- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Defending Legg Mason champion Andy Roddick withdrew from the tournament yesterday because of a strained muscle on his left side.

Roddick attempted to practice today, but after a half-hour he said he knew he could not compete.

“I could still feel the injury, and with where the injury actually is, I’ve been advised that it is probably one of the easiest spots to re-aggravate,” Roddick said. “I could still feel it out there today, and I didn’t feel like I was well enough to play sets in practice tomorrow. Therefore I would have been shoddy at best on Wednesday, and I would rather at least get it healed.”

Roddick withdrew from the quarterfinals of the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles on Friday. He injured his left side in the final set of a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-2 victory over Scott Oudsema.

“Right now it is more soreness than sharp pain, which is a good thing,” Roddick said. “When I first did it on Thursday, it felt like someone stabbed me in the side. It felt real bad as soon as it happened, and I knew I was in trouble. Like I said, if you told me four days ago that this is what we were dealing with, I would have been happy. Three or four days ago I didn’t think I could play, but yesterday I thought there might be a chance, so I decided to come here and give it a shot. … The last thing I want to do is re-injure it with the [U.S. Open] right around the corner.”

Roddick is scheduled to compete in tournaments in Cincinnati and Toronto before the U.S. Open. He is 32-13 this year but has not won a singles title.

“I felt like momentum was on my side, and the last thing I want to do is get up there and not do myself justice,” Roddick said.

With Roddick out, a “lucky loser” will be chosen today to fill his spot. Usually the highest-ranked player in the qualifiers gets the nod, which would be former top-25 player Jan-Michael Gambill.

Roddick’s replacement will take on Jenko Tipsarevic tomorrow. Tipsarevic defeated wild-card Michael Venus 6-2, 6-1 yesterday.

“Of course in one way it is disappointing because I was expecting a big match on center court with a lot of people,” Tipsarevic said about Roddick’s withdrawal. “But then again, I am happy he is not playing because everyone knows how he is capable of playing, especially in the United States. This will definitely give me a boost and maybe help me advance to the next round.”

Safin advances

Former world No. 1 Marat Safin advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over Igor Kunitsyn.

“It is difficult to be in control of the match from beginning to the end because I am still missing some confidence,” Safin said. “It is difficult to play and be sure what you are doing. … It could have gone in any direction in the third set. I am happy I am done in two.”

Safin will face No. 15 seed Nicolas Mahut today.

Meanwhile, in one of two marathon matches yesterday,Wesley Moodie needed more than 1½ hours to defeat wild-card Sam Querrey 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6).

Moodie, who won the doubles title at Wimbledon in 2005, said he had trouble adjusting to the hot and humid conditions.

“It is torture sometimes,” Moodie said. He will face sixth-seeded Sebastian Grosjean today. “I arrived from South Africa on Thursday, and it takes you a long time to get used to this weather.

Querrey was so hot he sweated through his shoes, leaving visible footprints on the court as he played.

Qualifiers move on

In other first round action, qualifier Phillip King defeated Bobby Reynolds 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted more than two hours.

Fellow qualifier Ryan Sweeting knocked off Justin Gimelstob 7-6, (7) 6-2.

Denis Gremelmayr cruised into the second round, defeating Wesley Whitehouse 6-2, 6-2. Gremelmayr will face 13th seed Bjorn Phau tomorrow.

In doubles action, Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips took down Paradorn Srichaphan and Danai Udomchoke 6-2, 6-1.

Nicolas Mahut and Gilles Muller defeated Stephen Huss and Moodie 6-4, 6-7 (3), 10-5.

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