2008 ATP-WTA Tour Pacific Life Open - At The Indian Wells Tennis Garden - Day 1
Story By Matt Osias
TOP AMERICAN FALLS IN DESERT
After roaring into the 2008 season winning two tournaments, including knocking out the No. 1 and 2 players in the world en route to the Dubai title last week, top-seeded American Andy Roddick made his earliest exit of his career here in the desert, losing in straight sets to Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-4.
The loss was only Roddick’s third of the season to go along with 15 wins.
“It’s a lot easier sitting here after this loss today having put together the body of work I have over the last month,” Roddick said. “It’s probably easier to take and probably affects your confidence a lot less.”
Although Roddick seemed to take his loss quite maturely, his on-court temper flared, as he launched balls out of the stadium, broke two rackets, and argued on several occasions with the crowd.
Haas, on the other hand, has become quite used to beating Roddick. Having won their last three meetings, the German credited his victory to how he played the big points.
“Today was one of the matches where I won the majority of the important points,” Haas said. “I really played some great points, backhand and forehand passing shots and forehand lobs, and that was really the only difference.”
Roddick was not the only seeded player to bow out early, however, as the twelfth-seeded Chilean Fernando Gonzalez fell to the Croatian Mario Ancic 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Also tested, but managing to pull out victories, were seventh-seeded Argentine David Nalbandian, No. 11 seed Andy Murray, and No.15 seed Tommy Robredo, all needing three sets to move on to their next round matches.
ROGER BACK TO BEING “ROGER”
World’s No. 1 Roger Federer returned with his usual killer instinct, beating Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-2, putting to rest a two-match losing streak. Federer has been battling mononucleosis, a virus that attacks the body’s B cells, resulting in serious fatigue, however, after winning his second round match, the 12-time Grand Slam champ said he feels back on his game again – the rest of the field beware…
Andy Roddick – USA
Maria Sharapova – RUS
SHARAPOVA’S POWER SHOTS KEEP HER WINNING
On the women’s side, Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova won her 16th match of the 2008 season, staying undefeated, with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou.
“It was a very scratchy match from my side today, from the beginning,” Sharapova said, “I was just not seeing the ball, not moving that great. She [Daniilidou] always plays tough because you never really know what to expect from her.”
The women’s No. 2 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced to the fourth round with a three-set win over Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
American Ashley Harkleroad upset the eighth-seeded Russian Dinara Safina 7-5, 6-2 and will next face No. 10 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, a three-set winner over China’s Shuai Peng.
The decline of France’s Amelie Mauresmo continued as Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko easily won 6-1, 6-2. Bondarenko will next face Sharapova.
In the late matches, No. 24 Australian Lleyton Hewitt defeated American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-3. Mardy Fish was able to dismiss Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-3, and the No. 4 seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia beat wildcard John Isner 6-2, 7-6.
Check back tomorrow for more coverage of the 2008 Pacific Life Open.
Matt Osias can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amelie Mauresmo – FRA
Pacific Life Open Photos by Adam Davis