Roddick battles through in Cincinnati

Two-time champion Andy Roddick was pushed to three sets before beating 46th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters today.

Two-time champion Andy Roddick was pushed to three sets before beating 46th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters today.

The ninth-seed cut a frustrated figure after losing a second set tie-break, throwing his racquet to the ground after conceding it with an unforced error, before recovering to win 6-4 6-7 (7/5) 6-1.

Roddick suffered an early exit in Washington last week to drop out of the top-10 for the first time in four years and the 27-year-old was made to battle before booking a second-round meeting with Thiemo de Bekker in two hours and 15 minutes.

Fellow American Taylor Dent upset Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-2 and will meet Rafael Nadal in the next round.

Qualifier Dent, the world number 83, blasted 12 aces to set up his meeting with the world number one, who heads a competitive field with 18 of the world top-20 players in attendance ahead of the US Open later this month.

Nicolas Almagro (14) was the only seed to be eliminated today after the Spaniard lost 6-3 6-3 to Stanislas Warwinka.

Tenth seed David Ferrer was pushed by Alexandr Dolgopolov before he won 3-6 6-3 6-4, but Jurgen Melzer (13) was hardly troubled as he easily beat qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-1 6-4.

Other first-round winners were Robby Ginepri, Sam Querrey, Thomaz Bellucci, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Michael Berrer and Viktor Troicki.

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