Rusedski wins to reach second round at Nottingham


Britain’s Greg Rusedski moved into the second round of the Nottingham grass-court tournament Tuesday with a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (1) victory over No. 1 seeded Jan-Michael Gambill of the United States. Another American had better luck. Unseeded Andy Roddick, who was beaten in the first round on grass last week at the Queen’s Club tournament in London, defeated Swiss Marc Rosset 6-7 (11), 7-5, 6-4 to show some of his potential on grass. All eyes in Britain will be on the Canadian-born Rusedski and Englishman Tim Henman, the two local hopes when play opens Monday at the All England Club. “I was really pleased with the way I played,” said Rusedski, who is not seeded next week at Wimbledon. Gambill is seeded No. 12. “It’s a good win for me because we’ll both probably do quite well at Wimbledon. I had nothing to lose today, let’s be honest. The guy who loses gets to go to WImbledon and gets more time to prepare so it’s a no lose situation.” Rusedski shrugged off cold, blustery conditions to edge out a close first set. He twice held breakpoint on the Gambill serve but the American, who reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year, held on to force a tiebreaker. Gambill could not convert his only set point at 6-5 in the breaker, when he lost one of the few baseline rallies of the match. The Briton won the next three points to give himself a one set lead. The second set proved to be just as tight as the first. Rusedski broke the stuttering Gambill’s serve for a 3-1 lead, but with heavy gusts of wind blowing, he too struggled to find first serves and the American broke back to force a second tiebreaker. Rusedski allowed Gambill just a single point in the breaker. “It was possibly one of the toughest first rounds I could have had,” Gambill said. “Unfortunately Greg isn’t seeded (at Wimbledon) but he’s always one of the toughest players on grass.” Rusedski faces Germany’s Rainer Schuettler in the second round. He defeated Denmark’s Kristian Pless 6-3, 6-1. Roddick, who is being billed as the next American hope in tennis to succeed Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, was relieved with his victory. “It’s always good to get the first match out of the way, especially when things aren’t going your way,” said Roddick, who faces Byron Black of Zimbabwe on Wednesday in the second round. ‘On grass it’s about seizing your opportunities. I just need matches. I need to learn the ins and outs of grass and I need time,” he added of his grass-court game. In other play Tuesday: Britain’s Arvind Parmar defeated Jonathan Stark of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Britain’s Martin Lee defeated fellow Briton Lee Childs 6-4, 5-7, 6-0; Rainer Schuettler of Germany defeated Kristian Pless, Denmark 6-3, 6 1; Thomas Johansson of Sweden defeated Christophe Rochus of Belgium 6 2, 6-2; South African Wayne Ferreira defeated Stefan Koubek of Austria, 6-4, 6-2; Briton Jamie Delgado defeated American Jeff Tarango 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3; Markus Hipfl of Austria defeated Gianluca Pozzi of Italy 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.