Roddick gets his rematch

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:56 AM ET

WIMBLEDON -- Andy Roddick gets yet another opportunity to scale the heights of Mount Federer today.

And even he isn't certain if he is up to the challenge.

"The thing I try to think of is, I have to be better (today)," said Roddick, who survived a dramatic 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 7-6 semi-final match that began on Friday and ended yesterday, beginning what proved to be the most dramatic and entertaining day of Wimbledon tennis yet.

"I don't have to be better for the next 10 years," Roddick said. "I have to be better tomorrow."

And if he doesn't believe it, who will?

SOLID NUMBERS

Federer has won the past two Wimbledon men's championships, is 20-0 in his last 20 finals and has an 8-1 career won-loss record over Roddick, one of those being a Wimbledon final. Other than that, it should be easy for Roddick.

"Was it impressive?" the big-serving Roddick asked not necessarily rhetorically, talking about Federer's semi-final demolition of No. 3 seed Lleyton Hewitt. "Yes, very impressive. Was I surprised or shocked at it? Not really."

Surprising yesterday was both the calibre of the Roddick-Thomas Johansson semi-final and the overall high quality of play. Roddick began the day losing a first-set tiebreaker then more than hanging in to win the next three sets 6-2, 7-6, 7-6 in a stirring display of tennis against the more than able Johansson.

"I felt like I played great stuff," said a pumped up and likeable Roddick, trying indeed to pump himself up.

"The level of tennis out there was very, very high."

HIGH LEVEL

He had to play that high level just to get past Johansson. Today, how much he can stay the course will be an enormous test against the seemingly invincible Federer.

"I'm ecstatic that I'm playing against Roger," said Roddick, who has only won Wimbledon on an American Express television commercial but not in real life. "He's the champ. I'd love to give it another go."

Federer is trying to be the third men's player to win three Wimbledons in a row.

"It's basically impossible to break down my mental part (of my game)," Federer said. "I feel like I go into every match knowing I can win."


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