Roddick, Moya, Hewitt win

Slam Sports
Thu, August 5, 2004

Roddick, Moya, Hewitt win

Andy Roddick returns a volley to Nicolas Kiefer of Germany during their
Tennis Masters second-round match. (AP/Mark Lyons)

MASON, Ohio (AP) – American Andy Roddick didn’t know if it was the best shot
he ever hit, or the luckiest. Either way, it set the stage for his
second-round victory Wednesday over German Nicolas Kiefer at the Tennis
Masters Cincinnati tournament.

In an evening match delayed at the start and interrupted twice by rain,
American Andre Agassi rallied after a second-set lapse to beat Sweden’s
Thomas Johansson 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Agassi said he was re-energized by the
stalwart fans who stayed through two rain delays in the second set.

“When you see the excitement of people who have persevered, it gets your
juices going,” Agassi said.

Roddick beat Kiefer for the third time in three weeks, this time 6-4, 6-4.
His offbeat but brilliant passing shot evened the score 30-30 in the seventh
game and he won the next two points for the service break he needed to take
the opening set.

When Roddick went to the net after an extended exchange of baseline shots,
Kiefer lifted a lob over his head. Roddick sprinted back to the baseline,
whirled and got his racket on the ball just before it hit the court.

When his shot down the line skipped out of the reach of Kiefer’s forehand,
Roddick raised both hands, palms up, to the crowd in a gesture that could
only mean, “How did I do that?”

Roddick said he could only laugh at his good fortune when he saw the replay.

“I was going to go between my legs, but I couldn’t get there in time,”
Roddick said. “So I just flailed at it, and I figured if I was going to
flail at it, I might as well hit it hard.

“I didn’t really see it . . . but I saw people clapping, so I figured it
went in. It was probably the best shot I ever hit, or the luckiest. It felt
pretty cool, but I didn’t realize it was that drastic.”

Earlier, Australian Lleyton Hewitt beat unseeded Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten,
and Spain’s Carlos Moya beat Croatian Ivan Ljubicic in the $2.5-million US
event after persistent, heavy rains delayed the start of the morning matches
for more than four hours.

Tenth-seeded Hewitt broke Kuerten’s serve in the second game and cruised
through the first set. Kuerten prolonged the second set by breaking Hewitt
to make it 5-3, but both held serve thereafter, and the Australian won 6-3,

Fourth-seeded Moya beat Ljubicic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the first match after the
rain delay.

“I had never beaten him on hardcourt, so I didn’t know what to expect,” said
Moya, who came in 0-2 against Ljubicic on this surface but 2-0 on clay.

“The court is really fast, and he served really well,” Moya said. “My serve
wasn’t really good for this match.”

The win gave Moya, who won this tournament in 2002, at least 50 match
victories three years in a row. Still, he was not happy with his play in the
first two rounds because he lost the first set in each. But he said his
desire to win is greater than ever.

“I’m really hungry to win, and I’m more mature than I was five years ago,”
Moya said.

Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty, who upset Switzerland’s Roger Federer on Tuesday
to end the top-seeded player’s 23-match winning streak, lost to Sweden’s
Jonas Bjorkman 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-3.

Britain’s Greg Rusedski beat French Open champion Gaston Gaudio of Argentina
4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4. It was an unusually early ending for Gaudio, a finalist
in four of his past five tournaments.

Fourteenth-seeded Russian Marat Safin defeated American Jeff Morrison 6-4,
6-4. Sweden’s Robin Soderling beat Peru’s Luis Horna 6-2, 6-3.

Seventh-seeded John Carlos Ferrero of Spain lost to compatriot Tommy Robredo
7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4. German Tommy Haas beat Armenia’s Sargis Sargsian 6-3,

Australian Wayne Arthurs beat Argentina’s Mariano Zabeleta 6-2, 7-6 (6), and
France’s Fabrice Santoro took Russian Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-3.