Roddick, Henin-Hardenne eliminated

Americans have no men in 3rd round for 1st time

top woman falls in 2 sets

French Open

May 27, 2004|By Charles Bricker | Charles Bricker,SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL

PARIS - There hadn't been so much as a drip from the skies in the 11 days since Andy Roddick landed in a bright, sunny Paris.

And then, 30 minutes before he was to go onto the Suzanne Lenglen Court yesterday for his second-round match against struggling, little-regarded Frenchman Olivier Mutis, the drizzle began and Roddick might as well have been hitting yellow wiffle balls for the next three hours.

The damp, heavy conditions, which had both players whacking caked red clay off the bottoms of their shoes every few points, not only sucked the power out of Roddick's considerable game, but left the United States without a man in the third round for the first time in the history of the French Open.

Roddick, who was seeded second, was composed and surprisingly upbeat after this disappointment, possibly because his attention is already turned to Wimbledon, where last year he made the semifinals.

"I said at the beginning of the tournament that I needed a hard court. My tennis balls just weren't ... they weren't penetrating through the court today," Roddick said. "He hit some great shots and he was retrieving really well, and that made it tougher."

And so the last two Americans, both from Boca Raton, Fla., will be leaving soon - Roddick, who lost, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2, and Vince Spadea, who lost to qualifier Julien Jeanpierre, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

It was a day of upsets, beginning with defending champion and No. 1 seed Justine Henin-Hardenne, clearly rusty after a 44-day illness layoff, being beaten, 7-5, 6-4, by Tathiana Garbin of Italy, whose career has been marked more by thyroid problems than great tennis.

Silvia Farina Elia, the 15th seed, was upset by Meghann Shaughnessy. On the men's side, hard-hitting Paradorn Srichaphan, the No. 13 seed, was upended by the rejuvenated two-time French finalist Alex Corretja, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.

Five other top seeds made it to the third round - No. 3 Guillermo Coria, No. 5 Carlos Moya, No. 9 Tim Henman, No. 11 Nicolas Massu and No. 17 Tommy Robredo, who is a dark horse to win the tournament.

On the women's side, No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo overcame a second-set lapse to advance to the third round with No. 5 Lindsay Davenport, No. 8 Nadia Petrova, No. 9 Elena Dementieva, No. 10 Vera Zvonareva and No. 14 Paola Suarez.

This was not a poor performance by Roddick, who showed for extensive periods of this match that he is capable of grinding on a slow clay surface. But he also needs the hammer that is his service and forehand ground stroke and, though he struck the ball cleanly and with great force, he wasn't going to smack many for winners.

For the first set and half, he had a great game plan and executed it beautifully. He went back to one of the essential elements of his game from a year ago, the inside-out and inside-in forehand, and forced a great number of Mutis errors with it.

Mutis' second serve into the ad court, in fact, was so predictable and slow - a kicker to the backhand side - that Roddick found he could easily move into the alley and hit forehand returns either cross-court or down the line.

"I was dominating with my forehand early on, bullying him around the court. And then, somewhere I played a couple of sloppy games and he started taking full cuts off my inside-out forehands," Roddick said.

Mutis was able to control Roddick's inside-outs because as the afternoon wore on, the conditions got wetter and the balls, picking up moisture, got heavier. Mutis also showed how adroit he is on slow clay, using his great quickness to hunt down most of Roddick's best stuff.

"I wasn't quick enough to go to a Plan B or to stick to my guns. I kind of waffled in between," Roddick said. "He just grew in confidence. He played some great shots and really used his momentum well."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Results

Men's singles

First round

Gaston Gaudio, Argentina, def. Guillermo Canas, Argentina, 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Second round

Juan Ignacio Chela (22), Argentina, def. Fernando Verdasco, Spain, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. Guillermo Coria (3), Argentina, def. Juan Monaco, Argentina, 7-5, 6-1, 6-3. Alex Corretja, Spain, def. Paradorn Srichaphan (13), Thailand, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. Carlos Moya (5), Spain, def. Fernando Vicente, Spain, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1. Nicolas Escude, France, def. Florian Mayer, Germany, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

Galo Blanco, Spain, def. Luis Horna, Peru, 2-6, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. Tim Henman (9), Britain, def. Lars Burgsmuller, Germany, 6-0, 6-3, 6-3. Mario Ancic, Croatia, def. Mariano Zabaleta (30), Argentina, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Raemon Sluiter, Netherlands, def. Dominik Hrbaty (31), Slovakia, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5). Nicolas Massu (11), Chile, def. Vladimir Voltchkov, Belarus, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0.

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