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Roddick grinds out Open win

Thursday, January 22, 2009 , Posted by Linda at 10:59 AM

MELBOURNE – America's Andy Roddick ground out a four-set win over 195th-ranked Belgian Xavier Malisse to reach the Australian Open's third round on Wednesday.

Roddick grinds out Open win Andy Roddick of the US returns the ball to Xavier Malisse of Belgium during their men's singles match

Roddick lost the opening set and battled through a third-set tie-breaker to take it 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 in two hours and 43 minutes.

The 2003 US Open champion admitted to some nervy moments against Malisse, to whom he had never lost in seven meetings.

"That's the nature of our job, that's what makes it exciting to me," Roddick said. "I'm just happy to be through to the next round."

The former world number one is desperate to return to the glory days but ran into an unexpectedly tough customer in Malisse, who shocked the Texan to take the first set.

Roddick screamed with delight as he went a break up in the second and levelled the match with a service winner, but was soon bogged down in the third until he took control of the tie-break and went ahead on a Hawkeye challenge.

Malisse, who took treatment to his right thigh, appeared shot and Roddick raced away in the fourth set, breaking twice and converting his first match point.

Roddick has reached the Australian Open semi-finals three times but lost in the third round last year. He will play Fabrice Santoro on Friday for a place in round four.

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