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Roddick, Mauresmo advance at Nasdaq-100

3/29/2006 - Tennis

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Andy Roddick walked off a winner
Tuesday, even though instant replay kept him on the court longer
than he wanted.
Roddick was nursing a lead in the third set when video reviews
cost him back-to-back points, but he accepted the overrules without
complaint and beat qualifier Simon Greul 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to reach the
quarterfinals of the Nasdaq-100 Open.
"I can't be angry about it, because the right call was made,"
Roddick said. "I'm sure there are going to be times when it's
going to be the situation reversed, and I think you're OK with it
as long as you know the correct call is being made."
Seeded fourth, Roddick needed four match points to finish off
the dangerous Greul, who came into the tournament with one career
victory on the ATP Tour, then beat three consecutive top-60
players. He hits an unconventional mixture of shots, most of them
accompanied by a grunt that might be the loudest in men's tennis.
"It's amusing when you're winning, and annoying when you're
losing," Roddick said.
Roddick smiled in the end, and on Thursday he'll play No. 11
seed David Ferrer, who beat No. 29 Olivier Rochus 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2),
7-5. Their match was the longest of the tournament at 3 hours, 18
minutes.
By contrast, No. 1 Roger Federer took 58 minutes to eliminate
unseeded Dmitry Tursunov 6-3, 6-3. Federer extended to 20 matches
his record winning streak in Masters Series events, and he improved
to 25-1 this year.
Federer's opponent Thursday will be No. 9 James Blake, who
rallied past No. 32 Juan Ignacio Chela 4-6, 6-1, 6-0. Federer beat
Blake in the final at Indian Wells on March 19.
"Obviously he can do about anything with a tennis racket in his
hand," Blake said. "But on a given day, hopefully so can I."
Also reaching the quarterfinals were Argentines David Nalbandian
and Agustin Calleri, and Croats Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic.
On the women's side, No. 1-seeded Amelie Mauresmo and No. 12
Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced to a semifinal matchup Friday.
Mauresmo improved to 23-3 this year by beating No. 5 Nadia Petrova
6-3, 6-1, and Kuznetsova defeated No. 21 Ai Sugiyama 6-0, 7-6 (4).
Instant replay is making its tour debut at Key Biscayne, and the
technology had its biggest impact yet in the final set of Roddick's
victory.
Serving at 1-4, ad in, Greul hit an apparent service winner, but
chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani overruled the linesman and called the
ball out. Greul challenged the overrule, and the replay on the
stadium scoreboard showed the ball landing on the sideline, which
gave him the point and the game.
Greul raised his arms in jubilation as the crowd cheered and
Lahyani smiled sheepishly, while Roddick appeared unfazed by the
replay.
"It's great for the fans," he said. "They were going nuts. So
it just adds another element."
To begin the next point, Roddick hit a serve ruled an ace. Again
Greul challenged the call, and again the replay supported him,
showing that the ball landed long. Once more the fans roared.
Roddick hit another serve and eventually lost the point. But he
bounced back to sweep the next four points for game and a 5-2 lead,
then broke serve to close out the win.
Through three matches, Roddick has challenged only one call,
losing that appeal. Barely 25 percent of all challenged calls have
been reversed.
But Roddick still finds instant replay worthwhile.
"It helps me selfishly, because I can't just whine about
stuff," he said. "Basically it's on me whether or not I want to
challenge it or not. I don't think there are a lot of negatives to
it."
Greul, who finished the tournament 2-for-3 on challenges, was
noncommittal regarding the new technology.
"I think it's for the crowd. They like it," he said. "I use
it when I can. If it's not there, for me it's OK also."
Roddick is seeking his first title of the year and believes he
has shaken an early-season slump with three wins at Key Biscayne,
where he won the 2004 championship.
"I'm playing a lot calmer now," he said. "I'm not worried
trying to win every point or win the match in every point. I'm
staying a little bit even keel, and I'm serving 10 times better
than I have been this year, which is a big, big plus for me."
The sixth-seeded Ljubicic serves big, too, and he hit 13 aces
and beat Christophe Rochus 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes. Ancic, seeded
22nd, had nine aces and defeated No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-4.
Ancic lost to Ljubicic in the fourth round at Indian Wells this
month. The two Croats, who lead the tournament in aces, could meet
in the semifinals Friday.
Ljubicic's opponent Wednesday will be Calleri, who eliminated
No. 16 Nicolas Kiefer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Ancic will face the
third-seeded Nalbandian, who beat No. 15 Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4.