Federer and Roddick ease into third round

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 (Reuters) - Second seed Roger Federer and eighth-seeded Andy Roddick launched their title bids in triumphant style at the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Sunday without losing a set in the second round.

Swiss master Federer, a three-times champion here, beat Russia’s Igor Andreev 7-5 7-6 while big-serving Roddick advanced with a 6-3 7-5 win over fellow American James Blake at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Federer wrapped up his match by clinching the second set tiebreak 7-4 when his opponent, on the stretch with his forehand, was unable to return a probing first serve.

 “I played really well,” 16-times grand slam champion Federer said courtside. “In the first round, you never have too much expectation and you just hope to get through.

 “I’m very happy to be back. I’ve had some success over the years here at Indian Wells and it was a fun match with Igor.”

It was Federer’s fourth victory over Andreev in four meetings but the first time he had not lost a set to the hard-hitting Russian.

 “I knew the danger and that’s why I was really pleased with the win today,” said Federer, who was immaculately clad in a yellow shirt, white shorts and a white headband.

Roddick, who lost to Croat Ivan Ljubicic in last year’s final, powered down 13 aces against Blake and won 94 percent of his first serve points to seal victory in 90 minutes.

Although he trailed 0-3 in the second set, he broke Blake’s erratic serve twice in the next eight games to regain control in dazzling afternoon sunshine.

 “It was tough to get a gauge on how I was playing because James was playing so aggressively,” Roddick said after dealing effectively with his U.S. Davis Cup team mate’s lethal forehand.

 “He came out from the first game and I realised his strategy was ... he didn’t want to let me get into a rhythm. I felt like he was coming out of his shoes.

 “It was tough, but the numbers (match statistics) looked good afterwards. I felt like I was hitting the ball okay, so it worked out.”

Blake, a former world number four who has slipped to 158th in the rankings after suffering knee and shoulder problems earlier this year, served up four aces and five double faults.

The 28-year-old Roddick, who claimed his 30th ATP title in Memphis last month, improved his win-loss record this season to 15-2 and will take on compatriot John Isner in the third round.

Isner overpowered Brazil’s Ricardo Mello 6-3 7-6 in the first match of the day on the showpiece stadium court while seventh-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych swept aside Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 6-4 6-1.

In other second-round matches, Serb Viktor Troicki, the 16th seed, eased past Australian wildcard Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-4 and 24th seed Michael Llodra of France was a 7-6 6-4 winner against Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo.

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the third seed, was scheduled to play his first match in the elite ATP Masters 1000 event later on Sunday against Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev.