Aggressive Massu ends Roddick's winning run

With the possible exceptions of The Mousetrap and Coronation Street, all good runs come to an end, as Andy Roddick's did here yesterday. But the 21-year-old United States Open champion has achieved enough this season to offset the disappointment of his emphatic defeat by the Chilean Nicolas Massu, 7-6, 6-2, in the third round of the Madrid Masters.

Roddick had won 20 consecutive tournament matches until this first encounter with Massu and had lost only two of 31 matches since Wimbledon. The American was also on course to become the first player to win three successive Masters Series events since their inception in 1990.

But the cracks evident in Roddick's tight second-round win against Max Mirnyi, of Belarus, on Wednesday developed into a chasm against Massu, who managed to out-serve and out-hit an opponent who has punished others in a similar fashion.

Like Mirnyi, Massu was almost crushed by Roddick's early assault, recovering from 5-2 down in the opening set to dictate the majority of the points thereafter. Massu could claim that he was the victim of a questionable call when broken for 2-4 in the first set, but his response came from his racket.

Once the Chilean broke back for 4-5, the whole pattern of the match changed. Massu became the aggressor, Roddick the man forced on to the backfoot.

Massu's serve became rock solid - his first serve percentage was 82 in the second set, and 74 per cent for the match, against Roddick's 54 per cent - and his nimble footwork enabled him to create winning angles for his groundstrokes.

The sporting Roddick more than once complimented Massu's powerful strokes with a nod and a shout of "Shot!" The Chilean's angled forehand at 2-3 in the first-set tie-break roused the spectators and raised his confidence to a new level.

The shaken Roddick netted a forehand approach shot and then was unable to pick up a drop shot to leave Massu with three set points at 6-3. The Chilean converted the first.

Massu broke for 2-0 in the second set, cracking Roddick with two service returns, and the American was unable to recover, double-faulting on match point. "I just didn't bring my best stuff today," Roddick said, "and he stepped up and played a really good match."

The 24-year-old Chilean, ranked No 21 in the world, eliminated Gustavo Kuerten, of Brazil, but yesterday's victory was sweeter.

Roger Federer, the Wimbledon champion, advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-6 win against the American Mardy Fish. Fish, the only player to take a set off Federer at the All England Club last summer, led 4-2 in the second set here.

Fish became so frustrated after losing the advantage that he was warned for abusive language. Federer went on to win the tie-break, 7-4.

The manner of Juan Carlos Ferrero's win against the South African Wayne Ferreira on Wednesday night, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6, suggested that the sport ought to review the rules concerning injury time-outs.

Ferreira had the momentum in the final set when, on the prompting of his coach, Ferrero called the trainer to change a bandage on an ankle. Having waited to finish the match, Ferreira was unsettled by spectators cheering when he missed a first serve and double-faulted on match point.

"I guess [calling the trainer] was a probably a mental ploy to try and stall the game," Ferreira said. "As for the crowd, I've never seen anything as disgraceful in 15 years on the tour."

Ferrero reached the quarter-finals last night, defeating his compatriot, Felix Mantilla, 7-6, 7-6, and will today play Paradorn Srichaphan, of Thailand.

News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot