NEW YORK For so many years the male
standard-bearer for U.S. tennis, Andy Roddick is
enjoying seeing the success of some other
Now, though, he'll have to face one
The 2003 U.S. Open champion pounded 13 aces,
didn't face a break point until the final game
and easily eliminated 81st-ranked Marc Gicquel
of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 Thursday night to reach
the third round at Flushing Meadows.
Roddick improved to 4-0 against Gicquel,
winning all 11 sets they've played.
The fifth-seeded Roddick next will take on
55th-ranked John Isner in an all-American
matchup with a berth in the fourth round at
stake. The 6-foot-9 Isner beat Marsel Ilhan of
Turkey 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
"I mean, it's a completely different matchup.
There's a lot more against John that's out of my
hands. I know he's going to come out and just
play super, super aggressive," Roddick said.
"I'm just going to have to stay the course.
There will probably be some ups and downs. Kind
of just try to get through it."
Three other U.S. men also advanced Thursday:
No. 21 James Blake, No. 22 Sam Querrey and
276th-ranked qualifier Jesse Witten.
"This is a tournament that most guys want to
do well in. We're gearing up for this tournament
all summer long, really putting 100 percent of
our focus into this one," said Isner, who took a
set off Roger Federer before losing to him in
the third round of the 2007 U.S. Open. "This is
the surface most of us excel at."
On the women's side, Melanie Oudin, a
17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., pulled off the
biggest upset of the tournament when she stunned
No. 4-seeded Elena Dementieva in three sets
Roddick caught some of that match and
"I like the way she constructs points. It's
not just, you know, hitting the ball to one
spot. She kind of works the slice in there. She
competes. She moves really well," he said. "She
seems like a sweetheart. I'm cheering for her. I
like watching her play."
Roddick and Witten competed against each
other as kids growing up in Florida. While
Roddick has played in five Grand Slam finals and
reached No. 1 in the rankings, Witten never had
won a tour-level match as a professional until
So how good was Witten, way back when?
"Not the best. He's certainly improved,"
He related a conversation the pair had before
U.S. Open qualifying, when Witten spoke about
not being sure how much longer he'd stay on the
"All of a sudden," Roddick said, "he's here
in the third round."