Two breaks of serve helped Andy Roddick become the first man into the quarterfinals of the AEGON Championships at London’s Queen's Club after he defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday.
Both players are known for their big serves, and their performances didn’t disappoint. Roddick hit 8 aces to Anderson’s 13, and both men won more than 70 percent of their first-serve points.
Anderson also won 60 percent of his second-serve points, compared to Roddick’s 53 percent. Despite the big serving, Anderson and Roddick each had three break-point chances, with Roddick capitalizing on one opportunity in each set.
Of his performance, Roddick told the Associated Press, “I thought it was solid…I had a game plan, I stuck to it. There was never going to be a lot of breaks out there today with the way we were both serving, but that’s grass-court tennis.”
Verdasco isn’t known for his big serving, but he still won 79 percent of his first-serve points and 70 percent of points on his second serve; compared to Nalbandian’s 67 percent for first serves and 56 percent for second serves.
As the score indicates, the first set was a tightly contested affair. Although Verdasco earned the decisive break, Nalbandian had four break chances of his own.
That changed in the second set, however, as the Argentine failed to earn a single break-point opportunity. That may be because Verdasco lost only three points on his serve in the set.
Roddick has a 9-3 career record against Verdasco, although the Spaniard won their last match at the 2010 SAP Open in three sets. This will be their second encounter on a grass court—Roddick won their previous match at Wimbledon in 2007 in three close sets.
The Serb has proven to be a tricky match-up for Murray, as coming into today they had a 3-3 record against each other, and Tipsarevic won their last match at the 2010 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in three sets.
The first set saw three breaks of serve, with Murray claiming the decisive break. They split breaks again in the second set, but Murray closed out the set in a tiebreaker.
Murray was broken twice despite hitting 11 aces and winning 67 percent of his service points. Meanwhile, Tipsarevic faired better on his second serve, winning 63 percent of those points compared to 57 percent of first-serve points.
The Scot will face eighth-seeded Marin Cilic, who beat 11th-seeded Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 (3), 0-6, 6-3.
Murray has a 4-1 advantage against Cilic. The two have never played on grass, but Cilic's only win came on the fast courts of Flushing Meadows at the 2009 U.S. Open.