American Andy Roddick defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7-6(4), 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open, as rain suspended match play for close to five hours. In a tight first set, the fourth-seeded Roddick withstood 14 aces from Mahut’s racquet and won one more point than the Frenchman. He broke for a 5-3 lead in the second set and served out the victory after one hour and 37 minutes, avenging his loss to Mahut this past May in the first round of the 2012 French Open.
Roddick won his first title in 2001 at Atlanta, when the tournament was held on clay. The 29-year-old improved to a 15-12 season mark, captured his 31st ATP World Tour title last month in Eastbourne, extending his title streak to 12 straight years. Roddick will next face 34-year-old countryman Michael Russell, who battled to defeat fifth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 42 minutes. Russell won consecutive tour-level matches for the first time since April, when he reached the Houston semi-finals as a qualifier.
Kei Nishikori and Go Soeda set an all-Japanese quarterfinal with respective post-midnight victories. Both players will head to the Olympics after the Atlanta event.
Soeda, who reached his first quarterfinal since the first week of the season when he advanced from qualifying to reach the Chennai semifinals, defeated Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-1, 7-5. Fourth-seeded Nishikori finished close to 2:00 a.m. after failing to close out his second-round match with qualifier Ricardas Berankis in a second-set tie-break. The world number 19, who has reached the quarterfinals in three of his past four events, eventually won 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4.