• Roddick overcomes Malisse in Atlanta quarterfinals

    7/24/10 4:21 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Roddick overcomes Malisse in Atlanta quarterfinals Andy Roddick comes back from a set deficit to defeat Xavier Malisse in the Atlanta quarterfinals on Friday. Next up for Roddick is either Mardy Fish or Taylor Dent.

    Andy Roddick won his second straight three-setter on Friday night, outlasting Xavier Malisse 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Roddick needed almost two hours to get past Rajeev Ram in round two, and he finally dismissed Malisse after two hours and nine minutes of play.

    This was a rematch of Atlanta's last tournament final, when Roddick handled Malisse 6-2, 6-4 to win a 2001 clay-court title. Malisse, however, showed right from the start of this one that he would be far more competitive. The 30-year-old Belgian converted his sixth break chance at 3-3 in the first set when Roddick sent a backhand wide. Malisse dropped only four point in his first five service games and finished off the opening frame of play with his second ace.

    Roddick raised his level in the second as began to gain control of his groundstrokes. Atlanta's No. 1 seed struck for his first break of the night at 3-2 with stellar baseline play in addition to an increasingly erratic Malisse. Roddick faced no break points in the second and served out the set with ease at 5-3.

    Despite losing the momentum, Malisse refused to go away quietly in the third. The world No. 57 was not able to produce anything in the return game, but he managed to stay on serve until 4-4. Roddick missed his first two break chances of the ninth game with forehand errors, but a backhand error by Malisse on a third break point proved costly. The ninth-ranked American made no mistake at 5-4, closing out the proceedings with a final service winner.

    "He was serving big the whole time," said Malisse. "He played more aggressive in the third set and everything went in. It's not like I played bad out there."

    "I think my legs won me the match," said Roddick, who will take on either Taylor Dent or Mardy Fish in the semifinals. "In the second set I grinded out a lot of points. I wasn't spraying my forehand as much. I think that was the difference."

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