'I defeated Rafael Nadal, but I like one victory more,' former No. 1 recalls



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'I defeated Rafael Nadal, but I like one victory more,' former No. 1 recalls

Andy Roddick claimed two Miami Open titles in 2004 and 2010. The American made a debut in Florida in 2000 and competed in front of the home fans for 13 consecutive years. Asked about his brightest Miami Open triumphs, Andy mentioned two encounters, one from the beginning of his career and the other from the late stage.

Ranked 8th, Roddick delivered his last notable Masters 1000 result in Miami 2010, reaching his last title match at that level following a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over world no. 4 Rafael Nadal in two hours and six minutes. It was the eighth encounter between these two and the third victory for the American, who came from a set down to cross the finish line first.

Andy fired 15 aces and fended off three out of four break chances to keep the pressure on Rafa, who could not endure it in sets two and three. The Spaniard got broken three times from six opportunities offered to Roddick, hitting more winners than unforced errors but still falling short.

Using his booming serve and the first groundstroke, Roddick had a massive advantage in the quickest rallies up to four strokes. Expectedly, he lost ground in the more extended exchanges but still crossed the finish line first with a double break in the deciding set.

Still, that was not Andy's favorite Miami triumph, beating his idol Pete Sampras in 2001 at 18! Roddick made the Miami debut in 2000 and returned to Florida a year later as the promising star equipped with a booming serve.

In the third round, Andy defeated Pete 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 18 minutes, earning his first top-5 triumph and cracking the top-100. Roddick served at 72%, blasted 26 service winners and dropped only 13 points behind his initial shot to give Sampras one break chance.

Pete had 27 unreturned serves and 12 winners from the field, while Andy counted to 19, six of those with his backhand that worked like a charm on that day.

Andy Roddick picked his favorite Miami Open victories.

Roddick had 45 winners and only 17 errors, while Sampras stood on a 39-31 ratio, decent but not enough for at least a set.

As was expected from two big servers, it was a fast and fluid match with 40% of all the points finished with a service winner and almost 85% that landed in the shortest range up to four strokes! Only three exchanges lasted over eight shots, and just 17 had between five and eight strokes.

Almost nothing could separate them there (11-9 for Roddick), and Andy distanced himself from Pete in those shortest exchanges, forging a 65-47 advantage to topple the grand champion and advance into the last 16. "The Davis Cup title we won in 2007 in Portland is probably my favorite one; we worked hard to earn it.

I beat Rafael Nadal in Miami 2010, but my most cherished victory at that event came in 2001 when I was 18, beating Pete Sampras in straight sets. It was my first time on national TV, and you only play your idol for the first time once," Andy Roddick said.