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Americans Move Along

Davenport, Roddick and Blake advance despite difficulties. Serena Williams also wins.

September 04, 2006|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — And in non-Andre Agassi news at the U.S. Open ...

Would 30-year-old Lindsay Davenport play her last match at the Open? Would prospective successors Andy Roddick and James Blake fumble the passing of the torch in their first matches since the retirement of Agassi hours earlier Sunday?

The 10th-seeded Davenport will play another round, facing No. 7 Patty Schnyder today, though her third-round opponent, Katarina Srebotnik, should be credited with an assist. Davenport saved two match points in the 12th game of the third set, escaping with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory.

She was trailing, 6-3, 3-1, before she rallied and went on to save the match points with a backhand volley and when Srebotnik hit a return long. It did cross her mind this might be her last match at the Open.

"Yeah, I thought that," said Davenport. "I thought that a little bit at 4-5 and a little bit at 5-6."

Joining Davenport in the fourth round were top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo, No. 3 Maria Sharapova and wild-card entrant Serena Williams, who beat No. 16 Ana Ivanovic, 6-2, 6-4.

Williams, who will play Mauresmo today, played after the Agassi and Roddick matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

For Roddick, the positive was that he didn't have to worry about the prospect of an emotionally fraught fourth-round match against Agassi, who lost in four sets to German qualifier Benjamin Becker.

"I was so torn with that matchup," Roddick said. "Obviously you want to play against your idols, but then again, you don't want to be the guy who shot Bambi."

But he did have to go out on the court in the match after Agassi's final appearance, and against someone who has given him trouble in the past, Fernando Verdasco. The ninth-seeded Roddick struggled for 3 hours and 21 minutes before winning, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-2, in the third round.

Two other Americans exited: Oliver Rochus defeated wild-card entrant Ryan Sweeting, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the second round and top-seeded Roger Federer beat Vince Spadea, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, in the third round.

The fifth-seeded Blake wandered in and out of trouble against Carlos Moya before winning, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3. He was forced to save four set points in the second-set tiebreaker and faced a 1-4 deficit in the third.

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lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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