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Roddick upset by inspired Kohlschreiber

Last updated on: January 18, 2008 23:07 IST

American Andy Roddick lost his cool and his chance of a first Australian Open title when he was beaten by German 29th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in a Friday night third-round thriller.

In a match that finished just after 2.00am, the sixth seed went down 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-7 8-6 to an inspired Kohlschreiber, who handed Roddick his earliest exit from the event since his debut in 2002.

Roddick banged down a career-best 42 aces but still came out second best with Kohlscreiber, who entered the tournament with a career-high ranking of 27, outplaying him in every other department.

When the American saved four match points at 4-5 in the final set -- three of them with huge aces -- it looked as if he would dig his way out of trouble.

But Kohlschreiber would not be denied and a forehand wide gave him victory and a place in the fourth round, equalling his previous best grand-slam performance.

Having eased through the first two rounds, Roddick went into the match as a strong favourite but he was found wanting immediately as Kohlschreiber took the attack to him, mixing power with deft drop shots.

After the first two sets were split, both men had set points in the third but Kohlschreiber took the tiebreak 9-7 to move ahead.

That, though, was the signal for Roddick to lose his temper with umpire Emmanuel Joseph.

"You're an idiot," Roddick yelled. "Stay in school kids, or you'll end up being an umpire."

The spats seemed to fire up Roddick, however, and he pinched the fourth set on another tiebreak, 7-3.

Kohlschreiber continued to attack, though, his backhand causing Roddick problems throughout and he forced four match points in the 10th game of the decider.

Roddick showed his mettle by saving them all and games went with serve until 7-6 when the German played almost flawlessly to break and clinch victory.

The 24-year-old will play Finn Jarkko Nieminen for a place in the quarter-finals.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Simon Cambers
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