Roddick, Murray reach third round

5/27/2010 - Tennis

PARIS -- Maybe this is progress for Andy Roddick on clay: He lost serve seven times Thursday and still won.

On a rainy, chilly day at Roland Garros, Roddick endured two delays and difficult conditions to defeat Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

The damp weather took some zip off Roddick's biggest weapon, and for much of the match he was dueling from the baseline on his worst surface. But Roddick has become a more patient player in recent months, and he willingly settled into rallies that often lasted more than two dozen shots.

"It was brutal for me out there," he said. "I couldn't get my serve to go anywhere, and the ball was just sitting up. It kind of takes away a lot of shots and it makes it just about hitting the ball and running. ...

"I don't know the last time I lost serve seven times and won," he said. "So, I mean, it's bad, but there's got to be something good in there somewhere, too."

Roddick hadn't played a match on clay this year when he arrived in Paris, but he's now above .500 lifetime at Roland Garros -- 9-8.

In other results, No. 4 Andy Murray beat Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. American John Isner, seeded 17th, hit 38 aces and defeated Marco Chiudinelli 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-4 to reach the third round at Roland Garros for the first time. No. 25 Marcos Baghdatis rallied past Marcel Granollers 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-2.

In a match that took two days to complete, Fabio Fognini of Italy, who was jeered by spectators when he walked on court, beat No. 13 Gael Monfils 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 9-7. The match was suspended because of darkness Wednesday at 5-all in the fifth set. Fognini riled up the locals by arguing Wednesday with a tournament official about whether play should continue. As for the way he was greeted Thursday, Fognini said, "It's normal; we are in France" -- and Monfils happens to be French.

Sixteen singles matches were postponed, including those involving Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, meaning they won't play their second-round matches until at least Friday -- the sixth day of the tournament. Nadal faces Horacio Zeballos, while Djokovic plays Kei Nishikori.

Twenty doubles matches were also postponed. Five singles matches were suspended because of darkness.

Roddick's match looked like a mismatch on paper -- the 112th-ranked Kavcic hasn't won a single tour-level match this year -- but the weather and clay were equalizers.

The No. 6-seeded Roddick lost 48 points serving, but despite his trouble holding, he seemed in control when he broke for a 4-3 lead in the second set. He promptly gave the break back, and rain halted play with Kavcic serving at 5-all, 0-15.

When the match resumed nearly an hour later, Roddick lost eight consecutive points and the set to even the match.

As Roddick's mood soured, he snapped at the umpire and at Kavcic.

"That's a horrible read," he said after the umpire rejected his appeal on a line call. "I know how to look at a mark and read it."

The crowd jeered Roddick.

During later disputes about two marks in the same game, Roddick and Kavcic exchanged words.

"Don't get upset with me when you just checked that one," Roddick said.

Kavcic said his opponent seemed nervous.

"He's like this all the time, I think -- when something goes wrong, he's trying to put the anger on somebody else, not himself," Kavcic said. "This was nothing bad for me. Maybe he was a little bit angry at me because I was fighting like crazy. That's his problem."

But Roddick displayed plenty of patience at the baseline, as he mixed drop shots and lobs with conservative groundstrokes.

A rally that put him up a break in the fourth set lasted 39 shots and left a weary Kavcic bent over. The fresher-looking Roddick swept the final four games.

"I've lost a lot matches out there on conditions exactly like today," Roddick said. "That was one that might have gotten away from me awhile ago, but I was just kind of staying the course."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.