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US Open 2012: Roddick not ready to call it a career just yet

The American seems determined to go out with a bang in this year’s competition.

Andy Roddick returns a shot to Australia's Bernard Tomic in the third round of play at the 2012 US Open.
Andy Roddick returns a shot to Australia's Bernard Tomic in the third round of play at the 2012 US Open.

ANDY RODDICK SERVED notice he will not go gently into retirement, blasting into the third round of the US Open on Friday by dispatching Australian teen Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in only 87 minutes.

Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion, took the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to loud cheers from supporters a day after announcing this would be the last event of his career, then made sure he would have at least one more match to play.

“Oh man. That was so much fun. I really appreciate that,” Roddick said. “I am going to try to stick around a little longer.”

The 30-year-old American advanced to a third-round matchup with Italy’s 59th-ranked Fabio Fognini as he hopes to make an emotional last charge at a Grand Slam crown on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.

“I didn’t feel relaxed at all, not even a little bit,” Roddick said. “I had no idea what was going to happen out there. That was a different kind of nerves than I’ve had before. That was surprising for me.”

Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Samantha Stosur advanced in straight sets while British teen Laura Robson sent Chinese ninth seed Li Na home after earlier sending three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters into retirement.

Three former champions — Russian third seed Maria Sharapova, Argentine seventh seed Juan Martin Del Potro and Australian Lleyton Hewitt — moved on with varying degrees of difficulty.

And World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open champion from Belarus, routed China’s Zheng Jie 6-0, 6-1 in 59 minutes to book a round of 16 match with Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili.

Azarenka has dropped a tournament-low six games in three matches.

Serbian second seed Djokovic overwhelmed Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, never facing a break point and winning 90 percent of his first-serve points to reach the third round in 99 minutes.

“It was very windy so it was very important to stay focused, but I played great,” Djokovic said. “Even if the scoreline doesn’t indicate it, it was a tough match.”

Next for Djokovic will be France’s 31st-seeded Julien Benneteau, who ousted Russian-born US teen Dennis Novikov, the lowest-ranked player ever in the second round of a Grand Slam event at 1,098th, by 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1), 7-5.

“It’s important to get a day’s rest and work on some things in my game and get ready for the next challenge,” Djokovic said.

Robson ousted 2011 French Open winner Li 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 for her first career triumph over a top-10 foe, booking a fourth-round showdown against Australian seventh seed Stosur.

“That’s going to be really tough,” Robson said. “I’m going to work hard and just do the best I can.”

Robson, an 18-year-old left-hander who was born in Australia but moved to Britain at age six, ended the career of three-time US Open champion Clijsters with a second-round triumph.

Robson, the youngest player in the world top 100 at 89th, became the first British woman in the fourth round of a Grand Slam since Sam Smith at Wimbledon in 1998 and the first in the Open’s last 16 since Jo Durie in 1991.

Li did not reach the last eight at any Grand Slam tournament for the first season since 2008.

Stosur, who has not won a title since lifting the US Open trophy last year, took a 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 victory over US 31st seed Varvara Lepchenko and looked forward to the challenge Robson presents.

“She’s already had two very good wins and she’s full of confidence,” Stosur said. “I’m going to have to be ready to play my best game. She’s got nothing to lose.”

Sharapova, the 2006 US Open champion who completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open title in June, eliminated 252nd-ranked US collegian Mallory Burdette 6-1, 6-1.

“I’m really happy to go one round further than last year,” the Russian said.

Next up for Sharapova is a fourth-round meeting with 19th-seeded comnpatriot Nadia Petrova.

Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, took a 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory over American Ryan Harrison and will play for a place in the last 16 against compatriot Leonardo Mayer.

Hewitt, the 2001 US Open winner, outlasted Luxenbourg’s Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4. He will next face Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, a 2007 US Open semi-finalist in his best Grand Slam run who moved into the third round by ousting Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (14/12).

Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova ousted Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-4 to reach a round-of-16 match against her third consecutive French foe, 11th seed Marion Bartoli, who downed compatriot Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4.

© AFP, 2012

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