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Roddick Advances at Italian Open

May 8, 2002

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ROME (AP) _ Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi advanced Wednesday to the second round of the Italian Open.

Roddick overcame a poor start to defeat Andrei Pavel 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, and Agassi breezed past Michel Kratochvil 6-0, 6-1 in 43 minutes.

In a match that was delayed 2 hours, 45 minutes by rain, the 13th-seeded Roddick had just three winners in the first set. Pavel hit 16 winners.

``He reacted better than I did,″ Roddick said. ``I tried to keep fighting though and came out with the win.″

The 19-year-old Roddick seemed to have trouble with the soft surface early in the match, repeatedly looking down at his feet as Pavel’s winners went untouched.

After trading breaks midway through the second set, Roddick’s groundstrokes wore on Pavel and he broke the Romanian to even the match.

At 4-3 in the third set, Roddick hit a backhand crosscourt passing shot to break serve and then held on for the win.

Agassi, who closed out an easy victory with an ace on match point, moved closer to winning one of the few significant tournament titles to elude him.

Also advancing to the third round were seventh-seeded Tommy Haas, who beat Juan Ignacio Chela 7-5, 6-1, and 10th-seeded Sebastien Grosjean of France, who defeated David Nalbandian 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt was scheduled to play Carlos Moya later Wednesday. Also, defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, was to face Ivan Ljubicic.

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