Win gives Roddick chance to gain revenge over Safin

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The Independent Online

Andy Roddick and Marat Safin will meet in a blockbuster third–round showdown in the Pacific Life Open, and the American doesn't think it is a good draw for either player.

Third–seeded Roddick hit 21 aces in beating countryman Jan–Michael Gambill 7–6 (3), 6–2 on Sunday in his first match, while Safin, a wild–card entry and seeded 30th, beat Czech qualifier Jan Hernych 6–4, 7–6 (3).

"Obviously, I don't think it's a great draw for me. But at the same time, it's probably not a good draw for him either. But that's the way it goes," Roddick said. "Throughout my career, I'm going to have some good draws, I'm going to have some bad draws. That's why you hear the old saying, 'Luck of the draw."'

Safin has a 2–0 record against Roddick, including a five–set win in the Australian Open quarter-finals in January.

"It's a great match. For me, it's really good, quite nice to play," Safin said. "But it's a little bit early maybe. You cannot beat him just playing the normal game, you have to find a way to beat him. Just go to the net, put pressure on his backhand and not let him play tennis, his game, because he's really good at that. You have to put pressure on him all the time."

Top–ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland, last year's Wimbledon winner and the Australian Open champion this year, beat Andrei Pavel of Romania 6–1, 6–1, and fourth–seeded Guillermo Coria of Argentina downed Sargis Sargsian ofmenia, 6–3, 6–4 on Sunday.

In other men's matches, seventh–seeded Carlos Moya of Spain was eliminated by Irakli Labadze of Georgia, 2–6, 6–1, 6–3, and 11th–seeded Nicolas Massu of Chile retired with sinus problems while he was trailing Rafael Nadal of Spain 6–3, 1–0.

On the women's side, American Lindsay Davenport beat Australian Samantha Stosur 6–0, 6–3, and Argentine qualifier Gisela Dulko eliminated No 12 Nadia Petrova of Russia, 6–3, 6–3 in third–round matches.

Federer, on a roll to begin the year, extended his 2004 match record to 17–1. Coming off a win at Dubai, Federer was extremely accurate with his powerful forehand against Pavel, ripping 16 winners.

Federer upped his record against the Romanian to 6–0, including a win at Dubai and three other victories over him already this year.

Federer was surprised the match was one–sided. "He's maybe mentally not as strong against me as he was the first time we played this year. I knew that could play a role," he said.

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