Federer–Roddick rivalry

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Roger Federer and Andy Roddick

The Federer–Roddick rivalry was a rivalry between two professional tennis players, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Andy Roddick of the United States. Though lopsided, the rivalry is one of the longest rivalries in tennis. The two have met 24 times in official Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) matches, and Federer leads 21–3, making Roddick the player with the most tournament defeats to Federer in the ATP circuit. In terms of number of matches played, it ranks as the eleventh largest rivalry in the Open Era.

Both men are Grand Slam champions and former world number one players. Roddick has lost four Grand Slam finals (Wimbledon in 2004, 2005, and 2009, and the US Open in 2006), each time to Federer. Their match in the 2009 Wimbledon final, where Roddick brought Federer to a thirty-game fifth set, has been called one of the greatest matches in tennis history.[1] On February 2, 2004, Federer supplanted Roddick as World No. 1 to begin his record reign of 237 consecutive weeks at #1. They were the two highest-ranked players in the world from November 2003 to January 2005.

Notable matches[edit]

2002 Basel Quarterfinal[edit]

The third match played between Federer and Roddick was in Federer's hometown of Basel, Switzerland, at the 2002 Davidoff Swiss Indoors. Federer had won the first set in a tiebreak and was up by a break in the second set when Federer made what Patrick McEnroe said was the "best shot of his career".[this quote needs a citation] In the point, Roddick served to Federer and moved up to the net, implying that he would use a serve and volley tactic. However, he forced a weak return from Federer and hit an overhead smash that appeared to be a winner. Federer managed to run across the court and hit a slicing overhead, however, and Roddick watched as the shot landed just within the line, giving Federer the point. Federer went on to win the match in straight sets.

Federer won the fifth Grand Slam of his career at the 2005 Wimbledon Championships.

2003 Wimbledon Semifinal[edit]

Both players had advanced to their first Wimbledon semifinals with relative ease, each one of them having lost only one set en route to the semifinal, and the winner of the match would be a heavy favorite against Mark Philippoussis in the final. The first set was close, and went to a tie break. In the tiebreak Roddick held set point at 6-5, however he would commit a forehand error into the net and Federer would go on to win the set, and the match 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 before defeating Phillipoussis in the final to win his first of seven Wimbledon titles.

2003 Montreal Semifinal[edit]

Going into the match a win would have given Federer the number one ranking for the first time in his career. Roddick, the sixth seed at the 2003 Canada Masters tournament, had suffered four straight losses to Federer when he entered the match. He won the first set against Federer, who was the third seed, but Federer answered by winning the second set. In the third set, they went to their fifth tiebreaker in five matches, and Roddick prevailed to score his first victory over Federer. Roddick would go on to win back-to-back Masters tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati, and the 2003 US Open, allowing him to secure the World No. 1 ranking.

2004 Wimbledon Final[edit]

The 2004 Wimbledon Final marked the first time they had met in the finals of any tournament and the first time they played as the top two players in the world. Roddick was able to break Federer's serve and win the first set by using his powerful forehand, but Federer bounced back and took the second and third sets, winning the third set in a tiebreak. Roddick continued to keep the match close in the fourth set, but Federer held him off to win his second Wimbledon title and third Grand Slam title.[2]

2005 Wimbledon Final[edit]

in 2005, Federer and Roddick played each other at Wimbledon for the third consecutive year and for the second straight year in the final. However, unlike their meeting last year, Federer won the first set with ease, breaking Roddick twice during the set. Roddick forced a tiebreak in the second set, but Federer prevailed in the tiebreak. Federer then proceeded to finish off the match after breaking Roddick once more, winning it in straight sets. It was Federer's third consecutive Wimbledon title and his fifth Grand Slam title.

Federer won the ninth Grand Slam of his career at the 2006 US Open.

2006 US Open Final[edit]

The 2006 US Open final marked the sixth consecutive meeting in a final between Roddick and Federer, and their third consecutive in the finals of a Grand Slam. Federer broke Roddick twice in the first set to win it, but Roddick broke Federer early in the second set, and held the early lead to win the set. Federer grabbed a late break against Roddick to prevent a tiebreak and win the third set, and he cruised past Roddick in the fourth set to win his third consecutive US Open.

2007 Australian Open Semifinal[edit]

Before the 2007 Australian Open, Roddick had challenged Federer in both the US Open final and the year-end championships in Shanghai and had pulled off an impressive victory over him at an exhibition tournament in Kooyong. The match began as a close affair until Federer broke Roddick late in the set and served out the set. Federer then proceeded to fly past Roddick, breaking him three times in the second set and two times in the third set to wrap up the match, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2. Following the match, Roddick gave his most famous press conference.[citation needed] When asked how he felt at the end of the match, Roddick stated, "It was frustrating, you know, it was miserable, it sucked, it was terrible. But besides that it was fine".

Federer's 2009 Wimbledon victory shattered the record of most Grand Slam titles, the most coveted record in all of tennis.

2008 Miami Quarterfinal[edit]

Before the matchup, both Federer and Roddick were having poor starts to their seasons; Roddick had suffered early losses in the Australian Open and in the Indian Wells Masters, while Federer was suffering from mononucleosis. At the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open (Miami Masters), Roddick won the first set tiebreak, but a break of serve in the second set allowed Federer to level the match. Roddick continued to play well, however, and won the third set, pulling out his second win over Federer and his first in almost five years.

2009 Wimbledon Final[edit]

Without question, the 2009 Wimbledon final was Federer and Roddick's most historic match, and their first meeting in a final since the 2006 US Open. Prior to the match, Federer had only dropped one set during the entire tournament, but Roddick had struggled to win his first three matches. Federer and Roddick were both serving well to start the match, but Roddick secured a break late in the set and took the first set. The second set went to a tiebreaker, and Roddick quickly secured four set points. But, on the first set point, Roddick mishit a backhand volley, and Federer took advantage of Roddick's miss to win five consecutive points and the second set. The third set also resulted in a tight tiebreak, which Federer won. However, in the fourth set, Roddick took momentum away from Federer with a beautiful backhand passing shot down the line to break Federer. Roddick managed to continue to hold for the rest of the set to take it 6-3. Through four sets, Federer was unable to break Roddick's powerful serve. In the deciding fifth set, both players held serve until the score was 15-14 and a mishit forehand by Roddick gave Federer a break point and match point. Federer converted the point to win the match, which gave Federer his sixth Wimbledon title. Federer also won his fifteenth Grand Slam, which broke Pete Sampras's record for most Grand Slams won. The match holds the record for being the longest Wimbledon final in terms of games played.[3]

2012 Miami 3rd Round[edit]

Federer and Roddick met for the 24th and final time in the 3rd round at Miami, with Federer leading the head to head 21-2. This was the first and only time they had met before the quarter-finals of any tournament. In the first set, both players held serve 6 times which lead to a tiebreak in the first set, which Roddick won 7-6 (7-5). Federer cruised through the second set, winning it 6-1. Early in the third set, Roddick saved three break points for a crucial hold. The next game he broke Federer with four crushing forehand winners. Roddick went on to hold for the rest of the set, securing the win with a service winner in only the 3rd time he's beaten Federer. It proved to be their final meeting, as Roddick ended his career at the 2012 US Open, thus securing the head to head record at 21-3.

List of all matches[edit]

Legend (2004–2008) Legend (2009–present) Federer Roddick
Grand Slam Grand Slam 8 0
Tennis Masters Cup ATP World Tour Finals 3 0
ATP Masters Series ATP World Tour Masters 1000 4 3
ATP International Series Gold ATP World Tour 500 Series 2 0
ATP International Series ATP World Tour 250 Series 4 0
Davis Cup Davis Cup 0 0


Federer-Roddick (21–3)

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Length (H:MM) Federer Roddick
1. 2001 Switzerland Basel Carpet (i) Quarterfinal Federer 3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–5) 1:41 1 0
2. 2002 Australia Sydney Hard Semifinal Federer 7–6(7–3), 6–4 1:21 2 0
3. 2002 Switzerland Basel Carpet (i) Quarterfinal Federer 7–6(7–5), 6–1 1:10 3 0
4. 2003 United Kingdom Wimbledon Grass Semifinal Federer 7–6(8–6), 6–3, 6–3 1:43 4 0
5. 2003 Canada Montreal Hard Semifinal Roddick 6–4, 3–6, 7–6(7–3) 1:56 4 1
6. 2003 United States Tennis Masters Cup Hard Semifinal Federer 7–6(7–2), 6–2 1:02 5 1
7. 2004 United Kingdom Wimbledon Grass Final Federer 4–6, 7–5, 7–6(7–3), 6–4 2:31 6 1
8. 2004 Canada Toronto Hard Final Federer 7–5, 6–3 1:25 7 1
9. 2004 Thailand Bangkok Hard (i) Final Federer 6–4, 6–0 0:57 8 1
10. 2005 United Kingdom Wimbledon Grass Final Federer 6–2, 7–6(7–2), 6–4 1:41 9 1
11. 2005 United States Cincinnati Hard Final Federer 6–3, 7–5 1:15 10 1
12. 2006 United States US Open Hard Final Federer 6–2, 4–6, 7–5, 6–1 2:25 11 1
13. 2006 China Tennis Masters Cup Hard (i) Round Robin Federer 4–6, 7–6(10–8), 6–4 2:29 12 1
14. 2007 Australia Australian Open Hard Semifinal Federer 6–4, 6–0, 6–2 1:23 13 1
15. 2007 United States US Open Hard Quarterfinal Federer 7–6(7–5), 7–6(7–4), 6–2 2:01 14 1
16. 2007 China Tennis Masters Cup Hard (i) Round Robin Federer 6–4, 6–2 1:01 15 1
17. 2008 United States Miami Hard Quarterfinal Roddick 7–6(7–4), 4–6, 6–3 1:55 15 2
18. 2009 Australia Australian Open Hard Semifinal Federer 6–2, 7–5, 7–5 2:05 16 2
19. 2009 United States Miami Hard Quarterfinal Federer 6–3, 4–6, 6–4 2:03 17 2
20. 2009 Spain Madrid Clay Quarterfinal Federer 7–5, 6–7(5–7), 6–1 2:11 18 2
21. 2009 United Kingdom Wimbledon Grass Final Federer 5–7, 7–6(8–6), 7–6(7–5), 3–6, 16–14 4:16 19 2
22. 2010 Switzerland Basel Hard (i) Semifinal Federer 6–2, 6–4 1:10 20 2
23. 2011 Switzerland Basel Hard (i) Quarterfinal Federer 6–3, 6–2 1:04 21 2
24. 2012 United States Miami Hard Round of 32 Roddick 7–6(7–5), 1–6, 6–4 2:01 21 3

Exhibition matches[edit]

Federer-Roddick (1–1)[edit]

No. Year Tournament Surface Round Winner Score Federer Roddick
1. 2005 AAMI Classic Hard Final Federer 6–4, 7–5 1 0
2. 2007 AAMI Classic Hard Final Roddick 2–6, 6–3, 3–6 1 1

Performance timeline comparison (Grand Slam tournaments)[edit]


Won tournament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Round 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a Round Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent from tournament event; played in a Davis Cup Zonal Group (with its number indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, silver (F or S) or gold medal at the Olympics; a downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament (Not a Masters Series); or a tournament that was Not Held in a given year.

To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

  • Bold = players met during this tournament


Player 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Switzerland Roger Federer 3R QF QF 4R 4R 1R 1R 4R 4R 1R W 4R W 3R W W SF SF W W W F W W
United States Andy Roddick A 3R 3R QF 2R 1R 3R QF SF 1R SF W QF 2R F QF SF 2R F 1R 4R 1R 3R F


Player 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Switzerland Roger Federer W F W W SF F F W F W W F W QF QF SF SF F QF SF SF SF W QF
United States Andy Roddick SF 1R QF QF 3R A 2R QF SF 4R F 3R QF 3R 4R 2R 4R A 3R QF 2R 1R 3R 4R

Career evolution[edit]

Federer and Roddick were born about one year apart. Federer's birthday is August 8, 1981, while Roddick's is August 30, 1982. A different viewpoint of their career evolution is offered by taking the season they entered with an age of 17 as starting point. For instance in 2004, Federer started the season at 22 years old; at the end of that season, he accumulated a career record of four Grand Slam titles, a total of 22 singles titles. and his final ranking was no. 1 at 23 years old.

  • () = active record (updated Monday March 18, 2013)
Age (end of season) 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
Switzerland Federer's season 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
United States Roddick's season 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Grand Slam titles Federer 0 0 0 0 1 4 6 9 12 13 15 16 16 17 (17)
Roddick 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Grand Slam match wins Federer 0 7 20 26 39 61 85 112 138 162 188 208 228 247 (260)
Roddick 0 8 15 32 47 59 70 83 90 106 116 125 131 131 131
Total titles Federer 0 0 1 4 11 22 33 45 53 57 61 66 70 76 (77)
Roddick 0 3 5 11 15 20 21 23 26 27 29 30 32 32 32
Total match wins Federer 15 51 100 158 236 310 391 483 551 617 678 743 807 878 (921)
Roddick 4 46 102 174 248 307 356 410 459 507 555 589 612 612 612
Ranking Federer 64 29 13 6 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 3 2 (2)
Roddick 156 14 10 1 2 3 6 6 8 7 8 14 39
Weeks at number 1 Federer 0 0 0 0 0 48 100 152 204 237 262 285 285 302 (302)
Roddick 0 0 0 9 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13