Roddick rolls past Monaco at Winston-Salem Open

August 25, 2011 05:21 PM
WINSTON-SALEM, NC - AUGUST 25: Andy Roddick of the USA returns a shot to Juan Monaco of Argentina in their quarterfinal match during the Winston-Salem Open.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Top-seeded Andy Roddick rolled to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Argentina's Juan Monaco on Thursday afternoon in the Winston-Salem Open quarterfinals.

Roddick will take on fellow American John Isner in Friday's semifinals. Isner rallied past eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 earlier Thursday.

Roddick needed just more than an hour on a hot afternoon as he dominated with his serve, getting his first serve in 81 percent of the time.

"I didn't feel too much of the heat, to be honest,'' Roddick said. "I always have done OK in it. I didn't think about it too much out there.''

Monaco, who was the seventh seed, gave up nine aces to Roddick and failed to break Roddick's serve.

Roddick, who appears to be back to full strength after battling an abdominal injury the last few weeks, jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first set. He kept the pressure on throughout, and has won three straight matches pretty easily in a final tuneup before next week's U.S. Open.

"I've won the first sets pretty handily this week,'' Roddick said. "I've been anxious to play and I've been ready to play and that sets the tone for the match. You kind of give yourself a good look in the second set and he's feeling a little more pressure.''

In the other quarterfinal matches, France's Julien Bennetau, a qualifier, rallied from a set down to beat ninth-seeded Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 3-6, 7-6 (9), 6-2 and 10th-seeded Robin Haase of the Netherlands beat Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-4 in a match that lasted 1 hour.

Bennetau and the 24-year-old Haase, who is ranked 42nd by the ATP, will play the second semifinal. The final is scheduled for Saturday.

The 26-year-old Isner is also feeling some pressure to win a tournament in his own backyard. The Greensboro native had to fight back from a set down, but once he got his serve going he calmed down and executed his plan.

Isner, ranked 28th, needed all the crowd support he could get to win a match that lasted nearly 2 hours. He advanced to his fourth semifinal of the season.

"Somebody turned up the heat today and the humidity is what really bothered me,'' said the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Isner. "I'm a big guy and I'm expending more energy than my opponents because of how much I weigh and I'm sweating bullets out there. It takes a lot out of me.''

Isner was also helped by Baghdatis converting just 38 percent of his first serves.

In the third set. Isner double-faulted twice as Isner went up 5-4. Isner then served for the clincher and had three aces with two of the serves reaching 140 mph.

Roddick, who has been here before to compete for the United States in past Davis Cup ties, doesn't expect an easy match against Isner.

"It will be completely different than the three matches I've played so far,'' Roddick said. "The last time we played I went 3 for 3 on break points and that's impossible against him and that doesn't happen all the time.''

Isner, who has been staying at home with his parents just a few minutes away, said it's never easy to play Roddick.

"He's been holding serve pretty easily in this event so far. He's similar to me and he relies a lot on his serve. From the baseline he's so fit and in such good shape he won't blow you away from the baseline but he'll make a lot of balls.

"That's what he does very well.''