Americans Roddick, Fish, Isner, Sweeting Prevail; French Suffer Upsets in DC
Andy Roddick eased through his second match last night versus qualie Grega Zemlja to start his run at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic title. Roddick only fired four aces in the match but never faced a break point against Zemlja, didn’t lose a point in his last four service games, and converted all four of his break chances.
Roddick’s a three-time champ in DC, and has a career 30-5 record here, who’s seeking to add a fourth LMTC trophy to his resume. Roddick said in the presser, however, that his real focus is using this time on the American hard courts for US Open preparation. “If anyone tells you the end goal isn’t to be prepared and ready by the US Open, they’re probably not being completely honest with themselves or with you. The best preparation for a Grand Slam is winning.”
In one of the popcorn matches of the night, third seed Fernando Verdasco narrowly avoided an upset against Michael Berrer. Verdasco faced two match points in the second set, and was trailing 2-5, before winning five straight games to close out the set. The Spaniard pulled out the win in a third set TB, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6).
“Even when I was match points down, I was just trying to put all the balls in and make no mistakes,” Verdasco said, adding, “I think I was also lucky that he didn’t make like a pretty good serve close to the line to win the match or a winner to the baseline or something like that.”
In the last match of the night, fifth-seeded John Isner and Thiemo De Baaker went to two tie-breaks, with Isner sealing the win with three aces in the second set TB producing a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (8) win. Quite a change from their last meeting, when Isner was easily dropped by De Baaker after his marathon match with Nicholas Mahut. Both Isner and De Bakker had really strong service games. Isner had fifteen aces for the match, with De Bakker getting nine. De Bakker saved the only break point of the entire match.
Mardy Fish pulled out an easy 6-4, 6-3 win against Viktor Troicki, who double-faulted six times in the match, including three times in one game during the first set. A somewhat disappointing result for Troicki, who took out Roddick in ’08 and advanced to the final here before losing to defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro.
Other second round winners included fourth-seeded Marin Cilic with a surprisingly easy win over Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-2. Closing out the first-round matches, Marco Chiudinelli took out Brian Dabul 7-6 (3), 6-2; and Alejandro Falla got through against Rendy Lu 7-5, 6-1.
It was a bad day for the French players, with four players dropping out: Richard Gasquet, who retired with bad back in his opener against Kristof Vliegen; Julian Benneteau def by Xavier Malisse 7-5 6-4, Michael Llodra, who was upset by American Ryan Sweeting 6-4 6-2; and ’06 champ Arnaud Clement, who was downed by Janko Tipsarevic 6-4 6-0. These losses left Gilles Simon as the lone French winner for the night after he dropped Igor Kunitsyn 6-1 6-2, while LLodra and Benneteau are sticking around in dubs action.
Another popcorn match was served up for fans in dubs action when top seeded team Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic took a first-round loss, falling to Czechs Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8. Fans crowded the stands 10 people thick to see the match that definitely opens up the draw for other teams, including second seeded three-time champions Bryan Brothers, who are in headline action tonight.
ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 04, 2010
STADIUM start 4:00 pm
 Sam Querrey (USA) vs Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
Not Before 5:30 PM
Alejandro Falla (COL) vs  Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
Not Before 7:00 PM
[WC] Andrew Courtney (USA) / Michael Shabaz (USA) vs  Bob Bryan (USA) / Michael Bryan (USA)
 Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
GRANDSTAND start 4:00 pm
Mardy Fish (USA) / Mark Knowles (BAH) vs Marcelo Melo (BRA) / Bruno Soares (BRA)
Not Before 5:30 PM
Horacio Zeballos (ARG) vs  Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
 Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) vs [WC] David Nalbandian (ARG)
Kristof Vliegen (BEL) vs  Andrey Golubev (KAZ)
COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
 Ernests Gulbis (LAT) vs Illya Marchenko (UKR)
Not Before 5:00 PM
Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) vs  Radek Stepanek (CZE)
John Isner (USA) / Sam Querrey (USA) vs Julien Benneteau (FRA) / Michael Llodra (FRA)
COURT 2 start 4:00 pm
Simon Aspelin (SWE) / Paul Hanley (AUS) vs  Mariusz Fyrstenberg (POL) / Matkowski Matkowski (POL)
Not Before 5:00 PM
Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Aisam-Ui-Haq Qureshi (PAK) vs Martin Damm (CZE) / Oliver Marach (AUT)
Live streaming begins Thursday, and TV coverage begins on Friday on ESPN2.
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