TODAY'S PAPER
35° Good Afternoon
35° Good Afternoon
SportsTennis

Roddick rallies to win in 5 sets at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia - Four days after an angry outburst over the rules relating to replays and line calls, Andy Roddick got a crucial call in his favor in his fourth-round Australian Open win over Fernando Gonzalez.

Roddick held off the 2007 Australian Open finalist, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals at the season's first major for the sixth time in eight years.

The 27-year-old American will meet No. 14 Marin Cilic of Croatia, who ousted U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in five sets.

Roddick bucked the trend on a day of upsets that also resulted in fourth-round exits for two of the top women: No. 2 Dinara Safina, last year's runner-up, and No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova, the reigning French Open champion.

"I got a little lucky tonight, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," said the seventh-seeded Roddick, who hopes to end a Grand Slam drought that dates to the 2003 U.S. Open.

After wasting four set points in the 10th game of the fourth set, Roddick rallied from 40-0 down in the 12th - Gonzalez's next service game - to earn a fifth set point. Then he hit the contentious, dipping crosscourt forehand.

The ball was called out and Gonzalez didn't take a swing. Roddick challenged the call immediately, and the evidence showed that the ball just caught the line, giving Roddick the set to level at two-all and igniting a protest from Gonzalez.

The Chilean argued that he could have had a play on the ball and that chair umpire Enric Molina should have replayed the point. "In my opinion you could not have reached the ball," Molina told Gonzalez in Spanish. Gonzalez strode back for the changeover, kicking two water bottles and a courtside chair before slumping into it.

"I know he was pretty upset about the challenge and that rule no one seems to know about," Roddick said. "I can certainly sympathize with his frustrations, you know?" Gonzalez refused to blame one disputed call for turning the match. "We played more than 200 points," he said. "It was important, for sure, but it wasn't the key of the match."

Safina had to retire because of the recurrence of a back injury when she was serving at 5-4 down and 30-40 in the first set against Maria Kirilenko.

Kuznetsova lost, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, to Nadia Petrova, who went into the match after a stunning 6-0, 6-1 third-round victory over U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters.

Former No. 1 Justine Henin continued her run in her first Grand Slam tournament in two years with a 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3 win over fellow Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, keeping her on track for a quarterfinal meeting with Petrova.

In an afternoon match, 2008 Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie became the first Chinese player to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory over Alona Bondarenko.

Rafael Nadal had a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over 6-10 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, while Andy Murray overcame 6-9 American John Isner, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-2, to reach the final eight in Australia for the first time.

No. 1 Roger Federer plays Lleyton Hewitt, aiming to extend a run of making the semifinals or better every year since winning the first of his three Australian titles in 2004.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports