'Beating Rafael Nadal was cool, but I like another victory more,' says Andy Roddick

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'Beating Rafael Nadal was cool, but I like another victory more,' says Andy Roddick

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

Ranked 8th, Roddick delivered his penultimate notable Masters 1000 event in Miami 2010 (the Cincinnati semi-final later that summer), reaching his last final 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 couldn't 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 not following 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, losing ground in the more extended exchanges but still crossing the finish line first with a double break in the deciding set.

Still, that isn't Andy's favorite Miami triumph after 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 the legend Sampras 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.

On the other hand, 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.

Sampras sprayed 16 unforced errors, missing equally from both wings, while Roddick stayed on just eight, controlling his shots' pace to avoid easy mistakes.

Overall, 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 giant serves, 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 most 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. Unlike me, Roger Federer was always relaxed before the match, and I was always jealous about that. When I care about something, I'm pretty high strung," Andy Roddick said.