Roddick delays retirement, Robson another giant killing win

Updated: September 1, 2012

Andy Roddick’s transition from the tennis court to retirement was delayed when the former world No 1 reached the third round of the US Open on Friday, joining a host of former champions advancing at the year’s final grand slam.

Roddick, who announced a day earlier he would retire at the end of the tournament, served his way past rising Australian talent Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-4 6-0 in his second-round match.

Joining Roddick in the winner’s circle on Friday were former titlists Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and Lleyton Hewitt, who reached the third round.

Defending champion had little trouble advancing, as Djokovic blitzed Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-2 6-1 6-2 in sun-drenched Ashe Stadium.

Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, downed American Ryan Harrison 6-2 6-3 2-6 6-2, while 31-year-old wildcard Hewitt, who won the title in 2001, outlasted Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, 3-6 7-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 in four hours, 35 minutes.

In the ladies draw, Top-ranked Belarussian Victoria Azarenka, who won the Australian Open earlier this year, needed only 59 minutes to rout China’s Zheng Jie 6-0 6-1 to advance to the third round.

One favourite who was handed a third-round exit was Zheng’s compatriot Li Na, who became the latest victim of British giantkiller Laura Robson. Robson’s gritty 6-4 6-7 6-2 triumph over former French Open champion Li, who triumphed in Cincinnati earlier this month, also created a buzz at Flushing Meadows.

Robson sent four-times grand slam champion Kim Clijsters into retirement in the second round but her upset of ninth-seeded Li surely made believers of those who thought she might be a one-hit wonder. Next up for the Young Brit is defending champion Sam Stosur.

Sharapova continued her imperious march through the draw as she crushed American college player Mallory Burdette 6-1 6-1 to reach the fourth round.

The Russian, who has lost just seven games in her first three matches, next plays compatriot Nadia Petrova, a 6-4 7-5 winner over Czech Lucie Safarova.