Monday, March 17, 2008

Haas upsets Roddick, Mario far from "Super" form

Former world number 2, Tommy Haas, dispatched home favorite Andy Roddick from the Pacific Life Open second round in Indian Wells on Sunday. The German showed fine form as he outplayed sixth-seeded Roddick to post a 6-4, 6-4 victory and snap the American's serving streak that saw him win the Dubai title last week without dropping a single service game.

Roddick gave us a glimpse of Marat Safin's angry fits as he continued to throw his racquet and lost his composure more than once during the match, however the American assured the press after the match the the loss has not affected his confidence.

Another seed who followed Roddick outside the tournament was 12th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez who suffered a 3-set upset against returning Croat, Mario Ancic.

Ancic, who is slowly crawling back into the top 100 after his final appearance in Marseille earlier this year, is yet to find his solid form that saw him reach the world's top 10 prior to his illness (mononucleosis) that forced him to miss 6 months last season and another stomach illness that hit him in January.

Formerly nicknamed "Super Mario" after defeating Roger Federer in Wimbledon back in 2002, Ancic showed signs of his aggressive play in the first set against Gonzalez as he performed well at the net and broke the Chilean in the 11th game to capture the set 7-5.

Ancic however, faltered in the second set as allowed Gonzalez to step back into the game and clinch the second set before he regained control in the third to win the match 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.

It's great to find a fine player like Ancic advance to the third round at Indian Wells, however he needs to step up his game if he plans on competing amongst the best. He only managed to convert 3/14 breakpoint opportunities against Gonzalez. This just won't cut it against the likes of Nadal, Djokovic and Fed-Express.

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