Roddick battles way into second round

Updated: June 28, 2006, 4:09 PM ET
Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England -- American Andy Roddick finally got to the fabled grass at Wimbledon for his first-round match Wednesday and won, but not without a fight.

Andy Roddick
AP PhotoAndy Roddick lost the first set, then won three straight to advance.

It took him nearly three hours to overcome Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, serving 28 aces in a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-2 first-round victory.

Three-time defending men's champion Roger Federer routed Tim Henman 6-4, 6-0, 6-2, winning 11 straight games at one stretch to move into the third round and extend his record grass-court winning streak to 43 matches.

Roddick and Tipsarevic played one of the most compelling matches of the tournament, with both players diving full length onto the grass to reach shots. The turning point came when Roddick came from 5-4 down to win the third-set tiebreaker.

"That was huge," Roddick said. "I wanted that one real bad."

Roddick then broke at love for a 3-1 lead in the fourth set, thumping his fist on his heart, and cruised the rest of the way. He saved all nine break points against him in the match, converting three of the four he earned.

"My whole thing is survive and advance," Roddick said. "I didn't throw my best stuff out there, but I played OK when it mattered."

He will face German Florian Mayer in the second round.

Federer, who took only 85 minutes to dismantle Henman on Centre Court, looks untouchable as he bids to become the third man in the Open era to win four straight Wimbledon titles.

Henman, a four-time Wimbledon semifinalist who was unseeded this year because of a drop in his ranking, was no match for the top-ranked Swiss star in a big letdown for the British fans still hoping for a first homegrown men's champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

Federer took control from the start, breaking in the third game. Henman had two break points at 4-3 down in the first set, but Federer saved them with a backhand pass and a deep forehand. Henman never had another break point.

"I've had a different kind of a draw, where people are expecting me to struggle more," Federer said. "That I came through that convincing obviously gives me a lot of confidence. Sends out maybe a little bit of a message for the other players."

Most Recent Native Grand Slam Winners
Aussie Open Mark Edmondson 1976
French Open Yannick Noah 1983
Wimbledon Fred Perry 1936
U.S. Open Andy Roddick 2003

Federer won 11 straight games from the end of the first set through 4-0 in the third. He lost only five points in the second set, broke Henman six times and had 28 winners and only eight unforced errors.

"He's such a good frontrunner," Henman said. "He gets better and better and makes life more and more difficult. I think he's the best player I've ever played against, full stop."

Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion, cruised past Italy's Filippo Volandri, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. The man Hewitt beat in the 2002 final, fourth-seeded David Nalbandian, defeated France's Arnaud Clement 6-4 6-4 6-3.

No. 5 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia won a five-set marathon against Spain's Feliciano Lopez, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6 11-9.

No. 9 Nikolay Davydenko of Russia became the highest seeded player to go out when he fell 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-3 to Colombia's Alejandro Falla. No. 17 Robby Ginepri was ousted by fellow American Mardy Fish, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press