• Monfils stages comeback, Roddick steamrolls

    1/17/11 6:36 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Monfils stages comeback, Roddick steamrolls Andy Roddick cruises past Jan Hajek in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday. Gael Monfils has a scare, though, coming back from two sets down to overcome Thiemo De Bakker.

    (8) Andy Roddick d. Jan Hajek 6-1, 6-1, 6-2

    Roddick needed just one hour and 40 minutes to roll through his first-round match at the Australian Open on Monday. Hajek was overwhelmed right from the start, as Roddick served at 81 percent in the opening set and dropped only five points in his first four service games. The eighth-ranked American did not serve as well in the second, but he saved the only break point he faced so two more breaks were more than enough for a two-set advantage.

    Hajek continued to struggle in the third, spraying 16 unforced errors in the last eight games. The 96th-ranked Czech at least put up a fight until the end, but he failed to convert any of the four break points he saw in the final game of the match. Roddick managed to serve it out at 5-2 and he wrapped up his effort with 18 aces and 31 winners. Next up for the No. 8 seed is Igor Kunitsyn, who got past Michal Przysiezny in four sets.

    (12) Gael Monfils d. Thiemo De Bakker 6-7(5), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1

    Monfils trailed by two sets and 5-2 in the third, but he found a way to mount a momentous comeback and stay alive at the Australian Open on Monday. This one featured momentum shifts right from the start, as it was Monfils who gave away an early lead. The 12th-ranked Frenchman led 5-2 in the first, had a 30-0 advantage on serve at 5-3, and then held double set point on De Bakker's serve at 5-6. Monfils, however, could not capitalize and he surrendered the opening frame of play in a tiebreaker.

    Of course, the momentary meltdown came nowhere close to De Bakker's collapse later in the match. After taking a two-set lead, the 47th-ranked Dutchman reached 5-2 in the third and served for victory at 5-3. When De Bakker failed to close it out, however, he fell apart. Monfils ended the third set on a five-game winning streak and he dropped only three more games the entire rest of the way. De Bakker, apparently dealing with a groin injury over a lackluster final two sets, disappeared in a routine fourth and fifth for Monfils. The No. 12 seed will face Frederico Gil for a spot in the third round.

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