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Roddick, Hewitt reach quarters in Memphis

Top-seeded Andy Roddick breezed past Robby Ginepri 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships on Thursday.

sports Updated: Feb 20, 2009 09:51 IST

Top-seeded Andy Roddick breezed past Robby Ginepri 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships on Thursday.

Roddick, seeking his first tournament victory in 2009, needed just 61 minutes to polish off his fellow American, drilling 11 aces and hitting 79 per cent of his first serves.

"I'm in a pretty good groove serving right now, and feel like a lot of the work I put in during December is showing itself," Roddick said.

In the women's Cellular South Cup, top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark defeated Dutch qualifier Michaella Krajicek 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semifinals, where she'll meet Anne Keothavong of Britain.

Roddick's win put him into an eighth Memphis quarterfinal, where he'll play eighth-seeded countryman Sam Querrey, who dispatched wild card Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 6-2.

Lleyton Hewitt and Christophe Rochus advanced also to a quarterfinal showdown.

Hewitt, once the top-ranked player in the world, took another step back from major hip surgery last August, defeating fellow Australian Chris Guccione 6-2, 7-6 (4). Rochus, a 30-year-old Belgian who spent much of 2008 on the challenger circuit to rebuild his ranking, beat seventh-seeded Mardy Fish 6-2, 6-4. Hewitt has already knocked off two big names this week. He ousted third-seeded James Blake in three sets late on Wednesday and in an exhibition on Monday he beat Pete Sampras.

"I'm feeling pretty good about the way things are going," Hewitt said. "Jim and I did a lot of moving in that three-set match and I was happy with the result. Today against Guccione, there weren't so many long points, and that was probably good." Hewitt gave up only eight points on serve in the match and had 10 aces.

"The thing for me right now is getting used to match conditions again, playing a lot of guys, going through a lot of big points," he said. "No matter how good you feel on the practice court, you have to keep playing matches to get sharp. That's what I'm working on now."

It was only the second time Hewitt had faced Guccione, a teammate on Olympic and Davis Cup teams.

"We practice together, gone to battle for our country together. We know everything about each other's games, so it's tough to go through something like this," Hewitt said.

Rochus put together a 41-15 record with two titles and five finals in challengers.

"When your ranking drops like mine did, you have a choice: Retire or fight," Rochus said. "So I went to the challengers tour, where you play a lot of matches for no money against players as good as they are at this level. Winning there got my confidence back." He overcame 14 aces by Fish.

"If Mardy plays well, I lose 6-3, 6-4. That's how it is. But if he plays bad, that gives me an opening," Rochus said. Second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina cruised in a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, and lined up a match with last week's San Jose champion Radek Stepanek, who beat Stefan Koubek of Austria 6-2, 6-4.

Igor Kunitsyn of Russia rallied past Philipp Petzschner of Germany 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Israeli qualifier Dudi Sela won 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) over Florent Serra of France.

In the women's event, third-seeded Lucie Safarova was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-3, 6-4. Keothavong survived a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 match with fifth-seeded Marina Erakovic of New Zealand. Victoria Azarenka of Belarus advanced to a semifinal against Lisicki with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Pauline Parmentier of France.

First Published: Feb 20, 2009 09:49 IST