Nadal, Roddick take easier path than del Potro
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):
US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro held off James Blake in a marathon five-setter yesterday, while Justine Henin was advancing in her Grand Slam comeback with a win over the reigning Olympic champion.
Fourth-seeded del Potro beat his 30-year-old American rival 6-4, 6-7 (3), 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 in four hours, 17 minutes on Hisense Arena, the second showcourt at Melbourne Park.
Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Henin, meanwhile, produced the biggest win of her comeback from 20 months in retirement, with a 7-5, 7-6 (6) defeat of fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the night match on Rod Laver Arena, the centre court.
The win for the unranked Henin was another step closer to a possible quarter-final match against US Open champion Kim Clijsters, who scored a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.
Earlier yesterday, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick continued their paths towards a possible semi-final match-up.
Nadal breezed to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 second-round win over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, while Roddick was equally untroubled by his opponent in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci.
Britain's Andy Murray, who could meet Nadal in the quarter-finals, advanced to the third round after beating Marc Gicquel of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
The Hisense Arena crowd didn't appreciate Roddick continuing a verbal jousting with Murphy after the match ended, and booed the American.
The former No. 1-ranked Roddick took time to review video after the match, and was conciliatory in a news conference that followed.
"To be fair, I was more wrong than I thought I was out on court," Roddick said. "It was a lot closer than I thought as far as when the call came. I thought I was going to be 100 per cent right."
Nadal, who converted five of his first six break-point chances, had no such dramas.
"I played a serious match. I think I played the match I needed to play," the six-time Grand Slam winner said. "I was playing, moving well in the beginning without mistakes, having control of the ball."