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Rediff.com  » Sports » Roddick has easy ride into quarters

Roddick has easy ride into quarters

September 03, 2008 10:30 IST

American favourite and former champion Andy Roddick marched into the quarter-finals of the US Open with an easy 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Chilean 11th seed Fernando Gonzalez on Tuesday.

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Roddick's victory in under 90 minutes should leave him relatively fresh for a last-eight showdown with Novak Djokovic, who endured a gruelling five-setter against Tommy Robredo, overcoming hip, stomach, ankle and breathing problems in the three hour 45 minute match.

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"I feel good," Roddick said in a courtside interview. "I've got to feel good, he's got about 16 injuries right now."

Roddick will also have a spring in his step when he comes out on Thursday as he has spent just 3-1/2 hours in total dispatching his last two opponents. In comparison, the Australian Open champion has been on court for almost eight hours over the same period.

But Roddick said the 21-year-old Djokovic had youth on his side, as well as a better record in recent months, and that he himself had been fighting various injuries.

"He's had a much better year to this point so it's a matter of if you want to look back 10 days or 10 months," the 2003 US Open champion told reporters. "He's the favourite, and it seems like every grand slam he's having these long drawn out battles."

Still, he made light of Djokovic's litany of woes -- asked about the Serbian's latest injuries, the eighth seed said: "A back and a hip? And a cramp? Bird flu... anthrax... SARS... common cough and cold."

"If it's there, it's there," he added. "There's just a lot. He's either quick to call a trainer or he's the most courageous guy of all time."

The 26-year-old Roddick, who has reached at least the quarter-finals of the Open seven times, served on top form on Tuesday. He won 92 percent of his first serves and 73 percent of his second, giving Gonzalez no chance to break in the first two sets.

He played a great backhand passing shot to clinch the second set and served a love game in the first game of the third.

Roddick seized control in the next game, running down a wide forehand to blast a blistering crosscourt winner to put himself ahead for good.

Gonzalez had his first break point of the match in the fifth game of the third set but Roddick held and then broke again for good measure in sixth. He sealed victory with an ace.

"I was happy with the way I executed the game plan tonight," Roddick said.

Source:
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