Friday, August 6, 2004
Roddick on the march
Sweeps past Srichaphan, but Haas awaits
By Dustin Dow
Enquirer staff writer
MASON - In three days, Andy Roddick has gone from nearly being upset to being absolutely dominating at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters.
Roddick's 6-2, 6-3 win against Paradorn Srichaphan Thursday played out in stark contrast to his nail-biting, three-set victory in Tuesday's first round against Max Mirnyi.
"It's a lot faster here; the ball is flying around a lot more," Roddick said of the transition from playing in Toronto to Cincinnati. "I think I've gotten more used to it as the rounds have progressed. That doesn't mean anything. I can still lose the next round, but hopefully I won't."
Today in the quarterfinals at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, No. 2 Roddick is up against Tommy Haas, a player he has not beaten in four tries.
Earlier this year, Haas gave Roddick one of his 10 season losses in the final of the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston. Of Haas' four wins against Roddick, the last three have come on clay courts, and the first, in 2001, was on a hard court.
"We've played a bunch on clay, which isn't my favorite surface," Roddick said. "I think that's a deceiving stat. He's just beaten me. I would definitely love to get a chance at him. That's for sure."
Roddick hasn't lost any of his 35 service games through three rounds here, and Thursday he hit a 141 mph service winner on match point. Though Roddick is serving harder than anyone else here, he hasn't approached his record 153 mph speed.
"I feel like I'm playing a lot better after the serve," Roddick said. "I don't feel like I've been serving amazingly well in this tournament, but I've been playing well besides the serve."
Entering this week's play, Roddick had won 90 percent of his service games this year, tied for second to No. 1-ranked Roger Federer, who had a 92 percent mark. Last week in the Tennis Masters Canada, Roddick lost just one of his service games en route to the finals.
With Federer having been eliminated in the first round here, the tournament would appear to be Roddick's to lose. After all, he has lost just two of his last 26 matches, and both of those losses came to Federer in the championships of Wimbledon and the TMS Canada.
But standing in Roddick's way to defending his 2003 W&S title is Haas, a 26-year-old German who is making a comeback to tennis this year after a 15-month layoff because of a shoulder injury. He is No. 67 in the ATP rankings and received a wild-card entry here.
"You see all the guys that miss a significant chunk of time," said Roddick, who has won his last nine matches in the W&S Masters. "...It's pretty impressive to see these guys be out for a year and work their way back up. It really shows they're motivated."
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