Roddick beats Becker to reach Miami quarters

MIAMI: Former champion Andy Roddick continued his mastery over Benjamin Becker by beating the unseeded German 7-6 (6/4), 6-3 in the fourth round of the WTA and ATP Masters Tournament on Tuesday.

Roddick, who is seeking his first win here since 2004, improved to 23-4 this year and advanced to his seventh quarter-final in 11 previous appearances in the event.

Roddick started slowly on Tuesday falling behind 1-4 and love-40 in the opening set before getting his serve on track. He won all six service points in the tiebreaker and 34 of his final 39 service points.

"My serve percentage was down early from where I want it, and kind of started slowly inching its way back up and ended where I wanted it to," Roddick said. "It is nice at love 30 to be able to make some first serves."

The 27-year-old American closed the match out with an ace to win his fourth straight match against Becker with no losses.

Also, in the men''s fourth round, two-time finalist Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, American Mardy Fish - who knocked out Andy Murray in the second round - retired with a back injury trailing Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 1-0. Eighth seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat No. 12 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 6-2, and Nicolas Almagro eliminated Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3).

Taking the court later in the day is world number one Roger Federer who has an 8-1 record against No. 16 seed Tomas Berdych.

In women''s play, Venus Williams, who is the oldest women''s quarter-finalist at 29, beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-1.

"When I''m executing and playing my best, it''s great," said Venus, who is bidding to win her fourth Key Biscayne title and first in nine years. "It feels good, and I feel like I''m definitely dictating the points and that I don''t give my opponent as many chances to have a say."

Third seeded Venus has won 14 matches in a row, and two more would give her three straight tournament titles for the first time since 2002.

She hammered eight aces and lost only five points on her first serve. She struggled with her backhand but won 15 of 19 net points.

"I play my best game when I''m more aggressive, because that''s my style," she said. "Others don''t play as well as aggressively, because that''s not their style. It just seems to be better when I move forward, and I try to do that."