- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2012

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Andy Roddick’s attempt to win another Grand Slam title nearly a decade after his first ended Thursday at the Australian Open when he had to retire from his second-round match due to injury.

Former No. 1-ranked Roddick, whose only major win came at the 2003 U.S. Open, was trailing Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 when he called the trainer to his courtside chair. He then walked over to Hewitt and shook the Australian player’s hand, unable to continue after sustained what appeared to be a leg injury in the opening set.

“It’s a nightmare for both of us, obviously he stretched something, I don’t know what,” Hewitt said. “It’s not easy for the person up the other end of the court. It’s hard to concentrate when they’re having injury timeouts. You know he’s hurting, but I’ve got to try and block that out as much as possible and that’s not easy to do.”

Roddick had fallen to the court during the first set, but continued despite being in obvious pain.

Hewitt, who has won two major titles and was a finalist here in 2005, will play Canada’s Milos Raonic in the third round.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic advanced earlier Thursday, overcoming an early service break against Santiago Giraldo in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 victory at Melbourne Park.

“I maybe started a little too defensive because he was hitting the ball very strong,” said Djokovic, who won three of the four majors last year. “But then after, it was the other way around.”

A title this month would put him in select company. Only four players _ Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal _ have won three straight Grand Slam singles tournaments, and Djokovic could join them following his wins at last year’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

Second-seeded Nadal and third-seeded Federer, who are in the other half of the draw here, play back-to-back matches at Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

Fourth-seeded Andy Murray, who lost to Djokovic in the final here last year, also advanced Thursday, beating Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Murray is playing his first Grand Slam tournament since hiring eight-time major champion Ivan Lendl as his coach.

“It’s been good, he’s obviously one of the greatest players ever,” Murray said. “He’s got so much experience and he’s very funny guy. You wouldn’t probably expect it by the way he was on the court, similar to myself.”

Earlier, five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams notched her 500th career singles victory when she beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0, 6-4 to advance to the third round. The left ankle she badly sprained two weeks ago wasn’t an issue.

“It’s totally fine. It was my good ankle, so I’m good,” she said.

Williams won the Australian Open in 2009 and 2010, but didn’t defend her title in 2011 because she was injured.

Her older sister, Venus, has a win-loss record of 589-147, but is missing the Australian Open to recover from illness.

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