Andy Roddick beat Roger Federer for only the third time in their 24 meetings, dominating with his serve to win 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 6-4 on Monday in the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Roddick broke serve only once, but held every service game in the first and third sets. After falling behind 15-30 in the final game, he closed out the victory with an ace and two service winners.
“There is no script in sports, you know. I think that’s what makes it the best entertainment in the world,” Roddick said. “Nights like tonight are why you play the matches. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”
On paper, it looked like a mismatch between former world No. 1s, each a two-time champion at the event. The third-ranked Federer began the night 40-2 since the US Open, while Roddick was ranked 34th, the lowest he has been since 2001.
Roddick ended Federer’s streak of 77 consecutive wins against players outside the top 20.
“I feel like I lost against a former No. 1, not that I lost against a guy ranked 30 in the world,” Federer said.
“I’m happy to see Andy play really well. He’s a great champion and enjoy him while you have him,” he said.
Also dominating on their serve were Serena and Venus Williams, who both reached the quarter-finals.
Serena matched a career high with 20 aces to beat Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-3.
“My serve was hot,” Serena Williams said. “I was like: ‘That’s pretty cool.’”
She avenged a loss to Stosur when they last met in the US Open final in September last year.
“That wasn’t in my mind,” Serena Williams said. “I just thought: ‘This is a new game.’”
Older sister Venus won her third consecutive three-set match, hitting 13 aces as she outlasted No. 15 seed Ana Ivanovic 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-2. Williams is playing in her first tournament since withdrawing from the US Open in August last year after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
“I come out on court knowing I can play well, but almost with no expectations,” Venus Williams said.
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka lost 10 of the first 11 games, then rallied to remain unbeaten this year by overcoming Dominika Cibulkova 1-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-5 in the fourth round.
Azarenka won her 26th consecutive match, a streak that began at the start of this year. Her start is the best on the women’s tour since Martina Hingis went 37-0 to begin 1997.
In the second set, Azarenka fell behind 4-0. She found herself two points from defeat five times, but swept the last three games and converted the first match point when Cibulkova hit a passing shot long.
Azarenka has won her four previous tournaments this year, including the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title.
Also reaching the quarter-finals was No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova, who overcame 11 double faults to beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 7-6 (7/3). Sharapova won despite committing 52 unforced errors and losing her serve four times.
Men’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic advanced to the men’s fourth round by beating No. 27 seed Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4.
Djokovic is bidding for his third Key Biscayne title.
No. 8 seed Mardy Fish assured he would remain the top-ranked American man by beating No. 28 Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3. Fish has yet to play in the stadium this tournament and instead faced Anderson at 11am on the grandstand court, but he said that was fine because he prefers an early start.