Rocket Roddick has Johansson in sights

"It's probably a weird dynamic for guys like Lleyton [Hewitt] and myself," Roddick said, "because we're pretty much expected to beat everybody else except for him."

"Him" being Roger Federer, of course.

Hewitt, the third seed, has reached that point of no return. The Australian's task today is to end a run of seven defeats by the defending champion.

At least Hewitt sampled a Wimbledon triumph two years ago, before Federer turned Centre Court into his London property awaiting a Swiss cottage.

Roddick made a spirited challenge to Federer's supremacy in last year's final, taking the first set and then forcing the issue for much of the second and third sets before the maestro won, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4.

Most observers expect Roddick to have another crack at Federer on Sunday. One went so far as to ask the second seed if the final was so close that he could almost smell it or taste it.

"What does it smell like or taste like?" Roddick responded. "Chicken?"

He added: "I'm not good enough to look ahead. I'm very concerned about my next opponent right now. You don't get to the last four and then start overlooking people or thinking you're already there. I have a tough opponent ahead. I've got to get through that. So my mind doesn't really wander."

The 30-year-old Thomas Johansson is next up in Roddick's shooting gallery, and the 12th-seeded Swede's prospects of surviving to the final are rated slimmer than Hewitt's, not that Roddick is taking him lightly.

"I'm not super surprised Johansson is in the semis," he said. "When he starts playing well, he plays really well. He's won a Slam. He's won Masters Series events, he's won titles on grass.

"He's a tough player. He serves well. He returns well. He's a complete player. He doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. But I feel good about how I'm playing now."

Renowned for his explosive serve, the fastest ever recorded at up to 155mph, and his mighty forehand, Roddick has worked hard in the past 12 months to improve his net game. "It gives me another option," he said. "It came up huge in my second-round match."

That was when Roddick led by two sets to love and was hauled back by Daniele Bracciali, of Italy, before prevailing in the fifth set, 6-3.

"Maybe two years ago I might have lost that," Roddick admitted. "[Coming to the net] gave me a Plan B."

Roddick was also taken to five sets by Sébastien Grosjean, of France, in the quarter-finals but regarded the win as a release. "I needed a big result," he said. "I feel a lot freer. There was heat on me coming into this tournament. I'd love to take it further. I'm not satisfied."

Last year at Wimbledon, Johansson lost to Federer in straight sets in the third round, but the Swede was playing with a protected ranking after missing the 2003 season following knee surgery in February. This year has been a boon.

"This is one of the best weeks in my life," he said after his semi-final win over Argentina's David Nalbandian. "If I can play my best tennis, I have a shot."

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power