Canada Flashback: Roger Federer loses to Andy Roddick and misses ATP throne

Roger Federer loses to Andy Roddick and misses out on the ATP throne

Roger Federer established himself as a top 10 player at the end of 2002 and had big plans for the new season. The Swiss clinched the first Major title at Wimbledon in 2003, racking up notable points and entering the battle for world No. 1.

1 place during the US Open Series. On Monday, August 4, Roger was 340 points behind Andre Agassi on the ATP list. Andre lost to Rainer Schuettler in the quarterfinals of the Canada Masters and Federer had the opportunity to overtake him and claim the ATP throne for the first time.

Just a day after his 22nd birthday, Roger faced Andy Roddick on August 9th in the semi-final that stood between him and the dethroned Agassi. The Swiss failed to make the final move, losing 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 in an hour and 56 minutes.

Thus, six months before his rise in February 2004, Roger missed a great opportunity to take the ATP throne. It was their fifth meeting on the tour and Andy’s first win. The American was super motivated to do his best against Federer after losing to him in the Wimbledon semifinals a month earlier.

The Swiss had a 4-2 lead in the final set but failed to bring the match home and ended his run in the semifinals. After losing the first round at Roland Garros, Roddick parted ways with longtime coach Tarik Benhabiles and signed on Brad Gilbert.

Brad would bring out the best in him and lead him to no. 1 position in November this year. After that win over Roger, Andy had 23 wins in 25 games under Brad and he would win the US Open trophy a month later.

The American only served 48% and was broken twice by as many chances offered to Federer. On the other side, Roger hit ten double faults and struggled on the second serve. The Swiss had nine break chances and saved seven of them.

He had a chance to seal the deal after that break in the final set but failed in the end. Roddick had 34 winners and 23 unforced errors.

Roger Federer had a chance to become world No. 1. 1 in Montreal 2003.

At the same time, Roger finished the match with similar numbers, forging a 38-28 ratio to follow the rival’s pace and play at a higher level in some moments.

Roddick earned two break chances as early as the third game of the encounter, converting the first when Roger hit a backhand for an early lead. The American took a 3-1 lead with three aces, playing well from the baseline and using Roger’s backhand to gain the upper hand in the rallies.

Federer bounced back from a slow start to create a 30-0 advantage on the return at 3-4, only to lose four straight points and fall 5-3 behind. The American closed the first set after a quick 29 minutes with a service winner in game ten, holding his second serve safely and being a more determined player from the baseline.

Things went from bad to worse for Roger and he had three break chances early in the second set. He repelled her for a critical hold and a boost. Both served well until the sixth game when Andy struggled on serve after leading 40-0.

He hit a double fault to give Roger a break chance and the Swiss converted it when Roddick sent a long volley. Federer held the set in game nine, reducing the number of errors and using the only chance on the return to send the encounter into a decider.

Carried by that momentum, Roger broke in the early stages of the final set to get in the driver’s seat. He read Andy’s serves better than he did in the opening game and took command from the baseline to end that game with a backhand winner.

Federer saved two break points with aces and the third with a forehand winner in game four, refusing to give up serve and taking a 3-1 lead. At 3-2, he had to dig deep again, landing an incredible backhand crosscourt winner after a 23-shot rally to fend off another break chance.

Roger finished the game with two service winners, building a 4-2 lead and two games away from becoming world No. 1. 1. Roddick held on and after a great return in game eight he earned another break chance and took it with another deep to seal the score at 4-4.

The American fired three service winners in the next game to progress and both players held comfortably in the next three games to set up a tie break. After Roger’s double fault, Andy got the first mini-break in the second point.

Federer missed an easy forehand the next but pulled back a mini break at 1-3 to stay in contention and did his best to cross the finish line first. Still, his fate was all but sealed when Roddick took the next point with a perfect running forhand winner. The American went over the top when Roger landed a long forehand at 6-3 to seal the deal and advance to the final.

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