Roddick Struggles Past Bjorkman to Win at ATP Miami

Posted on March 31, 2004

Next week Andy Roddick will represent the U.S. in Davis Cup play against Sweden, and Monday night in Miami he got a taste of how difficult that might be when he struggled to edge Jonas Bjorkman 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in a tense stadium court battle.

"Obviously, you can't help but think forward a couple of weeks to the Davis Cup," Roddick said. "But winning tonight really doesn't do anything to help our chances." Roddick and Bjorkman were 3-3 in the third set before the American steamrolled the next three games.

Roddick was joined by two more Americans in the winners circle Monday in (2)Andre Agassi (d. (28)Max "The Beast" Mirnyi in under an hour) and unseeded Vince Spadea (d. Stepanek 7-6 in the third).

"It was a good match for me, certainly," Agassi said. "I mean, Max has a big game, comes forward. He makes you hit targets. You have to hit your shots early. If you hit your shots, you can sometimes sneak an early break and you're not going to have long points. But if you don't hit those targets, he could just run all over you. So I was pretty fortunate the way it went today. Days like this are few and far between."

Other winners were (5)Carlos Moya (d. (27)Dominik "The Dominator" Hrbaty in three), (9)Paradorn Srichaphan (d. (Q)Monaco in three), (19)Tommy Robredo (d. (Q)Hernych 7-6 in the third), (20)Agustin Calleri (d. (WC)Reid), and unseeded Guillermo Canas (d. Malisse in three).

Today's schedule on the men's side includes three former No. 1s in action in (3)Coria vs. (Q)Benneteau, (20)Calleri vs. (4)Agassi (Agassi leads meetings 2-0), Canas vs. (2)Roddick (Canas leads 1-0), Spadea vs. (9)Srichaphan (Spadea leads 2-1), (12)Grosjean vs. Kiefer, Pavel vs. T.Martin (Martin leads 1-0), (32)Rafael "The Prodigy"  Nadal vs. (21)Gonzalez, and (5)Moya vs. (19)Robredo (Moya leads 2-0).

Serena and Venus, Sisters Doing It For Themselves in Miami

Serena and Venus both advanced Monday at Miami, looking sharper as the event advances and bringing about the possibility of the "coveted" all-Williams final. Serena dispatched of No. 17 seed Maria "Grunt-o-matic" Sharapova in straight sets, while Venus did the same to No. 15 Francesca Schiavone.

"Today and yesterday I was a bit sloppy but confidence-wise I feel like I'm getting better with every match," Serena said. "You don't understand how happy I am. Just to be out there competing is a really big step for me."

Serena sported a white sports bra and white Daisy Duke shorts during her match, of course with plenty of bling-bling jewelry in her typical understated fashion.

"This is my Wonder Woman outfit," Serena said. "I feel real powerful in this suit, like a superhero."

Other seeded winners into the quarterfinals were (5)Elena Dementieva (d. (12)Dokic in three), (8)Nadia Petrova (d. Molik), (21)Nathalie Dechy (d. Dulko), (25)Eleni Daniilidou (d. (WC)Golovin), (29)Karolina Sprem (d. (10)Kuznetsova in three), and one un-seed in American Jill Craybas (d. (9)Suarez 7-6 in the third).

On court Tuesday are two face-offs in (1)Serena vs. Craybas in an all-American, and (25)Daniilidou vs. (29)Sprem.

Andre Agassi is attempting to capture his 800th career match victory on Tuesday and become the sixth player in the Open Era (since 1968) to reach that plateau:

Jimmy Connors 1222-269 win-loss
Ivan Lendl 1070-238
Guillermo Vilas 920-281
John McEnroe 867-192
Stefan Edberg 806-270
Andre Agassi 799-244

(through March 28)

4--Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL)
3--Roger Federer (SUI)
3--Dominik Hrbaty (SVK)
2--Kim Clijsters (BEL)
2--Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
2--Carlos Moya (ESP)
1--Iveta Benesova (CZE)
1--Guillermo Coria (ARG)
1--Eleni Daniilidou (GRE)
1--Lindsay Davenport (USA)
1--Anthony Dupuis (FRA)
1--Nicolas Escude (FRA)
1--Amy Frazier (USA)
1--Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
1--Joachim Johansson (SWE)
1--Gustavo Kuerten (BRA)
1--Anastasia Myskina (RUS)
1--Nicole Pratt (AUS)
1--Andy Roddick (USA)
1--Vince Spadea (USA)
1--Paola Suarez (ARG)
1--Ai Sugiyama (JPN)
1--Fabiola Zuluaga
1--Vera Zvonareva (RUS)

(through March 28)

3--Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA)
2--Cara Black/Renee Stubbs (ZIM/AUS)
2--Mahesh Bhupathi/Fabrice Santoro (IND/FRA)
2--Svetlana Kuznetsova/Elena Likhovtseva (RUS)
2--Virginia Ruano Pascual/Paola Suarez (ESP/ARG)

Tues., March 30, ESPN, 1-5pm (live)
Wed., March 31, ESPN, 1-5pm (live), ESPN2, 12:30-2:30am (tape)
Thurs., April 1, ESPN, 1-5pm (live), ESPN2, 11pm-1a, (tape), 12:30-2:30am (tape)
Fri., April 2, ESPN 3-5pm (live), ESPN2 7-9pm (live)
Sat., April 3, CBS, noon-2pm (live)
Sun., April 4, CBS, noon-3pm (live)

1. Justine Henin-Hardenne -- not playing (rest)
2. Kim Clijsters -- not playing (injury)
3. Amelie Mauresmo -- not playing (injury)
4. Lindsay Davenport -- not playing (rest)
5. Anastasia Myskina -- not playing (injury)
6. Serena Williams -- QF vs. Craybas
7. Jennifer Capriati -- l. 3rd rd. to (25)Daniilidou
8. Elena Dementieva -- QF vs. (2)Venus
9. Chanda Rubin -- not playing (injury)
10. Ai Sugiyama -- l. 2nd rd. to Vento-Kabchi

Subscribe to the FREE Tennis-X daily e-newsletter, click on the logo on the top right of the page at

Kim Clijsters
will have to keep her wrist in a brace for three more weeks...WTA Tour officials continue to spin that all the injuries to the top players are not due to overexertion because it is the "beginning of the year," even though there is virtually no off-season in tennis. "There's no one thing to blame it on," WTA Tour official Jim Fuhse said of the injury plague. "All of them are different -- knee, wrist, back, shoulder. And it's the beginning of the year, so you can't say it's because everyone has played too much." Uhh, yes you can. Nice spin...Still no report on the massive chunk of change the ATP will be giving Greg Rusedski for, according to the courts, wrongly prosecuting him for allegedly using illegal substances. You have to think seven figures is a given, eh?...Still waiting for the ATP announcement that they are banishing the year-end Masters Cup to China for 2005...U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe announced he will go with Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish against Sweden in Davis Cup play on April 9-11 in Delray Beach, Florida...Sounds like the WTA spin machine got to Serena after she yesterday voiced her fears over security at the Athens Olympics: "I'm 100% planning on going to Athens. I can't wait to play singles. I just said I was aware of things that happen in the world and I will not let things that happen in the world stop me from living my life." Here's what she said the previous day: "I think my security and my safety and my life are a little bit more important that tennis. And if it became a real concern to where I personally wouldn't feel comfortable, then I wouldn't go to Athens because I like my life, I like to live, you know, I like waking up in the morning." Nice turn-around...Today the ATP may appeal the "Free Greg Rusedski" verdict...NASCAR star Jeff Gordon and boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. will appear in a $3 million ad campaign the USTA is launching to promote participation in the sport...Eleanor Preston writing for Reuters: "The WTA Tour is keen to tell the world that there is more depth in women's tennis than ever before. It took Serena Williams just 42 minutes to prove the governing body of women's tennis wrong. That was how long Serena needed at the Nasdaq-100 Open to dispatch Spaniard Marta Marrero in her first match following an eight-month injury lay-off."