Roddick returns with easy win at Legg Mason

August 6, 2009 07:39 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Andy Roddick showed little rust following a month-long break.

The top-seeded Roddick beat Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, his first match since losing the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer on July 5.

“I was certainly eager to get back out there,” Roddick said.

Roddick took the extended break to recover from a right hip flexor injury sustained in that match, an ailment he said has healed. He had a few errant shots go long or wide, but controlled the match throughout, never facing a break point. He had eight aces—including the match winner—without a double-fault, but still pointed to his service game as the area that needs improvement.

“If I have to have one thing that’s rusty that I don’t worry about it coming around, it’s probably my serve,” he said.

Twelve of the 16 seeded players were scheduled to play their first match of the tournament Wednesday. Although Roddick easily advanced, seven seeds were knocked out. Two of the upsets were by former No. 1-ranked players—Juan Carlos Ferrero defeated seventh-seeded Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-2, and Lleyton Hewitt beat No. 15-seed Dudi Sela 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

“He doesn’t have the biggest serve out there,” Hewitt said. “I was trying to be aggressive.”

John Isner outlasted No. 3 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4). The third-set tiebreaker was delayed about 10 minutes by a light rain shower. When play resumed, Isner quickly dispatched Tsonga. Isner had nine of his 20 aces in the third set, including two in the tiebreaker.

Two other seeds ran into injury trouble.

Twelfth-seeded Viktor Troicki retired in the first set against Marc Gicquel due to a right foot injury, and No. 9 seed Mardy Fish was knocked out by Philipp Petzschner 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. It was the first match for Fish since he withdrew from the L.A. Tennis Open before the quarterfinals on Friday due to an abdominal strain sustained in the Davis Cup.

“It’s obviously frustrating to be injured,” Fish said. “I thought in practice I could do pretty much everything, and it’s just not the case.”

Fish said the injury bothers him during his serve—he had nine double-faults—and when he stretches for a shot. He wasn’t sure how long the injury would affect him or if he would have to miss any tournaments.

“I’ll get home, get healthy and get back as soon as I can,” Fish said.

Ferrero, a former world No. 1, finished off his fellow Spaniard with two consecutive aces.

“I was a little bit surprised,” Ferrero said. “I expected at the beginning a little bit tougher match, but I was hitting the ball very well today.”

Roddick had no problem getting the upper hand on Becker. He broke the German’s first service game in both sets, and took a 3-0 lead to open the match.

“He played a little bit of a nervous game the first game in the match, and from there it was an uphill battle,” Roddick said. “I didn’t want to come out just firing—I kind of wanted to work my way into the match, get some rallies going and just do the basics well. I feel like I did that all right.”

Roddick will face No. 16 seed Sam Querrey, who beat Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-4, in the third round Thursday. Querrey is coming off a win at the L.A. Tennis Open and said he’s probably playing as well as he ever has, but even a rusty Roddick will be hard to beat.

“I’m going to have to play a great match to win that,” Querrey said. “It’s a good test to see where I am.”

In other results, No. 11 seed Ivo Karlovic had 18 aces to advance 6-4, 7-5 against Rainer Schuettler; No. 4 Fernando Gonzalez beat Alejandro Falla 7-5, 7-5; Wayne Odesnik defeated No. 13 Igor Andreev 2-6, 7-5, 6-4; and No. 5 Robin Soderling won against Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3, 6-1.

Qualifier Sebastien De Chaunac closed out the day of upsets with a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 win against No. 14 seed Dmitry Tursunov.