Sun, Feb 20, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Roddick advances depite ankle injury

PRO TENNIS TOUR Third-ranked Andy Roddick, who won last week in San Jose, hurt his ankle Friday night with the second set tied at 4-4, but managed to win

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Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic serves to Alicia Molik of Australia during their quarterfinal match at the Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium on Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

Andy Roddick turned his left ankle midway through the second set before squeezing out a 7-6 (7), 7-6 (2) victory over Robby Ginepri in the quarterfinals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships.

Now Roddick, the No. 3 player in the world, must wait and see if he'll be able to try for a second title in two weeks.

Roddick, who won last week in San Jose, hurt his ankle Friday night with the second set tied at 4-4. He used his powerful serve for 22 aces to pull out the match in the second tiebreaker and avoid a third set he might not have been able to play through.

"I was playing in the tiebreaker to hopefully get through and give myself a chance to compete tomorrow. I don't really know if I could've gone much more," Roddick said.

He planned to spend the night treating his ankle with ice and electric stimulation, with the hope he can play in the semifinals today. With a first-round Davis Cup match against Croatia looming on March 4-6, Roddick won't risk further injury.

"That's obviously a huge part of my season, and I have to think of my teammates as well and that aspect. That'll definitely be a concern. ... You stop and start all the time in tennis. It's not something you can really avoid out there," Roddick said.

If he can play, Roddick will meet Kenneth Carlsen of Sweden. Carlsen beat Jan-Michael Gambill 7-6 (7), 7-5 after saving three break points.

Second-seeded Tommy Haas' sore back calmed down, and he responded by beating fifth-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-4, 6-3. Haas will play eighth-seeded Max Mirnyi, a 7-6 (1), 7-6 (1) winner over Antony Dupuis of France.

In women's play, third-seeded Meghann Shaughnessy barely held off 15-year-old Nicole Vaidisova 7-6 (8), 7-6 (6), with the seventh-seeded Russian fighting off five match points in the second set before losing.

Shaughnessy will play top-seeded Vera Zvonareva, a 6-4, 6-1 winner over eighth-seeded Evgenia Linetskaya, on Saturday in the championship of the Cellular South Cup.

Roddick, who won here in 2002, found himself in a tight match even before he hurt his ankle. Ginepri didn't make it easy on Roddick as he fought off eight break points even while struggling with his own serve.

Each held serve in the first set and went to 7-7 in the tiebreaker before Roddick closed out the 53-minute set when Ginepri put a backhand into the net and was long on return of Roddick's serve.

Roddick missed a chance to break Ginepri in the ninth game of the second set at 0-40 -- the game he turned his ankle. So he served out to get to the tiebreaker where he won the first four points and closed out the match when Ginepri hit a forehand wide.

Ginepri, 0-4 in ATP matches against Roddick, said he just couldn't handle the best serve in tennis.

"I couldn't play any better, and it's tough. I played the best I could and still so far away from victory," Ginepri said.

Haas has struggled with a sore lower back problem in the past few matches, but he felt better Friday and beat Malisse, his friend from their days at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy, for the eighth time in 10 matches.

Haas had only four aces, but lost only two points on serve in the first set. He also was very patient with his second serve, converting 16 of 20 into points in the match.

"I feel like I can finally pick up the speed again on my serve without feeling any problems, and I think especially against someone like Xavier who stands back pretty far ... it's important to get a few free points, and I think it worked good today," Haas said.

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