Roddick's Title Defense Ends Abruptly
by Dana Hatic|
Andy Roddick’s title defence at the Sony Ericsson Open came to an abrupt halt Saturday when the eighth seed suffered a shock loss to Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. The 6-4, 7-6(4) defeat capped a disappointing ATP World Tour Masters 1000 hard-court season for Roddick, who also fell in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells less than two weeks ago. In 2010 Roddick reached the Indian Wells final before going on to win Miami.
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Cuevas served 15 aces to outplay Roddick, who is the second consecutive defending champion to lose in the first round in Miami, following Andy Murray’s lead last year. This win is Cuevas’ first Top 10 victory of his career. Ranked No. 67, Cuevas has never won a singles title. He is best known for winning the 2008 Roland Garros doubles crown with Luis Horna.
“He definitely had more game than I did today, that's for sure,” said Roddick, who noted the strength of Cuevas’ serve. Roddick called the trainer twice during the match and said he had difficulty breathing, which had affected his energy levels over the last few days. “You don't like going out there with less than what you got, and I feel like I have been doing that a lot. It's just frustrating.”
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“I was just concentrating on what I could do and control,” said Cuevas, who marked today’s win as one of the most important of his career. This is his third time at the Miami tournament.
Roddick, who won his 30th career title in Memphis last month, served up an uncharacteristic six double faults, including one at the start of the second-set tie-break.
Frenchman Giles Simon advanced to the third round, after defeating qualifier Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-3. Simon, seeded 25th, is now 6-1 in meetings with Schuettler, and defeated the German at the 2009 Miami tournament in three sets. Simon, who won his eighth career title in Sydney this year advances to play Cuevas.
Doubles partners Philipp Petzschner and Jurgen Melzer took opposite sides of the court in their second-round match-up, in which Petzschner triumphed in two sets over the 10th seed 6-3, 6-4. The pair won three doubles titles last year, including Wimbledon, but Petzschner had won both of their singles meetings. He will play the winner of the Janko Tipsarevic/Marin Cilic meeting.
Qualifier Olivier Rochus also upset a seeded player, defeating Marcos Baghdatis 6-2,4-6, 6-4. Rochus, ranked 89th in the world, broke Baghdatis seven times, to claim his first win over the player from Cyprus. Rochus faces Mikhail Youzhny in the third round.
Carlos Berlocq also advanced, upsetting No. 28 Ernests Gulbis 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
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