| Andy Roddick in action against Croat Ivan Ljubicic at the ATP Masters series meet in Hamburg Tuesday. The American won 6-4, 6-4. (AFP)
Hamburg: Second-seeded Carlos Moya of Spain needed three sets to advance to the second round of the Hamburg Masters, overcoming qualifier Scott Draper of Australia 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 on Tuesday.
Fourth seed Andy Roddick moved into the second round by beating Croat Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-4 while Mikhail Youzhny of Russia stunned sixth-seeded Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4.
Winner of four titles last year, Moya is now no. 4 on the ATP’s entry rankings.
Against Draper, Moya hit 42 winners — but also had 43 unforced errors. On match point, he put the Australian under pressure and Draper netted a forehand passing shot attempt.
“I am not as confident as I was in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, I don’t feel I’m playing at 100 per cent,” said Moya, semi-finalist in Monte Carlo.
Moya’s best showing in seven straight appearances in Hamburg is the 1999 semi-finals. He now has a 7-7 record on the slow clay of the Rothenbaum Club.
“I felt I controlled the match until 4-2 in the second set, then I seemed to start complicating things,” Moya said. “If you are a set and a break up against a qualifier you start to relax and that leads to problems.”
The $2.4 million Hamburg event is a major warm-up for the French Open, which starts May 26. Moya won the French Open in 1998.
In the second round, Moya will meet his protege, the 16-year-old Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal, who also comes from the island of Mallorca.
“We’ve never played before but we’ve practised together and I’ve seen his progress, he can play great,” Moya said.
Roddick gained one break of serve in each set and that was enough for victory.
Having broken serve for a 4-3 lead in the second set, Roddick fired an ace to set up three match points at 5-4. He won the first when Ljubicic’s return sailed long.
Sebastien Grosjean, the 12th-seeded Frenchman, eased in to the second round with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Filippo Volandri of Italy.
Sargis Sargsian of Armenia outlasted Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia, while 15th-seeded Fernando Gonzales of Chile saved two match points to come from behind and beat Olivier Mutis of France 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
Paris: Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic, plagued by a foot injury since March, has pulled out of the French Open, organisers said on Tuesday.
He will be replaced in the final draw by Swiss Marc Rosset.