- The Washington Times - Monday, September 3, 2001

NEW YORK Sitting in his chair during a changeover at the U.S. Open, Andy Roddick sneaked a peak at the stadium scoreboard showing highlights of his match.

He had to like what he saw.

The 19-year-old Roddick, whose startling ascent has revived hope for the next generation of American men's tennis, made another breakthrough yesterday by advancing to the second week of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

In a rout worthy of his favorite team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Roddick blew out French Open runner-up Alex Corretja 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

"Incredible best I've ever seen Roddick look," four-time Open champion John McEnroe said.

Next up will be Tommy Robredo in the fourth round tomorrow. It's another milestone match for Roddick, who made a big splash at the French Open and Wimbledon before losing in the third round.

He said he can sense the stakes rise.

"It's a blast," he said. "You definitely feel it a little bit more. I'm no longer the new guy. I'm not surprising anybody. I'm not sneaking up on anybody anymore.

"Still, I'm definitely having fun. I'm playing tennis. That's a blast."

The men's final 16 also will include beleaguered Lleyton Hewitt but not popular Goran Ivanisevic. The reigning Wimbledon champion, seeded 15th, lost to Albert Costa 6-4, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2).

"This time I didn't have so much luck," Ivanisevic said. "I had it at Wimbledon."

Hewitt drew only scattered jeers while beating Albert Portas 6-1, 6-3, 6-4. But the fiery Australian then had to fend off another round of questions about his comments perceived by some as racial during a second-round match against a black player.

"I've been through this three days straight now," said Hewitt, who denies that his comments were racial. "I apologized if it came out the wrong way. I said that right from the start."

Monica Seles' fine summer ended abruptly with her earliest Open exit since 1990. She committed 51 unforced errors and lost to unseeded 18-year-old Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Seles, seeded seventh, had five wins over top-10 players last month.

"I didn't feel comfortable out there from the first ball hit," Seles said. "It's disappointing to lose after playing so well coming into here."

Top-seeded Martina Hingis fell behind Jelena Dokic 3-0, then won 12 of the final 13 games for a 6-4, 6-0 victory. Hingis, seeking her first Grand Slam title in 2* years, plays Bedanova in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Former champions Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams will meet in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year. The No. 3-seeded Davenport advanced by struggling past Elena Likhovtseva 6-3, 0-6, 6-3, while No. 10 Williams swept the final eight games for a 7-5, 6-0 win over Wimbledon runner-up Justine Henin.

Williams has won six of her eight matches against Davenport but lost to her at the 2000 Open.

"I'm going to be ready this year," Williams said. "We know each other like our backhands."

The day's marathon winner was Robredo, an unseeded Spaniard who needed 3* hours to upset fifth-seeded countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (1).

On an afternoon pretty as a topspin lob with sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, Roddick mixed some finesse with his overpowering serve and forehand. He boomed four aces in one game at 114, 123, 110 and 136 mph but against a Spaniard who's best from the baseline, Roddick also settled into some long rallies.

And won most of them.

"When I started grinding out a couple of points rather than just teeing off right away, I started getting into my groove," Roddick said. "I showed him I wasn't just going to give points away. That helped me a lot."

Roddick committed just 16 unforced errors, including one in third set.

At the start of the year, there was a lot of hand-wringing by U.S. tennis officials about who would fill the void when Andre Agassi, 31, and Pete Sampras, 30, retire. Roddick has provided an answer, storming into the top 20 and now into the second week at the Open.

"I'm as surprised as anybody out there," he said. "I've exceeded my expectations, but I'm not going to think too much about that. I want to keep that going. I don't want to be satisfied yet."

Roddick knows he's in the weaker half of the draw. He knows he won't have to worry about Sampras, Agassi, Pat Rafter or Marat Safin until the final. And he knows Sampras won the Open for his first Grand Slam title at age 19.

Roddick turned 19 Thursday.

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