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Favourites Roddick and Monfils qualify for third round

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-10

Second-seeded grass-court specialist Andy Roddick will meet former world number one Lleyton Hewitt at the third round of the Queen's tournament. French fourth-seeded Gaël Monfils (picture) also qualified after defeating Russia's Andrey Golubev.

AFP - Andy Roddick admits his likely Queen's third round clash against fellow four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt would have made a good final at the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event.

The pair have dominated the grass-court tournament over the last decade, but are scheduled to meet in the last 16 if Australian star Hewitt can beat Frederico Gil in the second round on Wednesday.

For players with such impressive pedigrees to meet this early in the draw is unusual and second seeded Roddick, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Kristof Vliegen on Tuesday, couldn't hide his disappointment at the prospect of playing Hewitt, the 15th seed, so soon.

"I think we've won eight of these between us. You'd expect to see that sort of match a little bit further on in the tournament, especially this one," Roddick said.

"It's certainly tough. A lot of it is about the draw and I certainly realize how tough of a matchup that will be. Hopefully he feels the same."

It was also a good day for Roddick's compatriots.

James Blake, seeded sixth, claimed a third round place with a 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) victory against dangerous Croatian Ivan Ljubicic.

Blake, a Queen's runner-up in 2006, strolled through the first set. The second was much closer but Blake held his nerve to take the tie-break.

Sam Querrey set up an all-American tie against Blake as he brushed aside South Africa's Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-3.

Mardy Fish, the American eighth seed, showed impressive resilience as he moved into the third round by beating France's Michael Llodra 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.

Fish will play Feliciano Lopez next after the Spanish 10th seed defeated Denis Istomin 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5).

Gael Monfils, the French fourth seed, played through the pain barrier to beat Andrey Golubev 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5).

The 22-year-old looked in trouble when he needed a strapping on his left wrist after falling awkwardly in the seventh game of the second set.

But a rain delay immediately after the injury gave Monfils time to recover and, although Kazakhstan's Golubev won the second set, it was Monfils, showing tremendous grit, who reached the third round.

Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion, reached the second round faster than expected after Sebastien Grosjean was forced to retire early in the second set.

Ferrero, who now plays 11th seed Paul-Henri Mathieu, took the first set 6-2 and was leading 2-1 in the second when Grosjean, playing in only his second tournament since October after a shoulder injury, accepted he couldn't carry on.

Big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic buried Teimuraz Gabashvili under a barrage of aces in his 6-3, 7-6 (13/11) first round win.

At 6ft 10in, Karlovic is the tallest man on the ATP Tour and he slammed down 28 aces to batter Gabashvili into submission.

Next in the line of fire against Karlovic is France's Julien Benneteau, who defeated Daniel Koellerer 6-3, 6-4.

Spain's Alberto Martin marked his Queen's debut with a 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 first round victory over Ernests Gulbis, the Latvian 13th seed.

Martin, 30, will play Belgium's Steve Darcis, who beat Paul Capdeville 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Date created : 2009-06-10