Roddick beats Almagro to reach Shanghai quarters

Shanghai: Andy Roddick rolled into the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Spain`s Nicolas Almagro on Thursday.

The 10th-seeded American hit 11 aces and 23 winners against the seventh-seeded Spaniard, who has won three titles this year to Roddick`s one.

"I feel like today was significantly better than the first two rounds as far as putting it all together," Roddick said.

Almagro needed a win to boost his chances of making the ATP Tour World Finals in London. He`s currently in ninth place in the standings, one spot below the last qualifying position. Roddick is far behind in 20th place.

In another third-round match, 12th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine dropped the first set against Australian teenager Bernard Tomic, then captured 12 of the last 13 games to win, 5-7, 6-1, 6-0.

The 29-year-old Roddick is trying to finish his season on a positive note after struggling with injuries, crashing out in the third round of Wimbledon and losing the No. 1 American ranking to Mardy Fish.

After reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open last month, losing to Rafael Nadal, he fell in the first round of the China Open in Beijing and bristled at a question from a reporter about whether he was contemplating retirement.

His play against Almagro, ranked 11th in the world, suggested retirement may be some way off. He won 91 percent of points on his first serve — 32 of 35 points — and captured 10 of 12 points at net. He never faced a break point.

"As far as the way I`ve been hitting the ball and playing, it`s been OK. But the serve`s been up and down," he said. "I was going like in spots where I`d make three serves in a row, but then miss four or five. It`s those gaps where you`re hitting second serves where guys get a look. I cleaned that up a little bit today."

Roddick will face another Spaniard in the quarterfinals — either No. 3 seed David Ferrer or former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, who were to play later Thursday.

The match was played under the roof at the main stadium at Qizhong Tennis Center because of rain. Other third-round matches scheduled for outside courts were moved to an indoor facility.

Bureau Report

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