Another day in paradise

Another day in paradise

Against the dying light: Roddick,in final tournament,and contemporary Hewitt get through one more round

An emotional Andy Roddick postponed his farewell speech and stayed alive in the US Open by routing Bernard Tomic in the second round at Flushing Meadows on Friday night. Roddick needed only one hour and 27 minutes to defeat Tomic 6-3,6-4,6-0 just one day after the 30-year-old announced he would retire at the end of the tournament.

Winding back the clock to play with the power and aggression that made him US Open champion and World No.1 in 2003,Roddick will play Italy’s Fabio Fognini in round three for a place in the last 16.

“I’m going to try and stick around a little longer,” Roddick told the packed crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Australian Lleyton Hewitt,a contemporary of Andy Roddick,fought his way past Gilles Muller on Friday.


The 31-year-old scratched and clawed his way to a 3-6,7-6,6-7,7-5,6-4 win over Gilles Muller in four hours and 35 minutes. Hewitt,like Roddick a former World No.1,and champion at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows,has undergone major hip and toe surgery in recent years. His ranking has plummeted to 125 but he said he would play as long as possible because he still revelled in the heat of battle.

Hewitt called for the trainer against Muller and saw red when he removed his shoes. “Don’t know if I’d call it an injury — it was more just the toenails were giving me some issues out there,” Hewitt said. “Yeah,just filling the sock up with a bit of blood. Just needed to get them taped and a little bit of padding to relieve it a little bit. Got it sorted out.”

Hewitt played on Court 11 at Flushing Meadows,far removed from the headiness of Arthur Ashe Stadium,where he beat Pete Sampras to win the 2001 US Open. He trailed Muller by two sets to one but is no stranger to the five-setter and survived another battle of the fittest and mentally toughest.

“The drama of a fifth set — that’s why you still play the game,” he said.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic needed only 99 minutes to win and didn’t face a single break point as he beat Rogerio Dutra Silva. Djokovic blitzed the 6-2,6-1,6-2. Others who advanced included Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro,who downed Ryan Harrison of the United States,6-2,6-3,2-6,6-2.

David Ferrer,the fourth seed and perennial nearly man of recent years behind the big four of men’s tennis,also progressed to round three by beating Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands,6-2,6-3,7-6 (12).

Robson on a roll

ON the women’s side,the main upset was Laura Robson beating China’s Li Na 6-4,6-7 (5),6-2. Having ended the career of Kim Clijsters in the previous round,Britain’s Robson can make it a hat trick over former grand slam tournament winners when she faces defending champion Sam Stosur in the next round. Ranked 89th,Robson had never been past the second round of a major tournament or knocked off a top 10 opponent before this year’s Open.

Stosur has never faced Robson — or really watched her play for long.

World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka kept up her imperious form by sweeping past Zheng Jie of China 6-0,6-1 to move into the fourth round.

Radwanska advances

On Saturday,second seed Agnieszka Radwanska wore down former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3,7-5 on Saturday to book her place in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. The Wimbledon runner-up was too consistent and too battle-hardened for the world number 27 as she advanced in one hour and 38 minutes.

Paes-Stepanek move up

LEANDER Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek entered the third round after getting the better of Brazilians Joao Souza and Thomaz Bellucci here. The fifth-seeded Indo-Czech combo took an hour and 45 minutes to register a 7-5 7-6 (7-3) victory over their unseeded opponents.


They next play Jesse Levine of USA and Australia’s Marinko Matosevic.