Roddick battles to beat Blake

Andy Roddick fended off fellow American James Blake in a pair of tie-breaks to reach the third round at the Winston-Salem Open.

Andy Roddick fended off fellow American James Blake in a pair of tie-breaks to reach the third round at the Winston-Salem Open.

Former US Open champion Roddick, who triumphed at Flushing Meadows nine years ago, is battling to regain a top-20 ranking and was pushed hard by Blake before tying up a 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (8/6) victory.

He was a break behind in the opening set and Blake had set points in the second, but fifth seed Roddick won the crucial points.

"It was tough tonight," Roddick said on www.winstonsalemopen.com.

"I was lucky to squeeze it out. I'm just happy to be through. Each match, you want to play better. That's what this week is all about."

Roddick, like most, has the US Open, beginning next week, as his main target.

"The first set I was fortunate," he said. "He came out hot and you're at his mercy when he's playing like that.

"I thought I played well in the second set. I've always been lucky a lot in my career because I've been good at winning those type of matches where it doesn't look great all the time but you kinda get your way through."

Joining Roddick in the last 16 was the rapidly improving Belgian David Goffin, as the unseeded 21-year-old knocked out 10th-seeded Serbian Victor Troicki 3-6 6-4 7-5.

In first-round action, among the victors were Thomaz Bellucci, Donald Young, Robin Haase, Benjamin Becker, Ernests Gulbis and 22-year-old Californian Michael McClune, who recorded a remarkable 6-1 6-4 win over Colombian Alejandro Falla, the world number 303 knocking out a player 52nd in the rankings.

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