Roddick regains his confidence

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IOL pic june21 tennis andy roddick

Reuters

American Andy Roddick serves the ball to Jeremy Chardy of France during their men's singles tennis match at the Eastbourne tournament in Eastbourne, southern England.

Eastbourne - Three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick renewed his grasscourt confidence with a place in the quarterfinals in Eastbourne on Wednesday.

The American sixth seed, playing on a wild card after an early loss at last week's Queen's Club, defeated Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-6 (8/6) to continue his successful debut appearance in this English seaside town.

It was still hard work, with Chardy saving four match points in the 12th game of the second set and two more in the tiebreaker, before Roddick eventually came through with a winning backhand pass to end the contest.

The former world number one, now ranked 33rd, ended a six-match losing streak with his opening win after writing off his claycourt season, which featured three losses in Dusseldorf and one at the French Open.

“It was good, I served well and returned pretty well. He served great on big points, but I stuck through there,” said Roddick.

“I'm comfortable on this surface. I started playing really well in practice when I got here.

“If you ask me the reason, I'd give you a blank stare, because I have no idea how this game works and why it works, why all of a sudden I came out and I played three really good sets so far.”

Elsewhere, the exodus of seeds continued, with number two Marcel Granollers of Spain going down 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2) to Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.

Australian fourth seed Bernard Tomic led 5-2 in the final set but could not see out the win as Italy's Fabio Fognini emerged a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 winner in their second-round contest.

Italian third seed Andreas Seppi is through, however, after beating Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 while Belgian Steve Darcis defeated former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

American Ryan Harrison stopped Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan 6-1, 7-6 (7/2).

In the women's WTA field, Marion Bartoli reached the quarterfinals as she defeated Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 6-2, 6-2.

The French fourth seed is the highest-ranked survivor in a field which lost the top three women's seeds on Tuesday along with men's number one Richard Gasquet.

The 2007 Wimbledon finalist Bartoli makes no secret of her love for grass as she competes in the pre-Wimbledon tournament for the ninth time in succession.

“I made it easy on myself, I played extremely well,” said the world number nine.

“I was feeling my shots very well from the baseline and hitting the ball very hard.”

The holder called her win in 58 minutes one of her best performances on the surface this season as Monday's start of Wimbledon edges closer.

“This was probably one of the best matches I've played on grass overall. I played some great ones last year, and I think this was at the same level. Hopefully I will be able to keep it this way.”

Bartoli broke Wozniak, a 2009 quarterfinalist, five times. She now faces a quarterfinal clash with Czech seventh seed Lucie Safarova, who ousted Britain's Heather Watson 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.

Laura Robson was next to fall, going out to Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 7-5.

German fifth seed Angelique Kerber earned a last-eight spot through a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of South African Chanelle Scheepers.

There was also a win for Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova over American Christina McHale, although she needed two and three-quarter hours to see out a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 victory. - Sapa-AFP


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