WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Andy Roddick was eliminated from the Winston-Salem Open on Wednesday, losing a third-round match to Belgium’s Steve Darcis in straight sets.
The fifth-seeded Roddick, a former world No. 1 player now ranked 21st, fell to the 81st-ranked Darcis 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3) in the final hard-court tournament before next week’s U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow, N.Y.
“I did not expect this,” Darcis said in his heavily-accented English. “When I came here, I was not playing so good. But I had two good first matches, and here I play very good tennis. I served very good, and I tried to be aggressive when I could.
“OK, Andy didn’t play his best tennis, but for me it’s a great win, especially before the U.S. Open.”
Roddick had 13 aces — the fastest recorded at 135 mph — but the 2003 U.S. Open champion struggled to find consistency with his ground strokes and Darcis’ short game, whose drop shots caught Roddick flat-footed several times.
Roddick’s frustration was evident during Wednesday’s match — he smashed his racket after losing the first set, and argued with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes on a let serve call early in the second.
“I served OK, but I didn’t return too well and I wasn’t hitting the ball clean out there today,” said Roddick, who had beaten Darcis in two previous meetings. “If I don’t lose serve, I should do fine, and I didn’t. That just speaks to how far off the rest of my game was today.”
Other winners in the third round Wednesday included fourth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine and seventh-seeded Sam Querrey. Dolgopolov beat 14th-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-3, 6-4, and Querrey downed ninth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4.
Among the players in evening matches at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex are defending champion John Isner, the tournament’s No. 3 seed; top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and sixth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain.
NEW HAVEN OPEN: In New Haven, Conn., Caroline Wozniacki remained undefeated in New Haven after beating Sofia Arvidsson 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the second round.
Wozniacki is playing in the tournament for the fifth time and is the four-time defending champion. Wednesday’s victory was her 19th there without a loss.
She will play Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the quarterfinals. Cibulkova beat Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-4, 6-1. Petkovic, who is coming off injuries to her back and right ankle, was playing in her first tournament since April and her fourth of the year.
Second-seeded Petra Kvitova, who received a first-round bye, is scheduled to play her first match of the tournament Wednesday evening against 19-year-old NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs. Gibbs is seeking to move into her first WTA quarterfinal.