|Andy Roddick returns a shot to Dmitry Tursonov of Russia during the RCA Championships. |
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Top-seeded Andy Roddick had to work extra hard Tuesday night to keep alive his bid for a third consecutive RCA Championships, playing three tiebreakers to defeat Russian Dmitry Tursunov in a second-round match.
Roddick, 11-0 in three trips to the tournament at the Indianapolis Tennis Center, closed the match with his 17th ace for a 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 7-6 (5) triumph.
Tursunov, 22, and ranked No. 90, had 18 aces among his 51 winners and kept Roddick moving all night with aggressive shots.
"He was playing well. He really came out. He was hitting a winner or he was missing,'' said Roddick, who was helped by Tursunov having 71 unforced errors. "He was controlling the tempo and that was the game plan.''
There were no service breaks and only four break points in the first two sets, and in each case, Tursunov managed to avoid being broken.
The first break came in the opening game of the third set and it gave Tursunov a 2-0 advantage. Roddick then won three straight games and later opened a 5-3 lead. Tursunov won the next two games and each player then held serve to force the third tiebreaker.
Roddick, playing Tursunov for the first time, took a 6-3 lead in the tiebreaker. Tursunov saved two match points before Roddick's second ace of the tiebreaker ended the match.
"His placement and first serves surprised me. It was do-or-die for him on every shot,'' said Roddick, "and I was a little erratic on my forehand.''
Seventh-seeded Greg Rusedski of Britain, the 2002 champion, also played three tiebreakers to eliminate Weslie Moodie of South Africa, 6-7 (4). 7-6 (7), 7-6 (2) in another second-round match.
Earlier, veteran Jan-Michael Gambill defeated Donald Young in straight sets in the opening round, ending the 15-year-old's bid for his first professional victory.
Gambill advanced to a second-round match against doubles partner Taylor Dent with a 7-6 (10), 6-2 victory over the teenager from Atlanta.
"When you're losing, it is not fun,'' said Young, who got into the tournament as a wild-card entry and battled for more than an hour before losing the opening set.
The second set lasted only 30 minutes as Young, 0-6 in ATP play, began cramping and lost two of his four service games, including his last when he double-faulted twice.
The 28-year-old Gambill, meanwhile, lost only six points on his serve and had five aces in the second set, closing the match by winning the final five games.
"It's difficult,'' Gambill said of playing Young, who won the Australian Open Junior championship in January and is being touted as the next great American star.
"I was probably more nervous than I've ever been for a match,'' Gambill said. "He's going to be a good player. It was a well-played match.''
Young said he continues to play better.
"I assume by the time I get close to their (other pros) age I should be able to beat them,'' said Young, who will turn 16 on Saturday.
Jonas Bjorkman, once No. 4 on the ATP tour and out of the Top 100 this year, advanced to the second round. The 33-year-old Swede, who won the RCA Championships in 1997, took a small step as he defeated Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic 7-6 (3), 6-1.
"To win was the main goal today,'' said Bjorkman, who broke Dlouhy's serve five times and needed just 1 hour, 11 minutes to beat his 22-year-old opponent.
The victory moved Bjorkman, currently No. 103 after finishing in the Top 75 the last 11 years, to 9-13 in singles matches this year.
"If I was going to play bad or good, it didn't really matter as long as I came out to win the match,'' he said.
Bjorkman said dropping out of the Top 100 for the first time since 1993 "definitely gave me a lot of motivation. ... This is probably the first time in my career that I've gone through a bad couple of months.''
In other matches Tuesday, most American players had a tough time. Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador beat American qualifier Mashiska Washington 7-6 (3), 6-3; George Bastl of Switzerland defeated American Jeff Morrison 6-4, 6-4; Ryan Phau of Germany beat American Amer Delic 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3; and Israel's Noam Okum eliminated American Brendan Evans 6-3, 6-3.
There were some exceptions as Americans Paul Goldstein, Kevin Kim and Rajeev Ram won.