Andy Roddick wins in straight sets

Updated: September 3, 2011, 2:14 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Andy Roddick remembers being grateful for a chance to spend time with Andre Agassi and soak up what he could from a Grand Slam champion.

So a similar offer was extended by the 29-year-old Roddick when he finished beating 18-year-old Jack Sock 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in a veteran vs. kid, American vs. American matchup at the U.S. Open on Friday night.

After shaking hands at the net, Roddick invited Sock to visit him and practice together during the offseason in Austin, Texas.

"I certainly feel the need to pay it forward. This game has been great to me; it's pretty much an impossibility for me to do it," Roddick said. "I enjoy having the young guys at home. I think I can help them. It's inspiring for me. You can kind of feed off of their hunger a little bit."

Roddick said he and Agassi hit together a decade ago in Florida. Roddick was 18, Agassi was 30; it was during the offseason before Agassi won the 2001 Australian Open for one of his eight major titles.

"He was my hero. You know, it was surreal. I felt like I was in a daze. It was really cool, because my dad put this court together in our yard in Florida. (Agassi) would come over there and hit," Roddick recalled. "So the neighbors who would complain that we were out there hitting balls at 6 in the morning all of a sudden would look through the bushes -- and they didn't complain anymore."

Roddick, the 2003 champion at Flushing Meadows who is seeded 21st this year, and Sock were both born in Nebraska -- and now Sock, like Roddick a decade ago, is a young guy being pegged as a future tennis star.

"I didn't think I'd ever play another guy from Nebraska in my career. You know, it was just cool. I could draw so many parallels to what he was going through," Roddick said. "But also I could draw on my experience a little bit. I had a good time."

Sock earned a wild card into the U.S. Open each of the last two years by winning the boys' national championship. Against Roddick, he showed off some of the skills that make some think he could be the country's next star tennis player.

"I went out there and I soaked up all the experience I could and learned a lot from it and had a good time," Sock said.

One stat: Sock hit 10 of the match's first 11 winners.

One more: He smacked two aces in the very first game.

"His forehand's got some serious RPMs on it," Roddick said. "You can't teach that."

But Roddick converted 5 of 5 break points. Sock only managed to make good on 1 of 7. Sock whiffed on his first six break chances, including four in the fourth game of the match, which Roddick ended with one of his 11 aces.

In the very next game, Roddick broke to go ahead 3-2 when Sock netted a volley at the end of a 13-stroke exchange.

"Changed the whole dynamic of the match," Roddick said.

Struggling with various injuries, former No. 1 Roddick is having a tough season, and his ranking dropped outside the top 20 for the first time in a decade. Most recently, he was sidelined by a torn abdominal muscle that made him unsure of whether he'd even be able to enter the U.S. Open.

Now he's into the third round for the ninth time in 12 appearances at the year's last Grand Slam tournament and will play 81st-ranked wild card Julien Benneteau of France.

Sock, meanwhile, has a memory that'll stick with him -- playing Roddick at the U.S. Open in Arthur Ashe Stadium at night -- and an invitation to go to Austin.

"He was the guy to watch for guys my age growing up. He was the up-and-comer, doing really well on tour. Obviously, being from Nebraska, that was more incentive for me to watch him. I enjoyed watching him. I watched him a lot," Sock said. "To be able to play him was the best tennis experience of my life."

Another one of America's up-and-coming players, Donald Young defeated No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka in a five-set match at the U.S. Open that took 4 hours, 20 minutes and went to a fifth-set tiebreaker.

After Young's 7-6 (7), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) victory, Patrick McEnroe, the head of player development for the U.S. Tennis Association, said "In tennis terms, Donald Young became a man today."

[+] EnlargeDonald Young
Timothy A. Clary/Getty ImagesDonald Young won a marathon five-set match to advance at the U.S. Open.

The 22-year-old Young matched his best performance at a Grand Slam by reaching the third round, which he also accomplished at Flushing Meadows in 2007.

Young was the player who directed an obscene message to the U.S. Tennis Association via Twitter earlier this year when they made him play in a tournament to try to earn a wild-card entry into the French Open. McEnroe responded by holding a conference call to spell out all the time and money the federation had spent on Young's development.

"I'd like to think I'm a pretty tough person, deep down," said Young, now ranked 84th in the world. "I just had to grow up a little bit. Everybody's light goes on at a different time. Hopefully, mine's coming on right now."

Ranked 84th, Young got into the U.S. Open field on a wild card. In 2005, he became the youngest to finish a year as the top-ranked junior player, but has struggled to find the same success on tour.

The man most consider the best without a major championship, No. 4 Andy Murray, appeared on his way out, too, after losing the first two sets against 41st-ranked Robin Haase of the Netherlands. But with Haase getting treated by a trainer for back problems between sets, Murray came all the way back to win 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4.

Murray was asked how he reversed course.

"I started chasing a lot of balls down," said the three-time Grand Slam finalist, who now faces No. 25 Feliciano Lopez, the player he beat in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. "At the beginning, I felt sluggish, felt slow. I started forcing myself to get every single ball."

That's what defending champion Rafael Nadal generally appears to do on every point of every match. After a tough test in the first round, he didn't need to scramble all that much in the second, though, building a 6-2, 6-2 lead before Nicolas Mahut quit because of an abdominal injury he said prevented him from serving at full strength.

Asked to assess Nadal's form, Mahut replied: "Maybe he doesn't have as much confidence as he had last year. ... But with Rafa, you never know."

Next for Nadal is 2002 Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian, who knocked out 30th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Nadal's predecessor as U.S. Open champion, 18th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, easily advanced, while other winners during the day session included: No. 28 John Isner, who eliminated Robby Ginepri, and Alex Bogomolov Jr., who beat Rogerio Dutra da Silva of Brazil.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.