Roddick ends streak of upsets

August 12, 2008 10:11 PM
WASHINGTON - AUGUST 12: Andy Roddick returns a shot to Ramon Delgado of Paraguay during the Legg Mason Tennis Classic at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center on August 12, 2008 in Washington, DC. Roddick defeated Delgado 6-3,7-6.
WASHINGTON (AP)—Top-seeded Andy Roddick defeated Ramon Delgado 6-3, 7-6 (4) to end a string of first-round upsets at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic Tuesday.

Three seeded players were eliminated in the day’s action before Roddick completed the second-set tiebreaker to earn a spot in the second round.

Roddick had chances to put Delgado away earlier. Serving with a 5-4 lead in the second set, Roddick had two match point opportunities but he eventually lost serve to Delgado.

“I was playing pretty sloppy,” Roddick said. “Then it got tighter than I would have wanted it to.”

Through most of the match, however, Roddick overpowered Delgado, recording 21 aces.

Second-seeded Juan Martin del Porto joined Roddick in advancing with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Jesse Levine in the final first-round match.

Del Porto has now won 15 straight ATP matches. He beat Roddick on Sunday in Los Angeles for the Countrywide Classic title.

Roddick and del Porto’s wins came after seeded players Mardy Fish, Feliciano Lopez and Marat Safin failed to advance to the second round.

Alejandro Falla beat the fifth-seeded Fish 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 and qualifier Robert Kendrick defeated the third-seeded Lopez 6-3, 7-5.

Safin, the sixth seed, retired from his match with Fabio Fognini after losing the first set 7-5. Safin said he pulled a muscle in his neck during the second point of the match.

Of the eight seeded players in the field, only Roddick, del Porto and No. 4 Tommy Haas—who defeated qualifier Rik De Voest on Monday—advanced to the second round.

Until Roddick’s victory, it seemed no seeded player was safe during Tuesday’s matches.

Lopez lost momentum with a double-fault late in the second set. He led 30-0 at 5-5 before the double fault. After that, Kendrick did not lose another point and had two of his 13 aces in the final game to finish the win.

“I definitely wanted to put it away,” Kendrick said.

Safin said he would have been forced to retire even if he’d won the first set. However, he said he does not expect the injury to affect him at the U.S. Open in two weeks.

“I pulled a muscle in the first game and it was getting worse and worse and worse,” Safin said. “I should have stopped before.”

Falla’s win reversed last week’s result, when Fish eliminated Falla in the opening round of the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles.

Fish showed his frustration during the day’s opening match, slamming his racket to the ground and breaking it after losing serve to go down 4-3 in the second set. Fish had a difficult time even when winning the opening set—Falla took a 5-3 lead before Fish rallied.

“It’s never fun to lose,” Fish said. “It was maybe a little more frustrating this time, having played him last week and winning fairly easily.”

In other early matches, Viktor Troicki beat Denis Gremelmayr 6-4, 6-2; Igor Kunitsyn defeated Mischa Zverev 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2 and Eduardo Schwank beat Sebastien Grosjean 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.