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Roddick Pulls a Fast One

His 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Robredo moves him into quarterfinals. Johansson, Hewitt and Haas also win.

September 08, 2004|Diane Pucin | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Just another routine day for Andy Roddick.

Serves routinely clocking above 140 miles per hour. Forehands blasting noisily through the humid air and causing the opponent to be turned around in frustration. A straight-set win and a quick and happy leave-taking from Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Defending champion and second-seeded Roddick moved into the U.S. Open quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 18-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain on Tuesday night in a match that lasted only 1 hour 33 minutes.

In the quarterfinals, Roddick will face 28th-seeded Joachim Johansson. Johansson, a 22-year-old from Sweden, also had a quick win, needing even less time, 1:20, to eliminate France's Michael Llodra, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

Thursday's other men's quarterfinal will feature fourth-seeded Lleyton Hewitt against rejuvenated German Tommy Haas. Neither Hewitt nor Haas was pushed hard Tuesday.

Hewitt, who hasn't lost a set here, beat 72nd-ranked Karol Beck of Slovakia, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, in 1:40, and Haas conquered 18-year-old Tomas Berdych, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 7-5, in 2:01.

"It's nearly impossible to break Andy here," Robredo said. He learned that most emphatically in the second game of the third set when he had Roddick down 15-40 on Roddick's serve. Within 15 seconds, Roddick hit two service winners, the second 141 mph, and then won the game with an ace.

"Andy has a lot of chances to win here, that's for sure," Robredo said.

Roddick, who had 36 winners and only 19 unforced errors, assessed his play as "solid." He said he was particularly pleased with his movement and with his return of serve. "I'm breaking [serve] a lot," Roddick said. "I think I'm up to maybe over 50%, which is an extremely high number for me."

Hewitt, Roddick's potential semifinal opponent, won the 2001 Open and says he's starting to feel the way he felt here three years ago.

"There's times now I'm playing as well as then," Hewitt said. "At the moment I'm playing pretty solid tennis day in, day out. Back then, I played pretty faultless tennis. If I can keep doing that here the next three matches, then we'll see."

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