It was a close call for Andy Roddick, on an evening where he played
his best tennis nor his worst. His opponent on this Thursday in
Washington was Radek Stepanek, whose fine play on Wednesday suggested that
was capable of making things difficult for Andy.
For the most part the tennis was both attractive and evenly matched. Both
served and stroked with heavy weight, Andy's deliveries usually carrying
somewhat the greater punch, and both were very willing, sometimes eager,
forward in attack, often behind an aggressive ground stroke and also
occasionally directly behind serve. There were occasional spells of
where Radek seemed the more comfortable, and also quite a few episodes
both men moved each other back-and-forth and side-to-side, using the full
and always pleasing the full gallery.
Roddick won the first set behind a single break of serve, Stepanek the
behind two breaks. Through much of the third set, Stepanek seemed the
slightly stronger player, attaining a break point in game five and two
more in game
nine. Andy survived these crises by producing his best. Then it was Radek
faltered, rather suddenly in game twelve, when he produced two
errors amid spells of extremely non-aggressive hitting.