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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 September, 2003, 05:35 GMT 06:35 UK
Ruthless Roddick advances
American Andy Roddick
American Andy Roddick advanced to the quarter-finals of the US Open for the third year running with an efficient victory over Xavier Malisse.

The 21-year-old shrugged off the frustrations of another rain delay after just 44 minutes of play to defeat the Belgian 6-3 6-4 7-6.

Roddick's triumph at Flushing Meadows saw him notch up his 16th straight victory - the longest winning streak on the men's tour.

"It was tough conditions out there," said Roddick. "I was glad to get through it."

"The balls were huge. They were like watermelons out there."

After seven hours on the sidelines, Roddick got straight down to business on Arthur Ashe court rattling out two service-games to love before effortlessly breaking Malisse in the fourth game.

The Belgian could not find a way past the American's thundering serves and Roddick strolled to the first set in just 27 minutes.

With the game poised at 2-2 in the second, the showers returned and the players drifted back to the locker room.

After just over an hour, play was resumed at 0400 (BST) and again it was Roddick who was fastest out of the blocks, taking advantage of some woeful mis-hits by Malisse to grab another break in the seventh game.

The 21-year-old was not deterred from his path when officials returned to the court to mop up slippery patches and he made no mistake serving out for the set.

Malisse had appeared listless on court, preferring to stay way beyond the baseline rather than move in to attack Roddick.

But in the third set the Belgium fired himself up and produced some spectacular shots which flew past Roddick.

The 23-year-old grabbed three break-points, his first of the contest, but he was not able to convert them.

A rejuvenated Malisse garnered two set-points at 4-5 but the fourth seed answered with a deft short volley to save one before the Belgian dumped his second chance in to the net.

Malisse, who has never won a title, had left it too late to make his challenge and despite going 5-3 up in the tie-break, Roddick snatched the last four points to seal the match.

The American joins compatriot Andre Agassi as the only two men through to the quarter-finals.

Roddick will meet either Germany's eighth seed Rainer Schuettler or Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands in the next round.

Schalken, the number 12 seed, led Schuettler 5-1 before they both refused to return to the court after a second rain delay because of the damp conditions.





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