Moodie continues winning streak

South African Wesley Moodie beat the heat on Monday in a steamy struggle over Jean-Rene Lisnard of France 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round of the $600 000 RCA Championships in Indianapolis.

The surprise winner of the Wimbledon doubles title this month, alongside little-known Australian Stephen Huss, moved into a second-round contest against British seventh seed Greg Rusedski in a win earned under hot, humid conditions typical of the United States Midwestern summer.

The 116th-ranked Moodie said that getting past his first hard-court match of the summer required some effort.

“It was a strange match,” said Moodie. “I started up in the first set and then lost my serve twice in a row. I think it was just getting used to hard courts.
Conditions were very lively. We were both struggling with our range. That’s why there were so many breaks of serve.”

Added the winner: “Fortunately, I played solid at the right times. It wasn’t as easy as the score line suggests.”

Moodie is still living a dream after he and Huss won the Wimbledon crown from a qualifying start. The 26-year-old says his prize money split of about $200 000 has helped him in his game, freeing him from his former worry of making enough each week to afford a part-time physical trainer on the road.

“It all happened so quickly,” said the player who has always concentrated on his singles throughout a modest career. “I had hurt my back at Queen’s [before Wimbledon], and doubles was not at all my focus. I was relieved just to have a chance to qualify in doubles and make the main draw.”

France’s Antony Dupuis moved ahead over Alexander Popp 7-5, 6-1, beating the German for the second time in as many meetings.

Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who upset British hope Tim Henman in the second round of Wimbledon, defeated Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-3, 6-4.

Top-seeded Andy Roddick will open in his first match since losing a second Wimbledon final to Roger Federer, when he plays in the first round against 119th-ranked Tursunov, a California-based Russian.

After relaxing—reportedly in the company of Maria Sharapova at last week’s ESPY television sport awards in Los Angeles—the two-time Indy champion arrived on Sunday and immediately took to the practice courts.

“I haven’t played much since Wimbledon, but I’ve been staying in shape and putting in a lot of work on fitness,” said the winner from 2003 and 2004, who has never lost a match in Indianapolis.

“Hopefully I can get through the first couple of matches and play myself into form.”

German Nicolas Kiefer is seeded second in the tournament, where he lost to Roddick in the 2004 trophy match.—Sapa-DPA

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