TORONTO – The upsets just keep coming at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and Andy Roddick is the latest casualty.
In a thrilling three-set match, Croatian Marin Cilic bested Roddick 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. From the very beginning of the match, it seemed as though the American was feeling out of sorts. At a post-game press conference, Roddick admitted that his recent play has been disappointing.
“Yeah, I mean, something doesn’t feel comfortable,” he said. “I keep feeling if I get a couple three, four matches into a tournament I’ll be alright. I’m not able to do that. It was pretty ordinary out there today.”
Roddick couldn’t pinpoint a reason for his recent lack of success and said that he had to make improvements on all aspects of his game, but did say that his forehanded needed work.
“It’s a little bit across the board,” he said. Forehand is just not doing anything. I’m missing it. That’s the one that I need to click right now.
The match seemed to be carrying over into Roddick’s favor in the second set. After rebounding from a break in the first game, Roddick managed to hold off another double-break opportunity from Cilic in the fifth game of the second set. He then went on to break Cilic in in the eighth game to knot it at 4-4. After holding serve in the ninth game, a crucial double-fault by Cilic in the tenth game gave Roddick the game and the set.
Cilic started the third set by breaking Roddick’s powerful serve again and this proved to be the turning point of the game as neither player was able to break again, giving the 19-year old Cilic the win.
Roddick was as vocal as ever, unable to keep his frustrations with the officials in check. After the match, he explained his disappointment with the officiating after accepting a reserve in the seventh game of the third set.
“Well, someone yelled something in the middle of my toss. I said something and it hit the serve. He missed it,” Roddick said. “I’m guess it should have been a let. The umpire said, I’m not going to call a let. It was obvious that I had said something, so I gave the guy the let just because I probably would have accepted the same. He responded by overruling the far sideline on a first serve on the next ball, which is just bush league.”
Although the call raised the ire of the 2003 Rogers Cup champion, he said it didn’t really influence the match.
“At that point I was down a break, so it didn’t really affect the match at all. That’s certainly not a reason for the loss,” he said. I think my play was definitely the reason for that. But I just thought that was pretty bush league.”
At a post-game press conference, Cilic said that he was affected by Roddick’s run-in with the official.
“I mean, that’s him. Maybe he was just feeling at that point he should argue with the referee,” he said. “For me, it really didn’t matter. I was just focused on myself and playing my game.”
Although obviously upset with himself for the poor showing, Roddick took nothing away from Cilic and was quick to compliment his opponent.
“Well, he definitely isn’t scared to go after the ball. His aggressiveness is what won him that match today. He took it to me a lot more than I took it to him,” Roddick said. “You know, he serves pretty well. You know, I like his — I like how he was aggressive.”
Cilic said that it was one of the best wins of his career after the match.
“It is definitely one of the best,” Cilic said. “You don’t have a chance to beat top 10 players every month, so it’s a good effort.”
After the tournament draw, it was widely expected that Roger Federer and Andy Roddick would meet in the quarterfinals. Instead their respective opponents are the ones who will face-off to see who will move to to the semifinals as Gilles Simon won his third-round contest against Argentinian Jose Acasuso in straight sets (6-3, 6-4) and will now face Cilic.
The Croat said that he isn’t fatigued by the tournament thus far.
“So far, I’m feeling really good, and I think for tomorrow I’m going to be fresh.”
Cilic admitted that Federer’s early elimination opens up a much bigger opportunity for both semifinalists in Toronto.
“If Rodger is playing, obviously he can play much better than he played last night,” he said. “So I think it’s a good opportunity for me and also for Simon to advance. But we’ll see what’s going to happen. We are both, I think, in good shape and good form, so I think it’s going to be quite interesting.”