Andy Roddick, James Blake Headline Quarterfinals Today at Indianapolis

Posted on July 27, 2007

Quarterfinal action on Friday at the $525,000 Indianapolis Tennis Championships features the top three seeds: two-time champion Andy Roddick, defending champion James Blake and Russian Dmitry Tursunov.

American No. 1 Andy Roddick takes an 8-1 lifetime record into his tenth meeting with Asian No. 1 Hyung-Taik Lee. With the exception of their first encounter, in the 2001 Houston final, they have faced off solely on hard courts. Lee’s only victory over Roddick came in 2003 at Sydney, when he prevailed in their second round match en route to his first and only ATP singles title (d. Ferrero).

Roddick has now reached the Indianapolis quarterfinals in each of his five event appearances, and has an 18-2 event record (3-1 in the quarterfinals). He won the title in his event debut in 2003 (d. Srichaphan) and defended his title the next year (d. Kiefer). His only two losses have come to the eventual champions, in the 2005 quarterfinals to Robby Ginepri and in the 2006 final to James Blake. The 24-year-old is making his first ATP-level appearance since the Wimbledon quarterfinals (l. to Gasquet), and has a 36-9 season record. This is his ninth appearance in the quarterfinals this year (5-3). He won his sole title of 2007 at Queen’s (d. Mahut). Roddick is attempting to win the US Open Series Lever 2000 Challenge for the third straight year.

Lee, 31, has a 3-5 record in Indianapolis and had not advanced past the Round of 32 in his five previous event appearances. He entered the week ranked a career-high No. 38 following his semifinal finish last week in Los Angeles (l. to Blake). Lee also reached the San Jose quarterfinals in February (l. to eventual champion Murray). He defeated Americans Donald Young and Paul Goldstein in the first two rounds.

Second seed James Blake looks to maintain his perfect career record over 19-year-old compatriot Sam Querrey, whom he defeated in 2006 at Indian Wells and in June at Halle. After going winless in his first three Indianapolis appearances, Blake has won seven straight matches at the tournament. He defeated Roddick in last year’s final to claim his sixth career ATP title. Blake, 27, is coming off a runner-up finish in Los Angeles (l. to Stepanek). The World No. 10 has a 32-16 season record and is appearing in his sixth quarterfinal of the year (3-2). He successfully defended his Sydney title in January (d. Moya).

Querrey saved two match points in his 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(5) win over Ivo Karlovic on Thursday to advance to his third ATP-level quarterfinal. The 19-year-old reached his first career ATP quarterfinal in February in Memphis (l. to eventual champion Haas) and followed the next week by advancing to the Las Vegas quarterfinals (l. to Korolev). He attained a career-high No. 66 in the ATP Rankings on April 23, 2007, but has since dropped to No. 90. Querrey snapped a six-match losing streak dating back to May in Estoril with his first round win this week (d. Benneteau). He is looking for his first career Top 10 victory (0-9); eight of his 15 losses this year have come to Top 10 opponents.

Third seed Dmitry Tursunov faces 17-year-old Japanese qualifier Kei Nishikori, who is the youngest player to reach the quarterfinals in Indianapolis since 1985 when Boris Becker (17 years, 8 months) lost in the semifinals to Ivan Lendl. Following a 5-9 start to 2007, the 24-year-old Tursunov turned around his season by reaching consecutive semifinals on grass at Queen’s and Nottingham, both time halted by the eventual champion (Roddick and Karlovic, respectively). Tursunov is making his third straight appearance in Indianapolis, and has a 4-2 event record.

Nishikori, currently ranked No. 373, is playing in just his second ATP-level tournament. He made his ATP debut as a qualifier last week in Los Angeles (l. to Moodie). In June, Nishikori reached his first career Challenger final in Carson, Calif. (l. to Bogomolov). In April, he advanced to the U.S. Futures #8 final in Arkansas where he lost to fellow 17-year-old Donald Young. Last year in October, he won his first pro level title at the Mexico Futures #18 (d. Gallardo Valles). He has trained at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy for four years, where hitting partners have included Max Mirnyi, Tommy Haas and Xavier Malisse.

First-time ATP quarterfinalist Frank Dancevic will look to avenge his loss to Russian Igor Kunitsyn in February at Las Vegas. The 22-year-old Dancevic, who hails from Niagara Falls, is the first Canadian to advance to an ATP quarterfinals (or better) since Sebastien Lareau reached the Memphis semifinals on Feb. 24, 2001. Dancevic, ranked No. 109, is making his Indianapolis debut and upset eighth seed Benjamin Becker in the first round. Kunitsyn, 25, is ranked No. 100 in the ATP Rankings and picked up his tenth ATP-level win of the season after No. 4 seed Mardy Fish retired with a knee injury while down a set in the second round. He is appearing in his second ATP quarterfinal of the season (Adelaide). (ATP Digital Services)