Thursday September 6th, 2007

NEW YORK -- Dominated. Owned. No matted the adjective you choose, Roger Federer had ample reason to feel confident heading into his quarterfinal meeting with Andy Roddick on Wednesday night.

As significant as the 14-1 career advantage Federer holds over Roddick is, so is the manner in which Federer has beaten him. Roddick has taken just three sets off Federer since his lone win in 2003. Federer also annihilated the American in 83 minutes during their last meeting, at the Australian Open. This is the earliest they've met in a knockout tournament in nearly five years.

"I know the danger of Andy," says Federer. "But I've had some very difficult quarterfinal matches here over the years. This is not the most difficult one. I've had [Andre] Agassi, [David] Nalbandian and [James] Blake."

Wednesday's meeting has far more significance for Roddick. He turned 25 last week, which has generally been the line of demarcation in men's tennis. Then there is the continuing dominance of Federer (26) and the emergence of Rafael Nadal (21) and Novak Djokovic (20). The Open has always been Roddick's best tournament (he won in '03), but you wonder how many more years he realistically has a chance to win here again.

"I think you feel the extra weight of most big matches," says Roddick. "That's just the way it is. But I'm excited. I expect a lot of myself. I don't think anybody else really expects much from me. People are going to call him the favorite."

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