7/19/12 8:53 AM | Ricky Dimon
Andy Roddick gets past Nicolas Mahut in straight sets on Wednesday in Atlanta. Roddick is joined in the quarterfinals by Kei Nishikori, who held off Ricardas Berankis in the early hours of the morning.
(4) Andy Roddick d. Nicolas Mahut 7-6(4), 6-3
Following an opening-round bye, Roddick won his first match at the BB&T Atlanta Open by taking out Mahut in one hour and 37 minutes on Wednesday night. Roddick gave back an early break midway through the first set, and it soon looked like he may dig himself into a hole. Mahut led 3-2 in the tiebreaker and had an easy volley for 4-2 but dumped it in the net. Roddick eventually took the 'breaker seven points four.
With momentum in hand, the 29-year-old American needed just one break to wrap things up in straights. Roddick faced no break points in the second and closed out the match on serve at 5-3. He finished with 10 aces and one double-fault while Mahut also served well, recording 15 aces and one double. Next up for Roddick is countryman Michael Russell, who upset Kevin Anderson 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4
(4) Kei Nishikori d. (Q) Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4
Nishikori survived Berankis in a wild, back-and-forth thriller that lasted two hours and 42 minutes and ended after 1:40 on Thursday morning. Berankis had already qualified for the main draw before crushing Dmitry Tursunov, and he also came out firing in this one. The 22-year-old Lithuanian raced to a 3-0 lead in the opener only to win just a single game the rest of the way in set one.
Berankis later squandered five set points serving at 5-4 in the second. Nishikori then missed three match points in the tiebreaker, including one during which Berankis took the risk of stopping play when a shot had been called in. After Berankis pulled out the second, the final turning point came with the world No. 147 serving at 1-1 in the third. Nishikori finally broke in a marathon game and he consolidated his lead the rest of the way. Atlanta's No. 4 seed will go up against fellow Japanese player Go Soeda in the quarterfinals.
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