Sat, Aug 02, 2003 - Page 18 News List

Roddick beats Rusedski in fireworks-free match


Second seed Andy Roddick defeated Britain's Greg Rusedski 6-3, 7-6 in their first meeting since last month's explosive clash at Wimbledon to reach the fourth round of the US$600,000 Washington Classic on Thursday.

World No. 1 Andre Agassi also progressed, charging past Armenia's Sargis Sargsian 6-3, 6-2 in 58 minutes to take his career record to 6-0 against his regular practice partner.

Rusedski let rip with a string of expletives as he questioned the umpire's decision during their second-round match at Wimbledon but there were no verbal fireworks this time -- only power tennis from two of the game's hardest hitters.

Roddick saved three break points in the opening game of the match and broke Rusedski in the next game for the only service break of the night.

"I think the first two games of the match were quite important," Rusedski told reporters. "Had I broken him to start the match, it probably would have been a different story.

"But he's the one who broke me and it set the tone for the first set. The difference in the match was just one or two points here and there -- that's tennis."

In the second set tie break, Roddick led 4-3 on serve when he thumped a backhand passing shot that left his opponent motionless at the net. The American went on to claim the tie break 7-4.

"He played very well in the service games in the second set," said Roddick, who blasted 12 aces in the match to Rusedski's nine.

"He picked up a lot of my best returns. I was just lucky enough to hit a good backhand pass in the [tie] breaker."

Rusedski was 5-2 up in the third set at Wimbledon when he believed the umpire should have replayed a point after a spectator called a ball out. Roddick ultimately won the point and, after the Briton's meltdown, the match 7-6, 7-6, 7-5.

"Tonight was just me playing Greg another time," said Roddick, who is ranked sixth in the world.

"Wimbledon is far out of my mind. He blew up and it was an incident."

Top seed Agassi, gunning for his sixth Washington title, opened the second set by breaking Sargsian to love to essentially seal his opponent's fate.

"The second set I told myself, `Make sure you get off to a good start, make sure you execute,'" Agassi said. "Getting off to a quick break helps you to loosen up."

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