Roddick Out In D.C.

Roddick Out In D.C.

France’s Gilles Simon out-served 2nd seeded Andy Roddick, the master of serving, and ended American hopes for hardcourt success at the Legg Mason in Washington. Roddick, a three-time winner in this event, only landed 55 percent of his first serves and only mustered three aces against the 33 ranked Simon.

To make matters worse, the second seed only won 33 percent of his usually reliable second serves. The win marked the first time that Simon was victorious against America’s top six-shooter. Simon managed to control play and break Roddick three times in the 6-3, 6-3 Round Of Sixteen triumph.

Simon has now advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time this season and will face Argentine David Nalbandian who has looked rock solid so far. Nalbandian is showing no signs of the hip injury that sidelined him for most of last year and has only lost nine games in his first three rounds.

The Argentine cruised past Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli 6-1, 6-0 in an evening match. The Legg Mason is only the fifth tournament for Nalbandian since May 2009.

Fourth seeded Croatian Marin Cilic ended Mardy Fish’s personal best 11 match win streak in a tense three setter, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Fish applied pressure but was unable to convert three break chances n the final set. Cilic converted both his break point opportunities in the two hour 16 minute battle.

Cilic looks to be returning to the winning form that earned him the Chennai and Zagreb titles earlier in the season. He will next be challenged by Janko Tipsarevic, the Serb, who ousted Sam Querrey. Cilic carries a 4-0 career record against Tipsarevic but the Serb has been playing his best tennis of late.

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Tipsarevic advanced by way of a gritty win over Colombian upset specialist Alejandro Falla 6-3, 6-4. The match was delayed by rain and did not conclude until 1:00 a.m.

America’s behemoth John Isner was chopped down to size by Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5). For Isner the loss marked his first third set tiebreaker loss in his career. The match was reminiscent of Malisse’s April win over the husky American. Both players played well in the tiebreaker with Malisse capturing the first mini-break at 5-5.

Malisse now advances to tangle with top seed Tomas Berdych, who had his hands full with Andrey Golubrev 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. After taking a month off Berdych is struggling to sustain his competitive mindset. The 16th seed, who recently claimed the Hamburg title, broke through at 4-5 in the second set and then ran off two more games to square the match.

Overlooked American, Ryan Sweeting broke 3rd seeded Fernando Verdasco in the first game of each set but was overwhelmed by the lefthander’s power game in a good 6-4, 7-5 match. The win advances Fernando to his ninth quarterfinal of the season.

Verdasco will be in for a tough test against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis on Friday. Baghdatis likes long matches and he got one against Ukrainian Illya Marchenko in a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 win. Baghdatis seems to get better as the sets take longer. Verdasco is not known for his patience.


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