x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Roddick still grimaces over childhood defeat by Serena

Having enjoyed grand slam glory and held the world No 1 ranking, Andy Roddick cannot have too many regrets.

MELBOURNE // Having enjoyed grand slam glory and held the world No 1 ranking, Andy Roddick cannot have too many regrets. But there is one defeat he cannot expunge, one that still causes him to wince - a loss to Serena Williams. "She always just gives me a hard time," the American groaned. "Ask her about it.

"But she won't give me a rematch. I saw her yesterday, and she started laughing because she knew I had probably seen it," he smiled, referring to a post on Serena's website revealing the result. Roddick was speaking after a straight forward win over Tommy Robredo in the fourth round. Roddick beat Robredo 7-5 6-1 6-3 to extend his perfect record against the Spaniard to 10 matches. Roddick, who has only conceded one set to Robredo in their 10 meetings, overwhelmed him again to wrap up a comprehensive victory in one hour and 47 minutes.

But it was Roddick's famous loss that was the topic of the day. The match in question took place when the pair were children and Roddick claims there were good reasons for the upset. "When we were 10, I had to literally run around in the shower to get wet. I was this big. She was bench pressing dump trucks already at that time. "Any chance she gets she just does it to get under my skin, and she does it very successfully. However many odd Wimbledon titles she has won and she's like, 'What's your best match? I have a win over Andy Roddick.'

"She forgets to mention that it was 1993." Roddick was born in 1982 and a year after Serena. The mischievous Serena claims her victory was a one-sided 6-1 whereas Roddick insisted it was closer than that. "She's good at not letting the truth get in the way of a good story sometimes. I think it was 6-4," he said Roddick did not dare tackle Serena's big sister Venus at the time. "She was way too good," he said. "I couldn't even be on the same court. For literally about two-and-a-half, three years we had three courts in Florida, and it was me, Serena and Venus.

"We spent hours and hours out there just playing. We have all done pretty well, and all three of those little kids out there got to No 1, which is pretty cool. "I'm just happy for them. They're good girls. It's nice." sports@thenational.ae