Aggressive Massu ends Roddick's winning run
Friday 17 October 2003
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.
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings: Mesut Ozil? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Nacer Chadli? Who was the star man at the Emirates?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Stoke City vs Newcastle analysis: Window woes leave Alan Pardew bereft of flair
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
Cristiano Ronaldo banner: This is how Real Madrid striker reacted to the stunt by Manchester United fans
- 1 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so