Roddick triumphs in Winston-Salem Open debut

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Top-seeded Andy Roddick looked very much at home in his first match at the Winston-Salem Open.

Roddick defeated France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday night in the second round of the final men's tuneup before next week's U.S. Open.

Roddick, a former No. 1 who is 21st in the ATP rankings, was playing just his second match in the last six weeks because of an abdominal strain. He had little trouble with the 27-year-old Roger-Vasselin, who is ranked 107th.

"It's tough coming off an injury," Roddick said. "This week in practice I really tried to get back to low on the unforced error count, get my legs back under me and get into a flow of rallies and serving well and not giving anything away."

Roddick has had plenty of success in Winston-Salem, having gone 5-0 in three previous Davis Cup tries through the years. He next plays today against No. 15 seed Santiago Giraldo, who beat Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-3.

Roddick broke Roger-Vasselin twice in the first set. He used his powerful serve to keep Roger-Vasselin on his heels in the second set.

Roddick, the highest-ranked American in the tournament, converted 66 percent of his first serves, and forced Roger-Vasselin into several unforced errors.

"I was trying to make him be aggressive from tough positions on the court," Roddick said. "He wanted to shorten the point, and he was having to go for a winner from further back in the court or low or high. I was rarely putting the ball in his pocket."

Roddick and Greensboro native John Isner, the No. 4 seed, are the only Americans left in the field.

Isner also won his debut here, beating Dudi Sela 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second round earlier in the day. Isner, who is 28th in the ATP rankings, next faces 13th-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, who beat Denis Istomin 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Three seeded players were upset in afternoon matches. Belgium's Steve Darcis rallied to beat No. 11 seed Dmitry Tursunov 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, and qualifier Julien Benneteau of France claimed a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 16 seed Igor Kunitsyn. Kei Nishikori of Japan defeated 12th-seeded Pablo Andujar 7-6 (3), 6-2.

In addition to Isner, four other seeded players won early matches.

No. 5-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-2; No. 7 seed Juan Monaco topped Germany's Tobias Kamke 7-5, 6-0; No. 10-seeded Robin Haase defeated American James Blake 6-4, 6-1; and No. 14-seeded Grigor Dimitrov beat American Donald Young 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2).

New Haven Open

At New Haven, Conn., Elena Vesnina shook off an earthquake and upset Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at the New Haven Open.

Later, top seed Caroline Wozniacki won for the first time in over a month. The world's No. 1 player easily dispatched Polona Hercog of Slovenia 6-3, 6-0 as she began her quest for a fourth consecutive title here.

Wozniacki, who lost in her first matches at both Toronto and Cincinnati, had an easier time Tuesday. Playing with her boyfriend, U.S. Open golf champion Rory McIlroy, watching from the stands, Wozniacki broke Hercog to go up 5-3 in the first set and didn't lose another game.

Wozniacki, who has never lost a match in New Haven, will face Christina McHale in the quarterfinals, a week after being beaten by the 19-year-old in their only other meeting.

The only American in the New Haven draw needed just 1 hour and 11 minutes to beat Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday.

Fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska also was upset Tuesday, losing to Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic in three sets, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

Cetkovska was leading 3-1 in the second set before Radwanska rallied, but was able to regain the momentum in the third set, breaking Radwanska in the final game.

"It was pretty difficult in my head to keep going because I was pretty tired and a little bit frustrated with myself," Cetkovska said. "But I kept fighting and I was trying to do what was working in the first set."

Earlier, Francesca Schiavone advanced to the third round, cruising to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Monica Niculescu of Romania.

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