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Roddick wins as Rusedski explodes
( 2003-06-26 09:19) (Agencies)

American Andy Roddick burned Britain's Greg Rusedski 7-6 7-6 7-5 on Wednesday in an explosive Wimbledon second round showdown.

Rusedski left the court fuming after an umpire over-rule at a vital point of the third set, having earlier hurled a foul-mouthed volley of abuse at the official.

But he could have few complaints as 20-year-old Roddick outplayed him in the two first set tiebreaks in the shootout between the world's two fastest servers.

The fifth seed kept his cool in the third to seal victory with his 14th ace and set up a third round tie against Spain's Tommy Robredo.

Rusedski also served 14 aces and in the end the difference between the two players proved to be Roddick's tiebreak mastery and Rusedski inability to hold his temper.

The Briton exploded in rage when Swedish umpire Lars Graff awarded Roddick a point for 40-15 when the American was serving at 2-5 in the third set.

Someone in a boisterous Centre Court crowd had wrongly called a Roddick shot out in mid-rally. The umpire over-ruled and, to Rusedski's fury, awarded the point to the American instead of ordering it to be replayed.

Roddick won the game and then broke a by-now boiling Rusedski to love for 4-5. At the ensuing changeover Rusedski let rip at the Graff with a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse, saying the umpire should have warned the crowd and replayed the point.

Still seething Rusedski, who faces a probable $10,000 fine for his outburst which was broadcast live on BBC television, lost the next three games as Roddick wrapped up a controversial but deserved victory on his second match point.

"Mentally I was really happy with my performance," said Roddick afterwards. "He got pretty upset.

"I think a fan made a call from the stands which was unfortunate for him. I have been there."

Rusedski later apologised.

"I'm sorry for the language I used," he said. "For the people that were offended I apologise. I'm disappointed in myself. There is no way I should have done that."

The two men share the record for the fastest serve in men's tennis -- 149 mph (240kmh) -- and the predicted slugging match duly materialised.


Both players had revenge on their mind. Rusedski beat Roddick in straight sets in the third round at Wimbledon last year, while Roddick beat Rusedski en route to winning the Stella Artois Championships earlier this month.

After a break pointless first set, Roddick found the necessary inspiration to sneak 5-3 up in the tiebreak and then take the set with a neat double-fisted backhand across court.

But Rusedski, who has been hampered by foot, knee and neck injuries over the past year, did not wilt. The second set went the same way, although it did at least feature the first break point of the match -- for Roddick at 5-4.

The American, who by now had touched 138 mph on serve, did not take his chance but ruthlessly dismantled Rusedski in the tiebreak, winning the first six points and taking it 7-1.

Rusedski immediately had to save break points at the start of the third but did so and then opened out a 3-0 lead after breaking Roddick for the first time.

But at 2-5 Rusedski lost his rag and with it his hopes of victory.

Roddick now has a relatively clear path to the semi-finals following the shock first round exit of defending champion Lleyton Hewitt. The American has never been beyond round three at Wimbledon.

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