WINSTON-SALEM: Fit again Andy Roddick kept his US Open preparations on track by crushing Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the Winston-Salem Open.
The top-seeded American, whose build-up to the season's final Grand Slam had been interrupted by an abdominal injury, showed no signs of rust as he eased to victory in just over an hour. Roddick next faces seventh-seed Argentine Juan Monaco who hammered Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-0, 6-3.
Meanwhile, fourth-seed American John Isner powered past Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 7-6, 6-2 while third-seed Alexander Dolgopolov had to work hard for a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.
Isner admitted that he did not find his opponent an easy one to get past.
"It took me a while to get used to how he was playing," said Isner. "From 4-4 in the tie-break, that's when I really kicked up. I held serve comfortably and that just puts so much pressure on my opponents."
Li fights her way through in New Haven
Meanwhile, French Open champion Li Na rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the opening set to beat Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 7-6 in the second round of the New Haven Open.
Li trailed 3-1 in the first set and 4-1 in the second before clinching a quarter-final berth. She admitted that her opponents are more motivated to perform well against her ever since she won the French Open.
"Before it was, 'Oh, OK, I beat her.' But now, if anyone wins against me, it's like 'Oh, I beat a French Open champion.'," said Li who next faces Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Anabel Medina Garrigues moved into the quarter-finals, overcoming an injury to beat Elena Vesnina 6-2, 7-6. Marion Bartoli of France also advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win over Klara Zakopalova.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2011.