Federer leads Roddick two sets to one in Open final
NEW YORK, Sep 11 (Reuters) Roger Federer moved within one set of claiming his third straight U S Open title when he won the third set of the men's final against Andy Roddick 7-5 to take a two sets to one lead.
The Swiss number one clinched the set by breaking the ninth-seeded American in the last game when Roddick netted a low, reaching backhand volley for a 6-2 4-6 7-5 lead.
The third set stayed on serve until the 12th game, the tension climbing in what could prove to be the pivotal set.
Federer fought off four breakpoints in the fifth game to lead 3-2, and Roddick saved five break points in a marathon sixth game that went to seven deuces.
Roddick, serving in the 12th game to send the set into a tiebreaker, made two forehand errors to set up a triple breakpoint at 0-40. He saved the first with an ace before failing with his volley.
Federer, seeking his ninth grand slam title, hit 23 winners in the set to 15 for Roddick, and made just two errors against nine for the American yesterday.
Roddick, the 2003 champion who had lost 10 of 11 matches against the Swiss maestro, charged back to level the match in the second set after dropping the first set in just 29 minutes.
Playing with much more energy and urgency in the second set, the American broke Federer to love in the opening game of the second set and held in the fourth game helped by a brilliant point where he stretched wide to reach a half-volley and then hit a reflex volley in self defense for a winner.
Showing confidence from the service line and swinging out freely with his powerful forehand, Roddick served out the set after his opening break and committed just two unforced errors in the set.
Twice defending champion Federer had stormed out to the early lead by winning the opening set with ease.
The hard-serving Roddick, who had lost serve only five times in his first six Open matches, was broken three times by Federer in the first set as the Swiss master ripped 15 winners against just five by the ninth-seeded American.
Federer broke Roddick in his first two service games on his way to grabbing a 5-0 lead. The American broke Federer in the seventh game to make it 5-2, before the Swiss champion broke back in the next game to end the set.
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