SAN JOSE – Andy Roddick shook off some early rust before ensuring experience triumphed over youth at the San Jose Open with a hard fought 6-7 7-6 6-4 victory over 19-year-old American compatriot Denis Kudla.
Kudla, who reached the second round with a win over fellow teen Jack Sock a day earlier, is one of several young players showing off their potential at the event and he nearly scored a huge upset against the 29-year-old three-time champion.
In a matchup of players heavily reliant on their serve, neither man was broken through the first two sets, which were both decided by tight tiebreakers.
Roddick, who blasted 14 aces, fell 2-0 behind in the third set but responded by winning five of the next six games to finally see off the spirited challenge of his youthful opponent.
After receiving a bye in the first round, the second seeded Roddick took to the court for the first time since a hamstring injury forced him to retire from the second round of last month's Australian Open.
Roddick rolled his ankle and needed a lengthy medical timeout late in the second set but showed plenty of determination as he saved 12 of 13 break points during a match that lasted two hours and 42 minutes. "I stayed out there and did what I could, and I think he let it get away from him a little bit," Roddick told reporters. "Probably the best thing I did was exist out there." – Agencies