Roddick ousts Baghdatis; Nadal's streak continues

Updated: May 10, 2006, 4:47 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ROME -- Andy Roddick beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the Rome Masters on Wednesday, avoiding a second straight loss to the man who beat him at the Australian Open in January.

This match had plenty of ugly moments, with Roddick and Baghdatis combining for 82 unforced errors and 13 breaks.

"I don't think either one of us had our best stuff by any means," Roddick said. "I served absolutely terribly for the first set and a half, two sets. I just found a way to somehow compete and somehow get through it."

Roddick led 2-1 in the first set when play was interrupted for 10 minutes while a sick fan was removed from the stands. Baghdatis then took a 5-2 lead and won the set with his fourth break of serve.

In the second set, Roddick broke Baghdatis' serve three times and saved a break point at 4-1 with a 140 mph first serve.

Baghdatis took a 2-0 lead in the third before Roddick won six straight games to close out the match, with Baghdatis double-faulting on match point.

Roddick will next play serve-and-volley specialist Greg Rusedski, who eliminated Italian qualifier Stefano Galvani 7-6 (4), 6-4.

Men's Clay-Court Win Streaks*
63 Rafael Nadal April 2005-current
53 Guillermo Vilas May-Sept. 1977
46 Bjorn Borg Oct. 1977- May 1979
40 Thomas Muster Feb.-June 1995
38 Thomas Muster Aug. 1995- April 1996
38 Ilie Nastase May-Oct. 1973
*Open era (since 1968)

Second seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain extended his clay-court winning streak to 49 matches with a 6-1, 6-2 rout of Italian Filippo Volandri.

Were Nadal to defend his title successfully, the 19-year-old left-hander would match the record streak set by Guillermo Vilas in 1977. Nadal next will meet British veteran Tim Henman, who bounced 15th-seeded Swede Thomas Johansson, 7-6 (8), 6-1.

David Nalbandian beat Paul Henri-Mathieu 6-2, 6-4, and Alberto Martin beat 13th-seeded Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Nalbandian is coming off his first title of the year in Estoril on Sunday and is ranked a career-best No. 3 this week. The Argentine is seeded fourth based on his entry list ranking.

Nalbandian improved to 22-5 this season and 10-1 on clay. He will next face Martin.

Roger Federer defeated Italian wild card Potito Starace 6-3, 7-6 (2). He awaits either 14th-seeded Czech Radek Stepanek or Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.

Federer began his day by meeting Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican during the pope's weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Sixteenth seed Robby Ginepri was upended by French teen Gael Monfils 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Monfils will play countryman Fabrice Santoro in the third round.

The Associated Press and SportsTicker contributed to this report.

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