Sun, Jan 23, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Roddick blasts way into next round

ROUND 3 Andy Roddick, seeded second, served up 225kph missiles at Jurgen Melzer, who lost in straight sets. Tim Henman lost to a 26th seed 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

AP , MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Russian Tatiana Panova hits a return to Australian Alicia Molik during their third-round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Saturday. Molik won 6-3, 6-3.

PHOTO: EPA

Second-ranked Andy Roddick's aces had the crowd buzzing and his opponent muttering Saturday as he rode his big serve into the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Pounding the ball better as the match went on, Roddick dropped only seven points in his last 10 service games and finished with 22 aces to oust Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 6-2, 7-5. He also had one of the shots of the day -- a between-the-legs winner with his back to the net while chasing down a lob.

After beating three consecutive left-handers, next up for Roddick is 102nd-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber, a German with a 10-18 career record who won only one Grand Slam match before this tournament.

On a warm, sunny day perfect for dozing, Roddick woke the crowd up quickly, starting his first service game with a pair of aces and soon was cracking serves at up to 225kph. Melzer, seeded 32nd, had three break points in Roddick's next service game, then never got another chance.

"I thought I moved really well. I got up two sets, the third one got a little tight, but I was able to get through," said Roddick, noting his serve isn't yet nearing his world record of 249kph. "I'm holding serve though, that's the most important thing."

In the third game, Melzer drew him into the net with a drop shot, then sent up a lob that landed just in. Roddick raced back and flicked the ball back between his legs and down the line as Melzer barely moved at the net.

He repeated the technique later in the match but missed.

"I got greedy. The first one felt good, so I needed more," he said.

Seventh-seeded Tim Henman had his own stunner, a reflex volley behind his back into an open court. But it was the only highlight for the Briton who made at least the quarterfinals in the last three Grand Slams. He committed 32 unforced errors and five double-faults in falling to 26th-seeded Nicolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

"I feel totally gutted really," said Henman. "My expectations were obviously for a lot more."

Davydenko, who joined fellow Russian Marat Safin in the last 16 men -- seven Russian women have gotten that far -- next faces 12th-seeded Guillermo Canas, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 winner over Radek Stepanek.

French Open finalist Guillermo Coria beat former top-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

Women's French Open champion Anastasia Myskina joined Russia's two other Grand Slam title holders in the fourth round when American Lisa Raymond withdrew with a torn abdominal muscle that forced her to quit her doubles match Friday after one game.

"I'm extremely disappointed because I couldn't have asked to play better in my first two matches," said Raymond, who hopes to return for the Indian Wells tournament in California starting March 9.

Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport beat 15-year-old Czech qualifier Nicole Vaidisova 6-2, 6-4 to move into a fourth-round match against 13th-seeded Karolina Sprem, who ousted Russia's Elena Likhovtseva 6-4, 6-3.

Sixth-seeded Elena Dementieva became the seventh Russian woman to advance when she outlasted Daniela Hantuchova, who committed 78 unforced errors and bloodied her knee in a fall in the second set, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. She next meets No. 12 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, a 7-6 (4), 6-3 winner over American Amanda Spears.

No. 8 Venus Williams overcame a rash of early errors to win the last nine games in a one-hour, 6-3, 6-0 rout of Anna Smashnova.

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