Roddick – Hewitt – Oh my!

02 Jul 2009 by Hiland in Wimbledon 2009

Andy Roddick defated Lleyton Hewitt in quarterfinals of Wimbledon 2009The best match of the Gentlemen’s quarterfinal was not between the two best players in the draw. The best match of the day was between a 26 year old American and a 28-year-old Australian. The best quarterfinal match of the day was between two accomplished players considered past prime and written off more than once over their outstanding careers.

The best match of the day was between two seasoned, grizzled and married tour veterans who share 957 career victories. The best quarterfinal match was between two guys that decided after 2008 to rededicate themselves, to log countless miles, lift an infinite number of pounds and hit zillions of tennis balls to reach the next level. Andy Roddick prevailed over Lleyton Hewitt who fought nobly and, like Roddick, deserved to win. This was a match where both players deserved to win, where you could not be disappointed by the outcome. It was that good, that suspenseful, that filled with high drama and stellar play.

It could have been the finals. It was that good. Most likely, it will surpass the finals and the semifinals for drama and heroics.

Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt did what they do best. They played a professional tennis match. They played to win. They played as if they had been there before. They left nothing on the court. They played like two players who have played before and who have built respect for each other’s games.

What drama! The Aussie Crazies were out in force. Those yellow and green shirts jumping up and down, loudly proclaiming their loyalty and defending Australia’s honor as Hewitt has been doing all by himself for some time now.

The American crazies were there too, cheering, interrupting passionate in their exuberance. Like Hewitt, Roddick has been carrying his flag for a long time as well. Like Hewitt, it means something to Andy. It is the way he learned to play, the old way. The way that makes the Brits crazy that they have not had a winner in 73 years.

As expected, Andy Murray moved on Wednesday, blowing out Spain’s play-in Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2. On this day, Andy Murray did what he had to do. He appeased the gallery, gave the media something nice to write about and can now rest with his lovely lady waiting for the older, out-manned Roddick to come out with his 140 mph serve and smack hard shot after hard shot at him. On paper, Andy has reached the finals. But then again, that is why they lace up the sneakers and trot on out there. Another reason is because you might not be exactly sure which Andy Murray will show up for the semis.

What we do know is which Tommy Haas, which Andy Roddick and which Roger Federer will show up. As much as the Brits may not want to admit it, there will be three tennis professionals and a young Scotsman in the semis. After that, we shall see.

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On this day, in this match, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick went toe-to-toe. Roddick won the first set 6-3, and the third set 7-6 (1), while Hewitt prevailed at 7-6 (10), 6-4. Andy Roddick only has a 10-12 won lost record in five set matches. The players have gone at it 12 times. They now stand at 6-6.

So, you knew the fifth set belonged to either player. These two fellows are in terrific shape. It was hot, humid and long. The match fell just shy of four hours court time. At 4-4 in the fifth with Lleyton serving, Roddick fought off 3 game points before finally grabbing an ad. Hewitt served him to submission.

But, the American answered back and got it back to game point. This time, he converted his 4th of 12 break points. He then did what he does best and served out the match, recording his personal best 43rd ace along the way.

The day is over. Tomorrow, the ladies will go at it in the semis. But on this day, the best match of the day featured Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Murray and the Brits who stuck around on Henman’s Hill got their money’s worth. What a match!

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