The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports


Roddick firing at Indian Wells

Posted: 13 Mar 2011 08:47 PM PDT

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP): Andy Roddick beat fellow American James Blake 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Sunday.

Roddick's eighth win in 11 matches with Blake set up a third-round meeting with U.S. Davis Cup teammate John Isner, who opened the day with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) victory over Ricardo Mello of Brazil.

Three-time tournament champion Roger Federer overcame Igor Andreev 7-5, 7-6 (4), while Australian Open champion and No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic stayed perfect for the year (13-0) with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan in the opening match of the night session.

Two-time women's champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium struggled but beat Italy's Sara Errani 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 and 2010 champion Jelena Jankovic of Serbia ousted Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4 to join Francesca Schiavone of Italy, Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Marion Bartoli of France in the third round.

Roddick rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the second set by losing just two points and hitting 10 of his 13 aces in his final five service games. Isner had 12 aces and did not face a break point against Mello.

Roddick said he thought he performed acceptably, but "it was tough to get a gauge on how I was playing because James was playing so aggressively. From the first game his strategy was - he didn't want to let me get a rhythm. I felt like he was coming out of his shoes (trying to hit winners). It was tough, but the numbers looked good afterward. I felt like I was hitting the ball okay, so it worked out."

Federer, who'll meet Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina in the third round, is 4-0 lifetime against Andreev.

"I thought it was another tough match against him," said Federer, who is 15-2 this year. "I felt always kind of in control in the first set, even though I was down, 5-4. I felt I was in the match quickly against him, which maybe in the past wasn't always the case because he's got a lot of spin and a lot of pace.

"I was able to handle that better today, I thought. I had a good 10 minutes where I was able to get up 7-5, 2-0, and after that he found his way into the match and it really became competitive. I played a really good tiebreak."

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Iranian rules Tour of Malaysia in style by winning Stage 6

Posted: 13 Mar 2011 08:07 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Tabriz Petrochemical's Mehdi Sohrabi conquered the Tour of Malaysia in style after taking Stage 6 from Batu Caves to Nilai yesterday.

The Iranian, who won Stage 1 (Kota Iskandar-Bandar Penawar), attacked the race well with his team-mates throughout the 175.1km final stage yesterday to wrest the yellow jersey from Le Tua's Vidal Celis Zabala.

Last year's winner David McCann (Giant Kenda) finished second, just two seconds behind Sohrabi, who finished the race in 3'59:44 while Ioannis Tamouridis (SP Tableware) took third place, 1:26 behind the Iranian.

After the second intermediate sprint at Sepang, Sohrabi and his team-mates broke free from the main bunch while Zabala just sat back without responding.

"My team worked hard today, they really worked for me. After the second sprint, I just went for it," said Sohrabi, who wore the yellow jersey for two days after taking the first stage.

"When I looked back at the main bunch, Vidal was very quiet and did not follow. We worked together at the front all the way to the finish."

With the win, Sohrabi also consolidated his lead in the Asian rider (blue jersey) competition.

Mohd Harrif Salleh of Terengganu Pro-Asia won the green jersey (points classification) he held from the first stage while Amir Mustafa Rosli (Police) won the white jersey for the best Malaysian rider.

Mohd Adiq Husainie Othman, who rode for the national team, won the king of the mountain competition.

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