Back to the future for Roddick; Hewitt crashes out

July 23rd, 2010 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Andy Roddick Atlanta, July 23 (DPA) Andy Roddick will relive his past - against an opponent he beat for the title in his previous appearance at the Atlanta Tennis Championships - after posting a 6-1, 6-7(1), 6-3 victory to reach the quarter-finals.
The top seed Thursday stumbled badly in the second-set tiebreaker against fellow US player Rajeev Ram before pulling away to the second-round opening victory on the back of 15 aces and three breaks of serve.

The win sets up a showdown with Belgian Xavier Malisse, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Illya Marchenko of Ukraine.

Australian third seed Lleyton Hewitt was upset by Slovak number 76 Lukas Lacko, who broke the former number one five times in less than 90 minutes to reach the last eight for the fifth time this season.

South African Kevin Anderson beat Donald Young 7-5, 6-3.

Roddick won the last edition of Atlanta in 2001, beating Malisse for the trophy to claim the first of his 29 career titles. Atlanta faded away after that edition and only returned to the ATP after organizers secured the sanction of the defunct Indianapolis tournament.

Now, one-time teenaged winner Roddick will meet the 30-year-old Malisse for the ninth time overall.

“It’s a little bit coincidental, given the history here,” Roddick said. “We’ve played plenty since then. There won’t be a lot of surprises, we know each other’s games well, … but it doesn’t get any easier.”

Roddick said that Thursday’s afternoon heat made for brutal match conditions.

“That’s what makes tennis tough - it’s outdoors in the heat, and you are running,” he said.

“Breaking him for 3-1 in the third set was pivotal. He said he felt the heat in the first set, and I felt it in the second. But he also felt it in the third, it came in waves. I must say I’ve felt better on court.”

Roddick, a three-time Wimbledon finalist who went out in the fourth round last month, improved to 33-7 this season. Number 57 Malisse won for the 15th time in 2010 as he beat Marchenko.

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