When Andy Roddick let out a “Yeah!” followed by a “F**k you!” in the direction of opponent Daniel Koellerer during the second-set tiebreak (in full view of Tennis Channel viewers), it was apparent the Austrian agitator had gotten under the American’s skin.
Roddick went on to defeat Koellerer 6-1, 7-6 on Sunday night to advance into the third round of the ATP Masters stop in Indian Wells, where he will next face unseeded German veteran Nicolas Kiefer.
Roddick rolled through the first set against Koellerer, but the Austrian bore down in the second set with fewer unforced errors and some mild theatrics that were getting to Roddick. Koellerer, nicknamed “Crazy Dani” by some for his antics, which have gotten him disqualified from matches. In 2005 a group of Challenger tour players banded together to get him disqualified from the tour.
“He plays the dirtiest game in tennis history,” player Tomas Behrend told a Brazilian publication at the time.
One player punched Koellerer in 2004, drawing a suspension from the ATP.
“I have five souls inside me and I have to put it out some way,” Koellerer told a Columbian publication. “If I haven’t been acting like this, I wouldn’t be here. I’m lucky ’cause most of my opponents don’t punch me.”
Other Top 10 winners Sunday at Indian Wells were Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Juan Martin Del Potro.
In upsets Sunday, American John Isner topped No. 9 Gael Monfils of France in three sets, American Sam Querrey beat No. 19 Radek Stepanek in straight sets, France’s Jeremy Chardy ousted No. 20 Mardy Fish in two tiebreaks, Viktor Troicki dropped only four games against No. 21 Tomas Berdych, Nicolas Lapentti upset No. 25 Robin Soderling, Ivan Ljubicic beat No. 28-seeded Croat Mario Ancic when he retired at 3-3 with injury, and Tommy Haas beat No. 29 Rainer Schuettler in an all-German three-setter.
Querrey was forced to keep his temper in check against “The Worm,” the Czech Stepanek, who is also known to delve into mind games during matches.
“Yeah, I mean it was like he gave me an early ‘Come on’ in my face,” said Querrey. “From that point on it was kind of heated. We kind of bumped shoulders in the changeover one time. He kind of went at me on one shot. If a fight had broken out I probably had it covered with the support I had from my buddies up in the stands. But it was getting a little fiery out there.”
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