TENNIS MASTERS CINCINNATI Roddick's nifty shot sets stage for win



Andy Roddick defeated Nicolas Kiefer for the third time in three weeks.
MASON, Ohio (AP) -- Andy Roddick didn't know if it was the best shot he ever hit, or the luckiest. Either way, it set the stage for his second-round victory Wednesday over Nicolas Kiefer at the Tennis Masters Cincinnati tournament.
In an evening match delayed at the start and interrupted twice by rain, Andre Agassi rallied after a second-set lapse to beat Thomas Johansson 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.
Agassi said he was re-energized by the stalwart fans who stayed through two rain delays in the second set.
"When you see the excitement of people who have persevered, it gets your juices going," Agassi said.
Roddick beat Kiefer for the third time in three weeks, this time 6-4, 6-4. His offbeat but brilliant passing shot evened the score at 30 in game seven, and he won the next two points for the service break he needed to take the opening set.
Nifty return
When Roddick went to the net after an extended exchange of baseline shots, Kiefer lifted a lob over his head. Roddick sprinted back to the baseline, whirled and got his racket on the ball just before it hit the court.
When his shot down the line skipped out of the reach of Kiefer's forehand, Roddick raised both hands, palms up, to the crowd in a gesture that could only mean, "How did I do that?"
Roddick said he could only laugh at his good fortune when he saw the replay.
"I was going to go between my legs, but I couldn't get there in time. So I just flailed at it, and I figured if I was going to flail at it, I might as well hit it hard," Roddick said. "I didn't really see it ... but I saw people clapping, so I figured it went in. It was probably the best shot I ever hit, or the luckiest."
Hewitt, Moya win
Earlier, Lleyton Hewitt beat un-seeded Gustavo Kuerten, and Carlos Moya beat Ivan Ljubicic in the $2.5 million event after persistent, heavy rains delayed the start of the morning matches for more than four hours.
Tenth-seeded Hewitt broke Kuerten's serve in the second game and cruised through the first set. Kuerten prolonged the second set by breaking Hewitt to make it 5-3, but both held serve thereafter, and the Australian won 6-3, 6-4.
Fourth-seeded Moya beat Ljubicic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the first match after the rain delay.
Dominik Hrbaty, who upset Roger Federer on Tuesday to end the top-seeded player's 23-match winning streak, lost to Jonas Bjorkman 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-3. Greg Rusedski beat French Open champion Gaston Gaudio 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4. It was an unusually early ending for Gaudio, a finalist in four of his past five tournaments.
Fourteenth-seeded Marat Safin defeated Jeff Morrison 6-4, 6-4. Robin Soderling beat Luis Horna 6-2, 6-3.
Seventh-seeded John Carlos Ferrero lost to Tommy Robredo 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4. Tommy Haas beat Sargis Sargsian 6-3, 6-3.
Wayne Arthurs beat Mariano Zabeleta 6-2, 7-6 (6), and Fabrice Santoro took Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-3.

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