Sat, Mar 03, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Roddick sees off Istomin in Florida

TALL ORDER:Next up for world No. 30 Andy Roddick is 2.01m tall Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who battled to a three-set victory over Xavier Malisse in windy conditions

AP, Delray Beach, Florida

Spain’s Fernando Verdasco returns to his compatriot Nicolas Almagro in their Mexican Open men’s singles match in Acapulco, Mexico, on Thursday.

Photo: Reuters

Andy Roddick reached his second quarter-final of the year with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championship on Thursday.

Roddick avenged his loss to Istomin — in his other quarter-final appearance this year — at last month’s San Jose tournament.

Roddick is currently ranked No. 30, which is the lowest he has been since he held that same ranking in 2001. He has been dealing with hamstring and ankle problems this year and he is struggling to find a range with his game.

Roddick only got half his first serves in against the 51st-ranked Istomin.

“I’m feeling better than I did a couple of matches ago,” Roddick said. “I served horrendously and still won, and was still able to break serve.”

In the second set, Istomin led the penultimate game 40-15, but then made four consecutive unforced errors to hand Roddick the service break.

Roddick eventually managed to serve out the match in the next game, but only after seeing off three break points and needing two match points.

“I got it done in the end,” Roddick said. “You want to close. The misses I had were positive misses because they were played on my terms. That was a big step.”

Roddick is scheduled to play seventh seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the quarter-finals after Anderson topped Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

The 2.01m Anderson had nine aces and won 77 percent of his first-serve points, although his first-serve percentage was only 55 percent.

“I thought it really gusty, really windy, and it wasn’t easy to get a good rhythm,” Anderson said. “It was tough for both of us because we couldn’t play the kind of tennis we wanted to play.”

Malisse was a two-time former Delray Beach champion (2005 and 2007) and he went into the match with a 25-9 record at the tournament. He did well when his forehand was kicking in, but otherwise struggled.

Fifth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany also advanced to the quarter-finals, defeating 57th-ranked Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-2, 6-2.

Kohlschreiber saved both break points he faced on serve and took advantage of four of 10 break point opportunities he had on Dodig’s serve.

Kohlschreiber broke serve in the fifth and seventh games of the first set and the third and seventh games of the second set. He is 12-5 this year after reaching the semi-finals in Auckland, New Zealand, and Montpellier, France.

The German’s quarter-final opponent is Dudi Sela of Israel, who earned his spot with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.

Sela, who also reached the quarter-finals in Chennai, India, this season, won 25 of the 30 points when his first serve went into play.

“It was difficult conditions because the wind was swirling,” said Sela, who said the weather is similar to what he is used to in Israel. “It was tough to serve and you had to put your first serves in. I think I served very well and I didn’t give him any presents.”

MEXICAN OPEN

AP, ACAPULCO, Mexico

David Ferrer took a large stride toward back-to-back Mexican Open titles by winning his quarter-final on Thursday, while his main rival and Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro lost.

Top seed Ferrer cruised past another Spaniard, Pablo Andujar, 6-2, 6-4, while the other all-Spanish quarter-final saw Almagro beaten 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) by No. 8 Fernando Verdasco.

Verdasco was trailing 4-1 in the second-set tiebreaker, but won six of the last seven points to close out the match against the second-seeded Almagro at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess.

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