Tennis-Tough day at the office but Roddick wins through

Thu, 27 May 21:31:00 2010

* Roddick serve broken seven times

* American dodges showers to reach round three

Sixth seed Andy Roddick took one look out of his hotel window on Thursday and knew straight away he was in for a tough old day at the French Open.

The American's power-based game does not respond well to damp clay on a cool and rainy Parisian day but that is exactly what he had to contend with during what he described as a "crappy" 6-2 5-7 6-4 6-2 defeat of Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic.

"Yeah, it was brutal for me out there," Roddick told reporters after booking a place in the third round of his least productive grand slam for the second year in a row.

"I couldn't get my serve to go anywhere and the ball was just sitting up. I woke up this morning, looked out my window, and knew that it was gonna be a long one.

"I'm going in knowing it's gonna be crappy tennis. You know, I just want to be the less crappy one out there."

Roddick, one of the game's most fearsome servers, was broken seven times by Kavcic but stuck to his task stubbornly to set up a clash against Russia's Teimuraz Gabashvili where victory would mean he equals his career-best last-16 finish here last year.

"There's not a whole lot you can do," Roddick said. "The slice is out of play, the serve was pretty much out of play.

"I mean, it's kind of just a matter of just running and sticking it out, and that's pretty much what happened?"

In a match disrupted by two rain breaks featuring an astonishing 17 breaks of serve on Court Suzanne Lenglen, former world number one Roddick's experience eventually told as he went through in two hours and 57 minutes.

At one point, however, immediately after the first rain delay, he lost eight consecutive points.

"We came in, (coach) Larry (Stefanki) gave me the whole, 'Start strong and you can take this over'. I started and lost eight points in a row, so that didn't really go according to plan."

Roddick often looks about as mobile as a beached supertanker on claycourts and admitted after his first-round victory over Jarkko Nieminen that it was just a case of "winning ugly".

However, something about the Texas-based 27-year-old's never-say-die personality has begun to win him fans at Roland Garros and Roddick is clearly proud of his gradual mastery of the unique challenges posed by clay.

"You know, wet day on Lenglen has been my Achilles heel," he said. "I've lost a lot of matches out there on conditions exactly like today.

"I was able to get through that one today. That was one that might have gotten away from me a while ago, but I was just kind of staying the course. I don't know the last time I lost serve seven times in one. I mean, it's bad, but there's got to be something good in there somewhere too."

(Editing by Miles Evans. To query or comment on this story email


Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account