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Roddick overcomes Melzer challenge

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:37

The American overcame two tie-breaks and a dropped set to see off his Austrian opponent 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (7/2) 4-6 6-3 in just under three hours.

Sixth-seeded Roddick had not lost to Melzer in eight previous encounters, and seven of his wins had come in straight sets.

Both players were regularly pounding down serves over the 120mph mark and a tie-break was inevitable in an even contest. But Melzer crumbled under the pressure in the tie-break, as a mixture of aces from Roddick and errors from the Austrian allowed the former to take a one-set lead.

The only break points of the second set fell to Roddick in game nine. Two aces and a lovely drop shot from Melzer saved those however, and it was not long before another tie-break arrived.

Roddick was again the stronger player, hitting a winning return and capitalising on some poor shots from the Austrian to extend his advantage. Melzer was on the back foot and he faced three more break points in game four of the third set as Roddick looked for a quick finish.

But the Austrian dug deep to keep the sixth seed at bay, and then found himself with a break point of his own in the next game. Unlike in the tie-breaks, Melzer held his nerve this time and gained the advantage with a big forehand which Roddick was unable to return.

The American tried hard to get the break back, but Melzer dominated the rest of his service games, claiming the set with a crosscourt backhand.

Although Roddick squandered another break point in game two, he broke for the first time in the match two games later when Melzer hit a forehand wide.

And with the clouds gathering ominously above Centre Court, Roddick was keen to wrap things up quickly and broke again in the penultimate game, drawing Melzer into the net and punishing him with a crosscourt forehand. That left the American serving for the match and he fittingly sealed the victory with an ace to set up a meeting with Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic.

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