Roddick wins twice Thursday at rainy RCA Championships

July 23, 2004 05:12 AM
Andy Roddick returns a shot to Michel Kratochvil of Switzerland during the RCA Championships July 22, 2004 at the Indianapolis Tennis Center in Indianapolis, Indiana
American Andy Roddick had a long day Thursday at the $600,000 RCA Championships. It did not faze him.

Roddick outlasted Swiss qualifier Michel Kratochvil, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, in a second-round afternoon match suspended by rain, then defeated No. 15 Robby Ginepri of the United States, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, in a night match whose start was delayed by rain.

"I'm getting used to (the rain) after Wimbledon," Roddick said. "It was unfortunate the rain came last night but it's a lot easier when you know what's ahead of you. I knew what I had to do today and you just have to come out and get it done."

Roddick, the top seed and defending champion here, was at 2-5, deuce on his serve in the second set against Kratochvil on Wednesday night when play was suspended due to heavy rains at the U.S. Open warm-up hardcourt event. When action resumed Thursday, Kratochvil broke to level the match.

But Roddick broke in the seventh game of the decisive set and served out the match, then had several hours to rest before facing Ginepri at night.

After winning the first set in a tiebreaker, Roddick was broken twice in the second set but broke Ginepri three times - including the ninth game - before serving out the match.

"I wasn't even getting a sniff on his serve and I wasn't even close," Roddick said. "He was playing a lot better than me in the first set but my serve kept me in it. I play well in tie-breaks and unfortunately for him he missed a couple of forehands. But that's the pressure of a tie-breaker."

In the quarterfinals, Roddick awaits No. 6 Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia, who narrowly defeated No. 11 Joachim Johansson of Sweden, 7-6 (11-9), 4-6, 7-6 (7-1).

"Dominik is a great player and he's had a solid season," Roddick said. "I think he's in the Top 15 in the Champions Race. The last time we played he got me so I'm looking forward to it."

Also Thursday, third-seeded Frenchman Sebastian Grosjean beat No. 14 Xavier Malisse of Belgium, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. Grosjean next faces No. 10 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, who beat Czech lucky loser Jan Hernych, 6-3, 6-4.

"I played well in the tie-break and I just tried to stay focused after I won the first set," Grosjean said. "I like playing here and the conditions are different from day to night. You have to get used to it."

Fourth seed Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand defeated Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-3, 6-0, to reach the quarterfinals. He awaits No. 12 Nicolas Kiefer of Germany, a finalist last week at Los Angeles who eased past South African qualifier Rik De Voest, 6-1, 7-5.

"It was very humid," Kiefer said. "Los Angeles was hot but it was dry and here it is very heavy. You just have to get through some how but I'm happy I got through in two sets. A win is a win. I didn't play my best game and that's the reason why the second set was close."

A second qualifier, Noam Okun of Israeli, advanced to the round of eight with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 triumph over Karol Beck of Slovakia. Okun will meet Frenchman Gregory Carraz, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Australian qualifier Todd Reid. First prize is $74,250.