Originally created 06/11/04

Roddick fights to quarterfinals



LONDON - Top-seeded Andy Roddick held off Mario Ancic, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, on Thursday and reached the quarterfinals of the Queen's Club tournament.

Roddick, the defending champion, was pushed to the limit in his second match on grass this summer in preparation for Wimbledon.

A crucial double fault by Ancic in the tiebreaker allowed Roddick to take the first set. Ancic came back to take the second, but Roddick's forehand winner with Ancic on the ground gave him a service break at 2-2 in the third and put him in control.

"That kind of match, you just have to stay the course and wait for an opening," Roddick said, "and I had to wait a little bit today."

In other matches, former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia beat Marray of Britain, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (8).

Hewitt saved five set points in the first set, then squandered two match points at 6-5 in the second. Marray led 8-7 in the tiebreaker before Hewitt won the final three points.

"He had nothing to lose, and he played like that," Hewitt said. "On the big points, I was able to handle the situation well and come up with good shots and good serves."

In other matches, fifth-seeded Sebastien Grosjean beat Ian Flanagan in 50 minutes, 6-2, 6-0; Karol Beck outlasted Ivo Karlovic, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-3; Radek Stepanek beat Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan, 6-2, 6-4; and Russia's Igor Andreev downed Olivier Patience of France, 6-4, 7-5.

GERRY WEBER OPEN: In Halle, Germany, Rainer Schuettler moved into the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Joachim Johansson.

Schuettler, playing in front of a partisan crowd, used the only break in the match to take a 4-3 lead in the second set and won in 90 minutes.

The grass-court event is a tuneup for Wimbledon, which starts in two weeks.

In other matches, American Mardy Fish beat Sargis Sargsian, 6-4, 6-3, and Nicolas Kiefer defeated Jonas Bjorkman, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

STATE TO HONOR FORMER PLAYER: In Belton, S.C., ex-Presbyterian College tennis coach Donna Arnold came looking for prospects in the early 1990s at the Wachovia Palmetto Championships and immediately saw something special in Easley's Kimberly Hampton.

Hampton, who became a college tennis star for Arnold, went on to a military career as an Army helicopter pilot. Capt. Hampton was the first female pilot to die in the Iraqi conflict when she was shot down in January near Fallujah.

Hampton will be honored today at one of South Carolina's premier junior tournaments when the Tiger Hustle Award, given to a girl from the event's 12-and-under division, is renamed for her.

"It wasn't like she was the No. 1 player with all the big schools looking at her. But she was one of those sleepers who develop," Arnold recalled.

"She hustled, went for every ball and wasn't a brat on the court. She was everything I look for in a player, and each year she quietly improved," Arnold said.

Palmetto Championships director Rex Maynard says he knew Hampton through the tournament.

"Anything we can do to remember her is good," Maynard said.

SUSPENDED: Slovakian David Sebok was given a two-year suspension for using banned substances. The Slovak tennis federation said Thursday the ban started May 14. Sebok is currently ranked 1,090 in the world.