Andy Roddick reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals Monday without breaking a sweat. Nice quick day for Roddick, but not nearly enough work if you’re coached by old ‘blood and sweat’ Jimmy Connors…No. 5 seed Roddick made a beeline to the closest practice court, with Connors, who turned 55 Sunday, close behind. For about an hour, a bare-chested Roddick banged balls and broke a sweat, a pleasing sight to eight-time Grand Slam champion Connors. Surrounded by a huge throng of fans, former superstar Connors and superstar pupil waded into the crowd, signing autographs.

Trailing 7-6 (8-6), 2-0, only an hour into the match, Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych got woozy and quit, giving Roddick an easier than expected berth in the final eight.

“I was feeling really bad,” Berdych said. It was like hard to breathe, then the body was so slow.”
Roddick, who has yet to be challenged, faces his toughest challenge Wednesday when he’s expected to do battle with top-seed Roger Federer, who plays Spain’s Feliciano Lopez tonight.

“No offense to Lopez, but I’m kind of already preparing for Roger,” Roddick said. “But I’m excited. I expect a lot of myself. I don’t think anybody else really expects much from me. I’m assuming it will be a night session, you know, the crowd will be electric, and I’ll be excited. I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Roddick has beaten Federer only once (2003 Montreal semifinals) in 14 meetings. He occasionally got testy when questioned about Federer.
Question: Will you watch Federer’s match tonight?

Answer: “I’m not sure. I think we’ve played each other enough. I don’t think I’m going to watch him and discover that he’s good, you know.”

Question: Is there a difference playing him in the quarters and playing him in the final?

Answer: “I don’t know. I’ve never played him in the quarters.”

Question: Against Roger it seems like sometimes he’s drawing you in when he wants you to come in rather than you coming in on your own terms.

Answer: “Okay.”

Question: Can you talk about that, because obviously it’s not like you’re going to play him completely from the baseline.

Answer: “What do you want me to talk about? I agree with what you said.”

Challenged to explain what he meant when he said people don’t expect anything from him, Roddick softened a bit, saying, “Maybe I misspoke, you know. Trust me, I know you guys (media) expect a lot of me. (smiling).”

In another fourth round match, Germany’s Tommy Haas rallied to beat No. 6 James Blake 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7-4). Haas, an U.S. Open quarterfinalists in 2004 and 2006, said, “To be in the quarterfinals again is an awesome feeling.”