Clement topples Muller, reaches Legg round of 8

Grosjean, Rusedski upset

top seed Roddick survives

Tennis

August 05, 2005|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - The video camera was in place when Arnaud Clement took his seat at the front of the mostly empty interview room. Not much interest in the Frenchman who will face James Blake this afternoon for a place in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic semifinals.

Clement listened to the first question after his, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over last season's runner-up Gilles Muller and asked one of his own.

"Can I come sit with you?" he asked and actually got up and tried to come sit among the small gathering of reporters.

Told he had to sit in the chair so the camera could do its job, Clement retreated.

It was the only reversal in his day.

"Always I play here at 4 p.m., in the heat of the day," he said. "It's OK. I hadn't played well before today, but I won. And today was one of my best matches of the tournament - one of the best matches of my season.

"I played a very good player who had a lot of confidence and he was up a break in the third set. For me to beat him, I had to play my best tennis."

He'll have to play his best again today against Blake, who easily handled No. 16 seed Tomas Zib, 6-3, 6-3, to continue the trend of seeded players getting beat.

No. 8 seed Sebastian Grosjean was upended by No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych, 7-5, 6-2, and No. 11 seed Greg Rusedski was upset by Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

For his work, Karlovic, who has played in only one career final - that at Queen's Club prior to Wimbledon against Andy Roddick - will get to face Roddick again. Roddick, the No. 1 seed, survived a strong test from No. 14 seed Juan Ignacio Chela, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4, to reach today's quarterfinal.

"At Queens, I was a little bit overwhelmed by the whole atmosphere," said Karlovic, who lost in two tiebreaker sets in which there were no breaks of serve. "But ... it was a close match. Here, it should also be an interesting match."

Perhaps, but Roddick said it also could be pretty boring.

"He serves out of a tree," said Roddick of his 6-foot-10 opponent. "You can't teach being 6-10. The angles he creates, the returns you have to hit above your head. It will come down to a couple points here and there. Besides the serve, I like my chances."

Wildcard entry Bobby Reynolds continued his unlikely run, defeating Jan Hernych, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, and No. 13 seed Paradorn Srichaphan, who ousted local favorite Paul Goldstein on Wednesday night despite suffering with abdominal cramps, moved into the quarterfinals by making quick work of Wesley Moodie, 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Srichaphan will play Luis Horna, who beat Bobby Ginepri, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), finishing the match on his seventh match point.

Clement, 27, has been playing on the ATP circuit for 10 years, making it as high as No. 10 in the rankings in April 2001. Wearing his distinctive wide, colorful bandana that covers most of his forehead, Clement has dazzled opponents with his footwork and verve.

Yesterday, he amazed Muller with his desire and stamina. Clement, who had played back-to-back three-set matches just to get to the third round, fell behind and lost the opening set, virtually guaranteeing another three-setter if he was to win - and he hadn't won three straight matches in the men's draw this year.

Results

Third round

Ivo Karlovic def. Greg Rusedski (11), 7-6 (4), 6-2. Arnaud Clement def. Gilles Muller, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Paradorn Srichaphan def. Wesley Moodie, 6-3, 7-6 (1). Bobby Reynolds def. Jan Hernych, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Tomas Berdych (10) def. Sebastien Grosjean (8), 7-5, 6-2. Luis Horna def. Robby Ginepri, 6-4, 7-6 (8). Andy Roddick (1), def. Juan Ignacio Chela (14), 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4.

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