Tennis-Roddick leads caravan of seeds into U.S. Open round two
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK Aug 28 (Reuters) - American Andy Roddick led a cavalcade of seeded players into the second round of the U.S. Open as upsets were as rare as a cool breeze at sultry Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.
Roddick, who won the title in 2003 but remains searching for a grand slam encore, cruised by American qualifier Rhyne Williams 6-3 6-4 6-4 in under two hours on the showcase Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
Elsewhere, world number two Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland showed no signs of a shoulder injury that forced her out of the New Haven tour stop last week as she routed 91st-ranked Nina Bratchikova 6-1 6-1.
Number 12 seed Ana Ivanovic overcame a lack of hard court preparation and recent foot problems to cruise by 17-year-old Ukrainian qualifier Elina Svitolina, 6-3 6-2.
Three-times champion Serena Williams and last year's men's winner, Novak Djokovic, were set to take the court for their first-round matches under the lights later Tuesday.
The chances for another grand slam title may be dwindling for Roddick, who has failed to advance beyond the quarter-finals at the U.S. Open since his runner-up finish in 2006.
He had little trouble with the 289th ranked Williams, a 21-year-old playing in his first grand slam event.
The 29-year-old Roddick blasted 20 aces and successfully landed 73 percent of his first serves to easily subdue Williams on a steamy day at the National Tennis Center.
Williams hit 30 winners but committed 23 unforced errors in the loss.
Radwanska, who could supplant Victoria Azarenka for the number one ranking if she reaches at least quarter-finals and has other results go her way, converted six of seven break-point opportunities against her Russian rival.
"Actually I'm just very happy that I could give it my best in the first match," Radwanska said after the 54-minute affair. It's always difficult for the first match.
"Every week it's different surface, different balls."
Radwanska said the conditions in Arthur Ashe Stadium were less than ideal.
"Conditions this year are very tough, especially last few days was very humid," she said. "Yesterday was raining, and today humid again and windy.
"It wasn't that easy, but I'm kind of used to it. Especially on center (court) we're always struggling with the wind. I was prepared for that."
Ivanovic had only one hardcourt match this summer but enjoyed a 26-7 advantage in winners over Svitolina to set up a second-round match against Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden.
"It was actually tough going on court because I didn't know much about the opponent today," she said. "She obviously had few matches behind her, so I expected a tough match and I tried to focus on my game. I did really well today, so I'm very pleased."
Ivanovic, the former top-ranked player in the world, admitted it was "very hard" to deal with lofty expectations.
"My big goal is to break the fourth round and get into quarter-finals," she said. "Obviously that's something I'm working hard.
"It's not easy, but I really tried to focus on taking it one match at a time, because sometimes when you get overexcited it doesn't really work for you, the way you hope for.
"There is so many dangerous opponents out there, and everyone can have a great day and give a tough match. You have to really not take anything for granted and work hard for each victory."
Other seeded players to advance on the men's side were number five Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Czech number six Tomas Berdych, and in the women's draw sixth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany. Each advanced in straight sets. (Editing by Frank Pingue)
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