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Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Roddick wins in straight sets; Davenport rolls into third round


MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Top-seeded Andy Roddick successfully opened his bid for a second straight tournament victory, beating qualifier Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday night in the first round of the RMK Championships.

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Roddick, coming off a victory Sunday in San Jose, Calif., overcame the hard-serving Muller's 18 aces. At one point in the second set, Muller had five straight aces.

"He was serving up a storm," Roddick said. "I was lucky to get through."

Roddick will face former high school teammate Mardy Fish in the second round. Last week in the San Jose quarterfinals, Roddick needed three sets to beat Fish.

While Roddick advanced, two-time defending champion Tommy Haas was upset by German Davis Cup teammate Benjamin Becker, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, in a second-round match.

The third-seeded Haas had eight double faults, seven in the second and third sets.

"I played a solid first set, overall," Haas said. "At the beginning of the second set I started to make a few too many unforced errors. I kind of lost my form a bit and a little of my confidence.

"He got a break by me making a few too many unforced errors and then he started picking his game up and serving better and playing really aggressive. He didn't give me much of [an opportunity] to play my game. And at the end it just came down to a few points here and there."

In other second-round matches, fourth-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, the losing finalist in San Jose, beat France's Florent Serra 7-6 (6), 2-6, 7-5; and Belgium's Steve Darcis edged seventh-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

In first-round play, eighth-seeded Robin Soderling beat Canada's Frederic Niemeyer 6-2, 6-1.

In women's Cellular South Cup play, fourth-seeded Lindsay Davenport moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Russia's Evgeniya Rodina.

Defending champion Venus Williams and second-seeded Tatiana Golovin were knocked out of the WTA event in the first round Tuesday.

Davenport will face sixth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Portugal's Michelle Larcher.

"It's impossible not to see [the top-seeded] players who have lost," Davenport said. "But the next person I play is a very good player. I can't afford to look ahead."