Andy Roddick, third highest-ranked American tennis player, finally bested the third ranked player in the world, Roger Federer, at the BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition at NYC'S Madison Square Garden Monday night. Roddick, who has lost to Federer 21 out of the 23 times that they faced one another, credits Knicks guard Jeremy Lin for helping him win.
Roddick said he felt Lin's presence in the arena that the Knicks' starting point guard calls home. He told the crowd of 18,079 that it was Lin who inspired him to overcome Federer.
"I feel like Jeremy Lin wanted me to win," Roddick told the crowd. "I felt his energy in the building, so I had to try to pull through."
Much like Lin was an NBA underdog before rising to fame in February, Roddick has been overlooked in the world of tennis most recently. Roddick, 29, is currently ranked as the 31st best tennis player in the world while his opponent, 30-year-old Federer from Switzerland, is highly ranked in the tennis world. Federer recently won his 72nd career ATP Tour title recently, while Roddick has struggled to find a big win since his Grand Slam title in the 2003 U.S. Open.
Roddick's previous behavior on the tennis court has caused some controversy for the two-time Cincinnati champion, after causing controversy in the Western and Southern Open last August.
During the summer match, Roddick seemed to lose his cool in the final set, when he forcefully smacked a ball into the stands. The action resulted in a point penalty by chair umpire Carlos Bernardes.
He spoke about hurting his own career with such careless actions.
"It's so frustrating. I certainly accept what I did," Roddick told the media after the controversial match. "At a certain point, I would love it if we got out of our own way," Roddick said. "Seems counterproductive."
It seems Roddick is in different spirits these days, jokingly speaking about Federer's inability to beat him despite maintaining a high-ranking world record.
"It was pretty clear that I'm obviously in Roger's head and he didn't quite know how to deal with it," Roddick joked. "He's not really good under pressure, as you saw in that tiebreaker. He has no idea how to play me, so I just capitalized on that."