Roddick, Verdasco advance, Stepanek ousted | sports | Hindustan Times
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Roddick, Verdasco advance, Stepanek ousted

sports Updated: Feb 11, 2010 12:55 IST

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Top-seeded American Andy Roddick beat qualifier Ryler DeHeart in straight sets on Wednesday, but defending champion Radek Stepanek was ousted in the first round of the ATP Tour SAP Open.

Roddick, playing his first match since falling to Marin Cilic in five sets in the Australian Open quarter-finals, beat DeHeart 6-1, 7-6 (7/1).

Roddick didn't seem to be bothered by a sore right shoulder - which gave him trouble in his loss to Cilic - nor by a lingering knee injury that nearly forced him to skip this tournament.

But he was distracted by a giant videoboard over the court. He complained to the umpire and the live video feed was cut from the board.

DeHeart, playing only his fourth main draw singles match on the ATP Tour, broke Roddick in the second game of the second set, built a 5-2 lead and served for the set at 5-3.

He took a 30-15 lead, but then made three errors as Roddick forced a tiebreaker. Roddick dominated the decider and advanced to a second-round match with Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.

Earlier Wednesday Stepanek, the third seed, became the first defending champion in two decades to lose in the first round here, falling 6-3, 6-4 to Belgian Xavier Malisse.

The last time the defending champion of this tournament lost in the first round was in 1990, when Gary Muller ousted Brad Gilbert.

Second-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco reached the second round, beating Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsen 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3.

Fourth seeded German Tommy Haas bowed out, beaten 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 to Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in a second-round encounter.