Roddick battles through round
London - Three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick moved into the third round at Wimbledon with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) victory over France's Michael Llodra on Wednesday.
Roddick, the fifth seed, was back in action on Centre Court for the first time since his 16-14 last-set defeat to Roger Federer in last year's final.
The former US Open champion had crushed compatriot Rajeev Ram on Court One in the first round, but now he was back in the arena where he fought back tears of frustration after that loss 12 months ago.
That was Roddick's third failure to get the better of Federer in the Wimbledon decider after previous defeats in 2004 and 2005.
But he looks in the mood for another long run in the tournament on the evidence of his fightback against such a tricky opponent as Llodra.
Llodra, 30, had never made it past the second round at the All England Club, so he approached Amelie Mauresmo, the 2006 women's singles champion here, earlier this year to act as his guide to the intricacies of grass play.
The results were instant as the French left-hander won the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event at Eastbourne last week.
Roddick certainly looked unsettled in the first set as the world number 37 cleverly mixed up his game.
A few well-timed charges to the net were backed up by excellent volleying as Llodra took a 3-2 lead with the first break of the match.
Llodra was also serving with what felt like laser-guided precision and it was fitting that he closed out the first set with an ace.
Roddick was still on the back foot at the start of the second set and had to save two break points before finally holding serve.
It proved a crucial moment. Roddick was able to impose himself more as he start to come into the net more.
The pressure on Llodra began to increase and he cracked, missing three volleys, as Roddick broke at 5-4 to level the match.
Llodra is a top doubles player and his volleying skill earned another break point early in the third set.
But again Roddick held serve and the Frenchman's resolve seemed to crumble as he made a host of mistakes to gift Roddick the set.
The fourth set was a tense affair as both held serve well. It went to a tie-break and Roddick was able to turn up the heat decisively as a series of booming forehands sealed the win.
Second Round Results (x denotes seeding):
Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) bt Michal Przysiezny (POL) 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3
Jurgen Melzer (AUT x16) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-7 (5/7), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Florian Mayer (GER) bt Mardy Fish (USA) 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Andy Roddick (USA x5) by Michael Llodra (FRA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/2)
Regina Kulikova (RUS) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ x32) 6-2, 6-4
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Vera Dushevina (RUS) 6-3, 6-4
Justine Henin (BEL x17) bt Kristina Barrois (GER) 6-3, 7-5
Marion Bartoli (FRA x11) bt Petra Martic (CRO) walkover
Greta Arn (HUN) bt Alicia Molik (AUS) 7-5, 6-4
Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Shahar Peer (ISR x13) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Kim Clijsters (BEL x8) bt Karolina Sprem (CRO) 6-3, 6-2