Andy Roddick, John Isner advance
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Top-seeded Andy Roddick looked very much at home in his first match at the Winston-Salem Open.
Roddick defeated France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday night in the second round of the final men's tuneup before next week's U.S. Open.
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Roddick, a former No. 1 who is 21st in the ATP rankings, was playing just his second match in the last six weeks because of an abdominal strain. He had little trouble with the 27-year-old Roger-Vasselin, who is ranked 107th.
"It's tough coming off an injury," Roddick said. "This week in practice I really tried to get back to low on the unforced error count, get my legs back under me and get into a flow of rallies and serving well and not giving anything away."
Roddick has had plenty of success in Winston-Salem, having gone 5-0 in three previous Davis Cup tries through the years. He next plays Wednesday against No. 15 seed Santiago Giraldo, who beat Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-3.
Roddick broke Roger-Vasselin twice in the first set. He used his powerful serve to keep Roger-Vasselin on his heels in the second set.
Roddick, the highest-ranked American in the tournament, converted 66 percent of his first serves and forced Roger-Vasselin into several unforced errors.
"I was trying to make him be aggressive from tough positions on the court," Roddick said. "He wanted to shorten the point, and he was having to go for a winner from further back in the court or low or high. I was rarely putting the ball in his pocket."
Roddick and Greensboro native John Isner, the No. 4 seed, are the only Americans left in the field.
Isner also won his debut here, beating Dudi Sela 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second round earlier in the day. Isner, who is 28th in the ATP rankings, next faces 13th-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, who beat Denis Istomin 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Three seeded players were upset in afternoon matches. Belgium's Steve Darcis rallied to beat No. 11 seed Dmitry Tursunov 3-6, 6-1, 6-3; qualifier Julien Benneteau of France claimed a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 16 seed Igor Kunitsyn; and Kei Nishikori of Japan defeated 12th-seeded Pablo Andujar 7-6 (3), 6-2.
In addition to Isner, four other seeded players won early matches.
Fifth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-2; No. 7 seed Juan Monaco topped Germany's Tobias Kamke 7-5, 6-0; No. 10-seeded Robin Haase defeated American James Blake 6-4, 6-1; and 14th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov beat American Donald Young 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2).
In later matches, ninth-seeded Sergiy Stakhovsky beat Andrey Golubev 6-1, 2-6, 6-4; Pierre-Ludovic Duclos edged American Ryan Harrison 7-5, 7-5; and third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov defeated Argentina's Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 6-4.
Tournament director Bill Oakes says no matches were stopped due to the earthquake that shook parts of the East Coast and that "no one really seemed to notice it."
But Isner did.
"I was upstairs (in the stadium) with my mom, and she was like, 'It's an earthquake,' " Isner said. "And I was like, 'Come on, Mom, there aren't earthquakes in North Carolina.'
"I thought somebody was doing construction nearby, so I got on the Internet, and it was up and down the East Coast," he added. "So, that's crazy."
Roddick said he didn't feel anything.
"Everyone is talking about it and (wife Brooklyn Decker) and I were out to lunch and we didn't notice anything," Roddick said. "I didn't even know it happened."
Tournament officials also said sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson withdrew due to illness.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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