Andy Roddick won his 400th professional match with a 6-2, 6-3 beatdown of Marcos Baghdatis in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montréal tonight. I don't get to call many of Andy's victories beatdowns and since he's been on the receiving end of quite a few, I'll just say that turnabout is fair play.
Roddick's overall career record is now 400-124 (.763). Not too shabby for a "mindless ballbasher" with "nothing but a serve." And he's only 24.
The "ballbasher" broke down his opponent from the baseline with loops and slices Baghdatis couldn't handle. Andy broke serve four times, and with a mere 5 aces, lost his own serve once. But he simply was more steady and when forced to come up with some great volleys to hold for a 5-2 lead in the second set, he silenced the commentators who were stunned by what they saw. "Who's that guy at the net?" I said aloud.
Andy will take on Novak Djokovic, who dismissed David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3 (is there an echo in here?), in what is arguably the most anticipated quarterfinal of the bunch. Frist-time meetings between top players on big stages are always exciting. They've been switching off most of the year as the No. 3, 4, and 5 players, along with Nikolay Davydenko, who's also still left in the draw. Novak and Andy both have enough game to beat the other, so if they bring their best tennis, it could be a great match.
Davydenko defeated compatriot Mikhail Youzhny 7-6(8), 6-3. Showing no signs of the foot injury that forced him to retire from the match that made headlines for its betting controversy, Davydenko will face Radek Stepanek, who frustrated Tommy Haas with more than just his tennis en route to a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory.
Roger Federer, who made qualifier Fabio Fognini look like a hitting partner in his 6-1, 6-1 rout, will face Lleyton Hewitt who, thanks to a net cord down match point, outlasted Dominik Hrbaty 6-7(10), 7-6(6), 7-5 in the day's longest match.
And Frank Dancevic gutted out a gritty win over Fernando Verdasco, (who seems to think Africa is a country and the Canucks are Africans - don't make me explain, it will be ugly) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Frank is the first male Canadian in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open since 1989. He'll face Rafael Nadal, who withstood a barrage of power from Paul-Henri Mathieu in the day's best match. Frank, who withdrew from doubles, will need all the help he can get because the world No. 2 is on a mission here. Remember, the last time he played in Montréal, he won the title. Rafa's relentless fight finally broke his opponent's spirit in his 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory.
I'm not making any quarterfinal predictions. May the best men win.