| Andy Roddick plays conductor as the crowd sings ‘Happy Birthday’ after his win over Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia on Friday. (Reuters)
New York, Aug. 30 (Agencies): Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan and two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia breezed into a fourth-round showdown at the US Open with victories on Saturday.
Sixth seed Jennifer Capriati advanced to the fourth round but struggled in defeating France’s Emilie Loit 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
Paradorn, the 11th seed, equaled his best Slam showing by defeating Spanish lucky loser Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 while sixth seed Hewitt advanced when Czech Radek Stepanek retired due to back pain with Hewitt ahead 6-1, 3-0.
Hewitt enters Monday’s duel for a quarter-final spot 4-1 against the Asian ace, having won last year in Paris, Miami and San Jose and in 2001 at Indian Wells.
Paradorn’s lone victory over him was in the 2002 Tokyo quarter-finals.
Seventh seed Anastasia Myskina of Russia advanced to the fourth round, rallying to beat Spain’s Maria Sanchez Lorenzo 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Myskina will face France’s Mary Pierce.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Pierce of France advanced in 71 minutes with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Japan’s 55th-ranked Shinobu Asagoe.
“To win another one, I would probably break down on the court,” Pierce said. “Definitely that's a dream.” Russia’s Elena Dementieva, seeded 11th, ousted American Amy Frazier 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3) and will play for a berth in the quarter-finals against either France’s Emilie Loit or American sixth seed Jennifer Capriati.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Andy Roddick celebrated his 21st birthday by reaching the third round of the US Open with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 win over Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic.
Ljubicic, later, blasted his rival as an unsportsmanlike jerk that other ATP players despise.
“I’m just telling you the feeling of the guys in the locker room,” Ljubicic said, adding: “Every single player said to me, ‘Good luck. Kick his ass’.”
Second seed Roger Federer’s bid for a second consecutive Grand Slam gained momentum when the Wimbledon champion brushed aside Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 to reach round 3. The Swiss faces Blake next.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Argentine partner Paola Suarez survived a scare before winning their mixed doubles first round match on Friday night.
Petra Mandula (Hungary) and Graydon Oliver (US) stretched the top seeds before bowing 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-7 (8-10).