Roddick battles back to beat Llodra

Updated: Jun 24, 2010, 08:52 AM IST

London: Three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy
Roddick moved into the third round at Wimbledon with a 4-6,
6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) victory over France`s Michael Llodra
on Wednesday.

Roddick, the fifth seed, was back in action on Centre
Court for the first time since his 16-14 last-set defeat to
Roger Federer in last year`s final.

The former US Open champion had crushed compatriot Rajeev
Ram on Court One in the first round, but now he was back in
the arena where he fought back tears of frustration after that
loss 12 months ago.

That was Roddick`s third failure to get the better of
Federer in the Wimbledon decider after previous defeats in
2004 and 2005.

But he looks in the mood for another long run in the
tournament on the evidence of his fightback against such a
tricky opponent as Llodra.

Llodra, 30, had never made it past the second round at
the All England Club, so he approached Amelie Mauresmo, the
2006 women`s singles champion here, earlier this year to act
as his guide to the intricacies of grass play.

The results were instant as the French left-hander won
the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event at Eastbourne last week.

Roddick certainly looked unsettled in the first set as
the world number 37 cleverly mixed up his game.

A few well-timed charges to the net were backed up by
excellent volleying as Llodra took a 3-2 lead with the first
break of the match.

Llodra was also serving with what felt like laser-guided
precision and it was fitting that he closed out the first set
with an ace.

Roddick was still on the back foot at the start of the
second set and had to save two break points before finally
holding serve.

It proved a crucial moment. Roddick was able to impose
himself more as he start to come into the net more.

The pressure on Llodra began to increase and he cracked,
missing three volleys, as Roddick broke at 5-4 to level the

Llodra is a top doubles player and his volleying skill
earned another break point early in the third set.

But again Roddick held serve and the Frenchman`s resolve
seemed to crumble as he made a host of mistakes to gift
Roddick the set.

The fourth set was a tense affair as both held serve
well. It went to a tie-break and Roddick was able to turn up
the heat decisively as a series of booming forehands sealed
the win.

Bureau Report