Miami Flashback: Rafael Nadal falls to Andy Roddick
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2447
Rafael Nadal was the only 'Big 4 in the 2010 Miami semi-final. Thus, the Spaniard remained on the course toward the notable title missing in his collection. Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray fell already on the first obstacle.
At the same time, Tomas Berdych prevailed against Roger Federer in the fourth round, leaving Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Robin Soderling and Berdych in the last four. Ranked 8th, Roddick played his penultimate notable Masters 1000 event (he would advance into the semi-final in Cincinnati later that summer).
The American reached his last Masters 1000 final following a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over 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 the American, hitting more winners than unforced errors but still failing to follow Andy's pace.
Using his booming serve and the first groundstroke after it, Roddick had a massive advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes. He lost ground in the more extended exchanges but still crossed the finish line first with a double break in the deciding set.
Andy Roddick beat Rafael Nadal in three sets in the 2010 Miami semi-final.
Roddick held at love in the encounter's first game. However, that was about to change two games later when Rafa landed a forehand winner for an early break and a 2-1 advantage.
The Spaniard fended off a break chance in the next one to confirm the lead, serving well and earning a set point on the return at 5-3. Roddick saved it and held with an unreturned serve before Nadal secured the set with a forehand winner in game ten for 6-4 after 45 minutes.
Raising his level in set number two, Andy lost five points behind the initial shot and broke Rafa at love in the eighth game after a firing forehand that gave him momentum. Serving for the set in game nine, Andy landed four winners to grab it 6-3 and force a decider, becoming the favorite if he was to keep that level.
Ready to fight until the end, Rafa created a break chance in the second game, denied by Andy's booming serve. The American held with a forehand winner to level the score at 1-1. That game became even more significant when Nadal netted a forehand in the next one.
He lost serve and sent Andy in front, having to pull the break back as soon as possible to stay in contention. Instead, Roddick survived all the challenges and moved over the top with another break in game nine when Nadal sprayed a forehand error, advancing into his ninth and last Masters 1000 final.