Rafael Nadal is looking forward to another close battle with former champion Andy Roddick at the US Open today.
”Andy is a fantastic player,” Nadal said. “He's having one of the best careers, being in the top players for, I don't know, 11 years, 10 years, nine years. That's a lot. That's amazing. So I have big respect for Andy, especially he's very tough to be there for a long time and he did. So will be a big test for me.”
The last time these two met at the US Open, Roddick raced to a 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 win. That was back in 2004 when the American arrived in New York at the peak of his powers as defending champion. Seven years on from that first meeting, much has changed and as Roddick nears 30, today's quarter-final may provide the last chance for fans to savour these two great competitors going head-to-head in Flushing Meadows.
Nadal has yet to face anyone of Roddick's calibre in New York but the American knows he will have to play out of his skin to win. He enjoyed his best result of the year by taking out fifth seed David Ferrer yesterday but he'll need to top that by some distance.
“It's tough,” Roddick said. “I'm gonna have to play pretty aggressively now, similar to what I did today. He's one of the greatest ever, so I'm gonna have to have a repeat [of how I played against Ferrer] at least.”