Tue, Mar 16, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Roddick books date with Safin in Pacific Life Open

REUTERS , INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

Andy Roddick beat his former doubles partner Jan-Michael Gambill 7-6, 6-2 on Sunday to set up a meeting with 2004 Australian Open finalist Marat Safin of Russia at the Pacific Life Open.

Safin, seeded 30th, beat Czech qualifier Jan Hernych 6-4 7-6 in second round action and will come up against the third-seeded American in the third round.

Roddick, who faced Gambill for the first time last week in Scottsdale, blasted 21 aces in the thin desert air and was never broken.

The reigning US Open champion and Safin last met in the Australian Open quarterfinals, where the big Russian won a titanic five setter.

"I don't think it's a great draw for me, but at the same time, its probably not a good draw for him either," Roddick said.

Top seed Roger Federer continued his fine form this year with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Romania's Andrei Pavel while number four Guillermo Coria made a good first appearance on American hard courts this season, beating Armenia's Sargis Sargsian 6-3 6-4.

Seventh seed Carlos Moya of Spain, however, double faulted on match point and fell to Russian Irakli Labadze 2-6 6-1 6-3, while 11th seed Nicolas Massu of Chile retired with a sinus infection down 6-3 1-0 to Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal.

In running his 2004 match record to 17-1, Federer was the far superior player on the day, confusing the Romanian with a wide variety of serves.

Federer and Pavel have now played four times in the past five weeks, with the top ranked Swiss coming out on top in every contest.

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