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Tennis

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Roddick Defeats Querrey to Advance to Legg Mason Quarterfinals

Former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, above, cannot overcome Tommy Haas, a 2008 Legg Mason semifinalist, and succumbs, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1, in the third round.
Former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, above, cannot overcome Tommy Haas, a 2008 Legg Mason semifinalist, and succumbs, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1, in the third round. (By Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)
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By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 7, 2009

Since the Wimbledon championship on July 5, rising American tennis star Sam Querrey has reached the finals of two tournaments and won another.

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In the same four-week span, top-ranked American Andy Roddick had played just 55 minutes of competitive tennis.

So it was understandable, when the big-serving pair met Thursday at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, that Querrey was the sharper player.

But on this night, as so often in life, experience compensated for any momentary shortcoming.

After bringing the crowd of nearly 7,000 at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center to a hush by getting broken in two of his first three service games, Roddick rallied, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, to earn a spot in Friday's quarterfinals.

He'll face another big server, Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, who advanced earlier by halting the charmed progression of two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman, 7-5, 6-1.

Roddick's victory over the 6-foot-6 Querrey, whose potent serve and forehand mirror his own, was the 500th of his professional career. Among active men's players, only three have won more matches: Roger Federer (657), Carlos Moya (573) and Lleyton Hewitt (511).

At 26, Roddick is the youngest of that elite bunch. And he declared himself humbled by the number and the company.

"It's a nice validation of maybe the consistency I've been able to have," Roddick said. "And I think I got there with enough time to add to it significantly."

But on another level, it represented something more: That Roddick has turned the page on the five-set loss to Federer, in which he came so close to the second major title he has coveted since winning the 2003 U.S. Open.

He is hardly back to the form he was one month ago. Roddick served just three aces in the match while double-faulting six times. But when a serve went awry or a volley found the net, Roddick did not waste time berating himself, as he often did as a younger player.

He kept his mind on the task at hand and stuck to his game plan -- moving Querrey around the court to better exploit his lack of mobility, varying the pace of his stroke to keep his opponent from getting into a groove, and respecting Querrey's mighty forehand.


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