San Jose, California: The SAP Open lost its top seed Gael Monfils to injury on Wednesday and almost its No.2 as well before Andy Roddick struggled past American compatriot Dennis Kudla 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the second round.
Monfils, who was due to play his first match of the tournament on Thursday, announced on the eve that he was pulling out due to right knee inflammation, and would also miss his next scheduled tournament.
Roddick looked like becoming another casualty in the second set when he injured his right ankle running to his right. He fell to the court, put his hands to his head and let out a pained bellow.
This was his first tour match since pulling out of his second-round clash at the Australian Open a month earlier due to a right hamstring injury. This time he was able to regroup - with a brace around his hamstring - and win the second-set tiebreaker after Kudla double-faulted, then came back from 2-0 down in the final set for the victory.
"The best thing I did was just exist out there," Roddick said.
Roddick's return to the court had more drama than he could've imagined.
The American complained of the flashing video board that hangs from the arena's rafters, stopped play more than once while flashbulbs on fans' cameras or phones popped, and had his share of words with line judges - even shaking his head and walking off after a video replay didn't go his way.
Even before the ankle injury, Roddick looked a little rusty from his time off, but his hard-hitting serve found the lines and so did his passing shots. He put the pressure back on the go-for-broke Kudla, who sailed a serve wide for a double fault and then another passing shot out to hand Roddick the final two points of the second-set tiebreaker.
Even then, Kudla managed to break at the first opportunity in the third. Roddick immediately broke back, and followed with a series of slices and spins to stay along the baseline to break again at 4-3.
Roddick held on to advance to the third round. He'll get an extra day of rest and won't play again until Friday, facing the winner of the Denis Istomin-Michael Russell match.
Ryan Harrison advanced to the second round by upsetting eighth-seeded Olivier Rochus of Belgium 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The 19-year-old American rallied past Rochus from 3-1 down in the third set to win the final five games.
Sam Querrey lost his first-round match against Istomin 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Julien Benneteau of France also defeated American Ryan Sweeting 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5).
Defending champion Milos Raonic of Canada was facing Germany's Tobias Kamke in the last match on Wednesday.