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October 14, 2009

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Roddick limps out, Hewitt through

ANDY Roddick was forced to retire with left knee pain while leading Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 4-3 in the second round of the Shanghai Masters at the Qizhong Tennis Center yesterday.

The fourth-seeded Roddick, who limped into the post-match news conference, quit after wasting a break point.

"I just felt I pushed off, and then Michael (Novotny, ATP trainer) came on court and did some tests and advised that it probably wasn't worth the risk," Roddick said.

Roddick, who is vying for one of the final three spots at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London next month, is more concerned about taking care of his health than qualifying for the eight-man event.

"At this point, my concern is more along the lines of figuring out what we're dealing with," said Roddick, who has finished the last seven seasons ranked in the top 10.

The 22nd-ranked Wawrinka will next play 13th-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the third round.

"I hope he's going to be fine for the rest of the season," Wawrinka said of Roddick.

"For sure, it's not the way you want it to go. But I'll take it and play the next match."

Sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko also moved into the third round, improving his perfect record against Igor Kunitsyn of Russia to 5-0 after a 6-4, 6-2 win, and 10th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-3, 6-4.

Fifteenth-seeded Tommy Haas beat Benjamin Becker 7-6 (5), 6-4 in an all-German match.

"It's never easy to play a countryman or a player that you like and I'm pretty good friends with," Haas said.

"It's never easy, but I think the first set was quite important.

"I had one good break in the second set and served it out, so I'm pretty happy."

In an all-French match, 11th-seeded Gael Monfils defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 6-2.

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt cut big-serving American John Isner down to size with a 6-2, 6-4 victory in the first round.

The 28-year-old Australian, back at No. 23 in the world after sliding outside the top 100 following hip surgery, is nearly a foot shorter than the towering Isner but came up with some fine returns to disarm the Floridian.

Isner managed just five aces and racked up a whopping 37 unforced errors, leaving Hewitt to seal a second round tie against Monfils when the big American netted after 76 minutes.

"He's had a lot of success earlier in the year ... beating guys like (Andy) Roddick over five sets so I knew it was going to be a tough match," said Hewitt.

"It's a matter of just taking your chances when you get into it against those guys and I did that exceptionally well today," he said.


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