Roddick Routs Gicquel at US Open


New York, Sep 4: Andy Roddick led a seeded men's charge at the US Open with his fourth-straight success against Frenchman Marc Gicquel.

Fifth-seeded Roddick Thursday paced rivals, including number four Novak Djokovic, eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko, number 10 Fernando Verdasco and French Open finalist Robin Soderling, none of whom dropped a set on the day.

Roddick crushed Gicquel 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to maintain a perfect 4-0 record in the series. The 2003 champion has never allowed Gicquel even the luxury of a break of serve over those four matches.

Davydenko beat Jan Hernych 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, Verdasco put out Florent Serra 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 and Soderling spent just 16 minutes and 17 points before Marcel Granollers retired injured in their second-round match.

"He played more aggressive when he got down," Roddick said of Gicquels' torrid final game when he saved two match points. "I was nervous in the last game but glad I was able to pull it out."

Djokovic stayed in control against Australian Ball, the number 155 playing in his fourth major after winning his first match this week.

Fellow Americans joined Roddick in advancing with journeyman Jesse Witten, who almost gave up the game earlier this year, advancing over Argentine Maximo Gonzalez 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 and Sam Querrey beating Kevin Kim 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4.

Another young gun, John Isner, put out Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).

Swiss Marco Chiudinelli joined compatriot Roger Federer in the third round as he put out Russian Mikhail Youzhny 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3.

Women's number one Dinara Safina barely survived as her fellow seeds crashed out, the competition proving to be a minefield for Elena Dementieva and Jelena Jankovic.

The numbers four and five made their exits at the hands of young outsiders with 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin upsetting 2004 finalist Dementieva 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 and Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova upsetting one-time number one Jankovic 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4) with the Serb mourning Wednesday's death of her grandmother.

The 17-year-old Oudin said that despite some leg pain, she put everything into her serve on match point to end the two-hour, 45-minute contest.

"I thought this match point might be my last chance, so I threw in a really big serve," she said. "I had the whole crowd cheering for me - so much support. I was struggling a little with my leg. The whole thing was just amazing. I can't believe I won.

"It hasn't exactly hit me yet, but when I'm in the third round of the US Open in two days, it will be just incredible."

The beleaguered Safina turned in another patchy performance to just get past Kristina Barrois of Germany 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-3.

It was hit or miss for Safina, troubled by doubts over her status as a world number one who has yet to win a Grand Slam title.

"Another tough day in the office," said the Russian resignedly after her second modest performance of the week. "... Actually today, I think I was serving in some stages better than the first round.

It's at least already positive - at least I made some aces."

Ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki restored some order on the day with her hammering of Croatian Petra Martic 6-1, 6-0 while Nadia Petrova, the 13th seed, beat Julie Coin of France 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).



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