TENNIS Roddick advances with win over Blake
Bellucci books meeting with Tsonga after Baghdatis retires with back injury
Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Andy Roddick defeated James Blake 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (8/6) on Monday in an all-American second-round clash at the ATP Winston-Salem Open.
Roddick, the fifth seed, dropped serve early, but pulled level with Blake at 5-5 and went on to claim the opening set in a tiebreaker.
Trailing 4-5 in the second, he saved two set points en route to a victory in one hour and 39 minutes.
Roddick, winner of the hardcourt title in Atlanta last month, recorded his 20th match win of the season.
“It was tough tonight,” Roddick said. “I was lucky to squeeze it out. I’m just happy to be through. Each match, you want to play better. That’s what this week is all about.
“The first set I was fortunate. He came out hot and you’re at his mercy when he’s playing like that. I thought I played well in the second set. I’ve always been lucky a lot in my career because I’ve been good at winning those type of matches where it doesn’t look great all the time but you kind of get your way through.”
Roddick said the back trouble that bothered him in Cincinnati last week had so far not been a problem — good news with the US Open starting next Monday.
“It’s all good now,” he said. “It’s been a tough year physically. It’s been frustrating. But I felt good tonight and hopefully I’ll feel good tomorrow and get some matches in this week.”
In another second-round contest, 21-year-old Belgian David Goffin defeated tenth-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
The hard-fought triumph, in two hours and 22 minutes, gave Goffin consecutive ATP level match wins for the first time since he reached the third round at Wimbledon.
Seventh-seeded American Sam Querrey had won the first set 6-3 from Colombian Santiago Giraldo when rain halted their second-round match for the night. They were to resume on Tuesday.
Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci booked a second-round clash with top-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, benefiting from a premature exit by 2006 Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis.
Bellucci was leading their first-round match 7-5, 3-1 when the Cypriot retired with a back injury.
Poland’s Lukasz Kubot advanced to a second-round clash with another Frenchman, eighth-seeded Julien Benneteau, with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Spain’s Tommy Robredo.
Michael McClune, a US qualifier ranked 303rd in the world, notched his first ATP tour match win with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over 52nd-ranked Alejandro Falla of Colombia in just 63 minutes.
Robin Haase of the Netherlands, who won the claycourt title in Kitzbuhel last month, also advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Russian Nikolay Davydenko.