Roddick, Mauresmo crash out of Aussie Open

Sixth seed Andy Roddick was knocked out of the Australian Open after a bad-tempered five-setter early on Saturday, joining 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo on the third-round scrapheap.

The American fell on his sword after a marathon three hours and 53 minutes of intense tennis against German 29th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, losing 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9), 6/7 (3/7), 8-6.

Kohlschreiber’s reward is a fourth-round tie against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen.

“I was just thinking don’t make mistakes. I just said full power on every shot, and it worked out perfectly,” said the German after a match in which Roddick repeatedly ranted at the umpire.

French former world number one Mauresmo revived questions about being a choker as she blew a one-set lead to bow out 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Australian golden girl Casey Dellacqua in front a patriotic home crowd on centre court.

Mauresmo’s nerves again proved her undoing against an opponent ranked 78 in the world, who was bundled out in the first round in all five of her previous campaigns at Melbourne Park.

The two-time Grand Slam champion won the first set but could not pull clear of Dellacqua, committing 43 unforced errors.

“I’m shaking so much, I’m so excited,” Dellacqua said after eliminating her 28-year-old opponent.

She will now face third seed Jelena Jankovic, who has not been convincing at Melbourne Park and her stuttering 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Virginie Razzano of France failed to allay concerns.

Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal both survived tough workouts, but defending women’s champion Serena Williams and fifth seed Maria Sharapova breezed through their third-round matches.

A dominant Williams strolled to 6-3, 6-4 win over Victoria Azarenka of Belarus while a pumped-up Sharapova downed fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-0.

Henin, the world number one, used her experience to grind out a 7-5, 6-4 win over Italy’s Francesca Schiavone and will now play Taiwanese qualifier Hsieh Su-Wei—her country’s first-ever player in a Grand Slam fourth round.

The top seed was pushed hard in the first set and had to pull off some stunning shots to keep Schiavone at bay before taking control.

“It was really exciting, I was glad to win in two sets,” said Henin, who revealed hip-hop lessons were now part of her training regime.

“She’s always given me a lot of trouble in the past and it was a tough third round for me, so I’m glad to go through.”

It was the Belgian’s 31st consecutive victory stretching back to the semifinals at Wimbledon last year. She knows it will eventually come to an end, but is confident it will not happen in Melbourne.

Nadal revived his tilt at a maiden Australian crown with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win over Frenchman Gilles Simon.

The muscular Spaniard was tested early by the 28th-seed Simon, saving six set points in the first set, but he finished too strongly and to set up a fourth-round clash against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

“He started very aggressively and I made some mistakes,” Nadal said.

“I had some very difficult moments, particularly serving at 5-4 down in the first set.
My serve was very important today [Friday] and I had to serve two aces in that game to hold him out.”

Unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pushed deeper into the draw with an easy win over Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez while fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko continued his quiet progress by beating France’s Marc Gicquel.

Williams fired down 15 aces in her match as her booming serve found its groove. The American seventh seed will now play 12th seed Nicole Vaidisova, who ended Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama’s tournament in a 6-3, 6-4 cakewalk.

“I’m feeling pretty good about where I am, I’m just enjoying every moment being here,” said Williams.

Sharapova was in no mood to tolerate any obstacles in her quest to make amends for a humiliating loss in last year’s final, racing through her match in 56 minutes and will now play eleventh seed Elena Dementieva.—AFP