Roddick retires with wrist injury

Andy Roddick will not be defending his title at the $6.56m (€5m) Nasdaq-100 Open.

Andy Roddick will not be defending his title at the $6.56m (€5m) Nasdaq-100 Open.

Roddick, who received a first-round bye, retired from his second-round match with Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Friday after suffering a wrist injury.

The American, who has gone 18-3 this year, was trailing 7-6 (11-9) 4-3, when he retired with a light sprain in his right wrist.

“It was late in the first set (when I suffered the injury),” Roddick said.

“I think it was 5-all, me serving, up 40-love. He hit a return really deep, I just caught something the wrong way, just jammed it a little bit.

“I have decent strength and I can squeeze it, so that’s a very good sign. It’s just that kick serves were a bit of a struggle and kind of really getting over a forehand was a little bit of a struggle.”

Roddick is not playing again until the Houston event in three weeks.

“I have a pretty significant amount of time, about as much time as you’ll get between tournaments,” he said. So I’m pretty optimistic.”

In another Spain-US battle, fifth-seeded Carols Moya saved three match points before defeating American James Blake 4-6 7-5 7-6 (8-6).

“(I) can’t be too disheartened because I played a good match,” Blake said.

“He came up with an unbelievable backhand pass on one of the match points. Wish I had some of those back to maybe guess on, but he played really well. That’s why he’s (number five) in the world.”

Third-seeded Russian Marat Safin barely escaped the second round, edging Irakli Labadze of Georgia, 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-5).

Safin has struggled since defeating Lleyton Hewitt in the Australian Open final. He was bounced by German Nicolas Kiefer in the first round in Dubai last month and most recently suffered a third-round upset in straight sets to American Taylor Dent at Indian Wells.

In a strange result, David Ferrer of Spain advanced to the third round when 32nd seed Xavier Malisse of Belgium – who was holding a 6-3 5-5 lead – defaulted for shouting profanities at a line judge.

Seeded winners earlier on Friday were 12th seed Tommy Robredo of Spain, 13th seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, 21st seed Vincent Spadea of the US, 24th seed Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic and 25th seed Thomas Johansson of Sweden.

Upset victims included 11th seeded Argentinian Guillermo Canas, who lost to Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, 6-4 2-6 6-4; 14th seed Nikolay Davydenko, who fell to French wild card Gael Monfils, 4-6 6-1 6-4; and 20th seed Andrei Pavel, who was routed by Russian Igor Andreev, 6-2 6-1.

The top seed in the men’s draw is world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland, who will play Belgian Olivier Rochus in Saturday’s second round.

On the heels of his 17th straight successful finals appearance, Federer begins his quest for one of the few titles that has eluded him over the last few years. A remarkable 26-1 in 2005 and 100-7 since the start of the 2004 season, Federer had won 97 of his last 109 sets and is 12-1 in his last 13 matches against top-10 opponents.

On the women’s side, second seed Maria Sharapova easily erased the memory of her last match by routing Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-0 6-4. Last week, Sharapova was shutout by world number one Lindsay Davenport in the semi-finals at Indian Wells, 6-0 6-0. Davenport is skipping this one.

Prior to that setback, the 17-year-old Sharapova had won 12 straight WTA Tour matches, including titles at Tokyo and Doha.

American Serena Williams, who dealt Sharapova her only other defeat in 19 WTA Tour matches this season by rallying in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, moved closer to a fourth straight title here on Friday.

The third seed and three-time defending champion, Williams cruised past Russian Vera Douchevina 6-3 6-0.

Williams’ sister Venus, seeded eighth, routed German Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-2 6-0.

In early women’s action, ninth seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia was upset by Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain, 3-6 6-3 6-1. Also bounced were 17th seed Paola Suarez of Argentina, who fell to Colombian qualifier Catalina Castano 7-5 6-3 and 28th seed Marion Bartoli of France, who was bested by Israeli qualifier Shahar Peer, 2-6 6-2 6-4.

Seeded winners included seventh seed Alicia Molik of Australia, 11th seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, 14th seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy, 15th seed Elena Likhovtseva of Russia and 19th seed Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium.

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