Roddick eases into Queens quarters

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Andy Roddick of the United States returns the ball to Kevin Anderson of South Africa during their match at the Queen's Club championships in west London yesterday. The third seed won 6-4, 6-4.

Andy Roddick became the first player to reach the quarterfinals at Queen's Club yesterday by beating 15th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-4.

The third-seeded American is bidding to become the first player to win five titles at the event and was under early pressure before claiming victory in 78 minutes.

Anderson took the opening game to love and then held two break points before Roddick held for 1-1. Roddick then broke to lead 3-2 before serving out the set to love.

The second set followed the same pattern as Roddick again fought off a break point to hold for 1-1 and then broke for a 3-2 lead when Anderson netted a forehand.

"I thought it was solid," Roddick said. "I had a game-plan, I stuck to it. There was never going to be a lot of breaks out there today with the way we were both serving, but that's grasscourt tennis."

Roddick, a popular player in London for his all-action style and three losing Wimbledon finals, will face seventh seed Fernando Verdasco in the last eight after the Spaniard beat ninth-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina 7-5, 6-1.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal, No. 2 Andy Murray and defending champion Sam Querrey were playing later.

French Open champion Nadal continues his adjustment to grass from clay against Czech Radek Stepanek after Briton Murray gives his suspect ankle another fitness test against Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.

In Halle, Germany, France's Gael Monfils admitted he was delighted by his form on the grasscourts of the Gerry Weber Open after booking his quarterfinal spot with a straight sets win yesterday.

The 24-year-old third seed saw off Serbia's Ivan Dodig 6-2, 6-3 in the second round and will play either six-seeded German Florian Mayer or Chinese Taipei's Lu Yen-hsun Lu in the quarterfinals.

Monfils conceded he was not a natural on grass and was looking to improve his game ahead of Wimbledon.

"I really feel good, especially because I moved well," said Monfils, who beat compatriot Florent Serra in straight sets in the first round.

"I am happy about that, because I do have problems adjusting to grass.

"In the last ten days before Wimbledon, I want to improve my overall game further - serve faster and stronger and work on my movement. Last year, I was terrible on grass, because that surface does not come natural to me."

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