NEW YORK (AP) — Someday, the fans will crowd into Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch some other American star play.
For now, Andy Roddick remains the man they want to see at the U.S. Open — and he's in no rush to see that change.
Roddick put at least a temporary halt to a budding American success story Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over 21-year-old qualifier Rhyne Williams.
Williams, the NCAA runner-up in 2011 who earned a wildcard into qualifying, won three straight matches last week at Flushing Meadows to get into the main draw, then suddenly found himself making his Grand Slam debut in the world's largest tennis stadium against the 2003 champion.
A tough situation for him — though more of the same for Roddick, who won his 41st U.S. Open match.
"It feels like I always play the young, American guys here," Roddick said.
Last year, Roddick defeated 18-year-old Jack Sock in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Three years ago, it was a meeting with John Isner, who was ranked 55th at the time when he beat Roddick in the third round.
This year, the opponent was Williams, who played college tennis at Tennessee, came into this week ranked 289th and whose biggest payday this year was $7,700 for making it through qualifying at Indian Wells. This first-round loss will net him $23,000, though the learning experience figures to be worth every bit as much.
Roddick, who turns 30 on Thursday, controlled this match throughout, finishing with 20 aces, and serving at a top speed of 141 mph. He left impressed with his opponent, who dropped one service break in each set but made Roddick work to close them all out.
"He did it the hard way," Roddick said. "He got through quallies, so that's a good effort by him. Hopefully we'll see a lot more of him."
Also winning in straight sets Tuesday were fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych. No. 15 Milos Raonic, the 21-year-old big server from Canada, needed five sets to get past Colombia's Santiago Giraldo. Like Roddick, Raonic's fastest serve clocked in at 141 mph.
Tsonga, the Frenchman who famously said earlier this year that there was no one from France who was ready to win at Roland Garros, conceded his opinion hasn't changed now that the 2012 Grand Slam season is winding down in the United States.
"If I had to bet, I would not bet on it," he said after his 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (2) victory over Karol Beck of Slovakia.
On the women's side, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Nina Bratchikova of Russia, 6-1, 6-1 and No. 12 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia defeated Ukraine's Elina Svitolina, 6-3, 6-2.
Ivanovic is coming off a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Roberta Vinci at a tuneup match in Montreal — not exactly the confidence builder the former French Open champion and top-ranked player was looking for.
"In that first game, I was like, 'Oh my God, at least I should win a game first,'" she said. "It's a lot different. Taking all into consideration, I'm really happy with today's performance."
Two-time champion Venus Williams, No. 4 Serena Williams and No. 2 Novak Djokovic all had matches later in Arthur Ashe Stadium, while top-seeded Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka and No. 3 Maria Sharapova all had the day off after straight-set victories on Monday.
- Sports & Recreation
- Andy Roddick
- Arthur Ashe Stadium
- Rhyne Williams