Roddick beats Rochus at Pacific Life Open

Andy Roddick served 18 aces, one clocked at 237 kph, on his way to a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over Olivier Rochus in the third round of the Pacific Life Open.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Indian Wells, California:

Andy Roddick served 18 aces, one clocked at 237 kph, on his way to a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over Olivier Rochus in the third round of the Pacific Life Open on Monday. Roddick overcame 33 unforced errors with his strong serve and well-placed forehands. Rochus made 12 fewer unforced errors than his American opponent but did not have a single ace. Number three-ranked Roddick finished the match on a sweltering afternoon in the desert with a crosscourt forehand winner that the Belgian couldn't reach. Roddick thrust his fist into the air briefly in triumph, then used his shirt to wipe the sweat soaking his face. Benneteau bounces Julien Benneteau of France bounced another highly ranked American, number 6 James Blake, out of the tournament with a 6-2, 7-6 (1) victory. Blake, last year's runner-up, had trouble keeping the ball in play, committing 41 unforced errors to Benneteau's 18. Blake when asked what went wrong in his match against Benneteau, he said, "Everything." Guillermo Canas, who a day earlier upset Roger Federer to end the Swiss star's winning streak at 41 matches, was ousted by former number 1 Carlos Moya 6-4, 6-4. Moya, the 1999 runner-up here and still a threat at 30 with runs to the finals in Sydney and Acapulco this year, had a handle on his Argentine opponent, who lost in qualifying but made the main draw when Xavier Malisse withdrew. Nadal wins Number two Rafael Nadal beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-4 in their night match, running his record to 5-0 against his fellow Spaniard. Roddick said having Federer, who has won the tournament the past three years, eliminated is both a plus and a minus. "I want to beat Roger. Obviously, it helps out everybody, it takes the toughest player out of the draw," Roddick said. "But at the same time, I'm going to have to figure it out one of these times anyway. "You can't sit back and hope that he loses because that's not going to happen a lot." David Nalbandian reached the fourth round for the third year in a row when he beat Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-0. Mathieu prevented 10th-ranked Nalbandian from serving out the first set at 5-4 and 6-5, and ran over the Argentine in the tiebreaker. But Nalbandian shot to 3-0 in the second set and cruised to victory. The fourth round was as far as Nalbandian went the previous two years, and to overcame that bogey he will have to go through number 8 Ivan Ljubicic, the Croatian who eliminated former Australian Open champ Thomas Johansson 6-1, 6-4. Ljubicic was coming off winning in Doha, Qatar, his third final this year. British teen Andy Murray easily won 6-1, 6-3 against France's Nicolas Mahut, who had put out Marat Safin, Richard Gasquet of France made it to the fourth round for a second successive year when he downed Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, and Novak Djokovic of Serbia dispatched Evgeny Korolev of Russia 6-2, 6-1. Janko Tipsarevic, who had defeated Lleyton Hewitt on Sunday, was eliminated by David Ferrer 6-1, 6-3.