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Roddick impresses, Dementieva crashes out

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-05-31

Andy Roddick gave a dazzling performance at Roland Garros on Saturday to beat Frenchman Marc Gicquel in three sets. But it was a different story for the women's fourth seed, Russian Elena Dementieva, who was defeated by Australia's Samantha Stosur.

REUTERS - Andy Roddick produced a sizzling display to reach the fourth round of the French Open for the first time but Elena Dementieva's hopes of winning a maiden grand slam title fizzled out on Saturday.

Roland Garros has never been a happy hunting ground for Roddick as the highlight of his seven previous visits had been a third round appearance on his debut in 2001.

 

He finally climbed over that hump with a brilliantly crafted 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over Marc Gicquel - Andy Roddick produced a sizzling display to reach the fourth round of the French Open for the first time but Elena Dementieva's hopes of winning a maiden grand slam title fizzled out on Saturday.

Roland Garros has never been a happy hunting ground for Roddick as the highlight of his seven previous visits had been a third round appearance on his debut in 2001.

He finally climbed over that hump with a brilliantly crafted 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over Marc Gicquel, holding his arms aloft in triumph as he watched the Frenchman's service return sail over his head and beyond the baseline on match point.

"It's three matches, it's a lot better than I've done here before," a beaming Roddick said before he walked off court.

While Roddick was enjoying a French Open renaissance, women's fourth seed Dementieva was already looking ahead to Wimbledon after fading to a 6-3 4-6 6-1 defeat by Australian Samantha Stosur.

The Russian was lucky to survive the previous round as she was trailing by a set when another Australian, Jelena Dokic, was forced to quit injured.

There was to be no respite on Saturday and after being dragged around court for more than two hours, a lethargic Dementieva looked almost relieved when Stosur's forehand winner flew past her outstretched racket on match point.

"I'm far away from being in the good shape," said the 27-year-old Olympic champion, who became the second big name to fall after third seed Venus Williams went out on Friday.

"It's a very physical game when it comes to the clay courts, so it's not good for me. Just too many unforced errors and not enough power from me.

"So I hope I have enough time to get ready for Wimbledon and physically feel much better than this week," added the Russian, who has gone past the fourth round twice in 11 visits to Paris.

Tough challenge

Although there were a few squeals of surprise when Dementieva lost, none matched the gasps heard in the news conference room when she suggested four-times champion Rafael Nadal would not retain his Roland Garros crown.

"He actually looks a little bit tired to me. It doesn't look like he's fresh enough. I think it's going to be a tough challenge for him to win this time, actually."

That prediction came less than 24 hours after Nadal, whose Roland Garros record stands at 31-0, had demolished former world number one Lleyton Hewitt for the loss of just five games.

Svetlana Kuznetsova's pursuit of a maiden French Open title gathered momentum when she dispatched Hungary's Melinda Czink 6-1 6-3 with the minimum of fuss.

The Russian seventh seed was one of the in-form players coming into the championships and she ominously moved into the last 16 for the sixth year running.

In three matches, Kuznetsova has lost only 11 games in total. Next up for her will be Polish 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2 6-4.

Date created : 2009-05-30

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