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Italian Open: Roddick upset by Simon in 1st R


Updated: May 9, 2011, 11:53 PM IST
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Italian Open: Roddick upset by Simon in 1st R
Andy Roddick extended his troubled start to the clay-court season with another loss.

Rome: Andy Roddick extended his troubled start to the clay-court season with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Gilles Simon of France in the opening round of the Italian Open on Monday.

Simon broke Roddick's serve in the first game of the match and quickly recovered a break by the 12th-seeded American in the opening game of the second set, then cruised from there.

While the sky was clear at the Foro Italico, gusty winds created difficult conditions.

"He moves really well, which you don't want to see when you're short of matches, and on a day like today, where you're not getting clean hits much at all," Roddick said. "As soon as we got into rallies it became a battle of not really ball striking but movement. I was coming in second most times."

Another American, 11th-seeded Mardy Fish, rallied to beat Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, 10th-seeded Gael Monfils and Japan's Kei Nishikori, who were slated to play each other, both withdrew, citing an illness and kidney stones respectively.

Two lucky losers from qualifying met instead inside the 10,500-seat center court stadium, with Jarkko Nieminen of Finland downing Adrian Mannarino of France 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.

"I have no energy. I'm going to take some tests and hopefully it will pass," Monfils said.

In women's action, Ekaterina Makarova of Russia beat last year's surprise champion, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4, and Greta Arn of Hungary eliminated 11th-seeded and two-time finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (9).

Also, ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France beat Spanish qualifier Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-2, 6-3; and another Spanish qualifier, Anabel Medina Garrigues, eliminated 2005 runner-up Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-3, 6-2.

The men's and women's tournaments are being played simultaneously at the Foro Italico for the first time in 33 years.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have first-round byes.

Roddick hit only nine winners to Simon's 23 and committed 27 unforced errors to his opponent's 18. The big-serving American also trailed 4-1 in aces.

Roddick also lost his opening match at last week's Madrid Open, falling in three sets to 160th-ranked Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla.

"The last couple weeks I haven't felt comfortable out here," Roddick said. "I feel great physically. I feel fine, there's no excuses."

With the French Open less than two weeks away, Roddick's last chance to hone his game will come in Nice, France, next week.

"Hopefully I can do something there," he said.

First Published: May 9, 2011, 11:53 PM IST
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