hander, 22, born in Basel, Switzerland, and lives in Oberwil
- Ranked No. 1
- Won Wimbledon the past two year
- Playing Wimbledon for the seventh time
- Has dropped one set this tournament
- Lost in the first round on three of his previous trips to Wimbledon
- Has won 35 consecutive matches on grass, second behind Bjorn Borg's Open-era record of 41
- Associated Press