Confident Roddick starts with victory in Brisbane

Monday, January 3, 2011

BRISBANE - Holder Andy Roddick began with a no-drama 6-3, 6-2 victory against local Marinko Matosevic as the American second seed kicked off his title defence at the Brisbane International tennis Monday.

Roddick, who arrived in the Queensland capital with wife Brooklyn Decker before the New Year, produced a modest five aces as the one-time number one eased himself into the 2011 season.

Roddick was broken only once while getting to the serve of his opponent on four occasions in 72 minutes on court.

The 28-year-old won the title in 2010 as he defeated Czech Radek Stepanek, who is also back at this edition.

The American is keen to repeat his first career title in Australia, one of only two during a modest last season.

To ensure that he was not caught out, Roddick had four days of training in the Australian heat and humidity, just a few hundred kilometres from a vast area of the state devastated by floods.

Roddick admits he was not prepared during the closing stages and has already begun correcting that oversight.

“I definitely did not feel well prepared for the last little bit of last year and it showed. If you are not well prepared, you can’t lie about it. It will show one way or the other,” he said.

Elsewhere in the opening round, German seventh seed Florian Mayer showed the door to temperamental Aussie wildcard Bernard Tomic 6-2, 6-2 as the local teenager wasted his wildcard entry at the first opportunity.

Santiago Giraldo of Colombia put out former French contender Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3.

French Open finalist Samantha Stosur led three of the four top women’s seeds ahead as she defeated Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (7-1), 6-1, going through in just under 90 minutes.

“I thought she got off to a pretty good start,” said Stosur.

“Obviously she was winning on the scoreboard, but she was hitting the ball very well and she has got a huge serve so at the start it was maybe a bit hard to read that.

“I was really pleased with the way that I was able to then claw my way back and then get through the first set and then from there I thought I played better and her game dropped off a little bit as well.

“I did not panic, I did not start freaking out and thinking I had to play unbelievable to try and get back. I just took it point by point and slowly started getting it back.”

Second seed Shahar Peer took a win over Aussie Sophie Ferguson 6-4, 6-2 while fourth seed Marion Bartoli beat American Vania King 6-1, 6-2. But number three Nadia Petrova went out against Petra Kvitova, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.

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