Andy Roddick survives

London, June 11:

Andy Roddick recovered from a slow start to get his bid for a record fifth Queen’s Club championship up and running with a 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 6-1 victory over Robby Ginepri here

on Wednesday.

Roddick, the reigning Queen’s champion, was back in action for the first time since suffering a back injury in Rome five weeks ago and he showed a few signs of rust early on in the second round tie.

The American third seed eventually found his form after dropping the first set. He won 12 of the next 14 games to take the match in three sets and will play either Mardy Fish or Chris Guccione next.

Roddick has a phenomenal record at Queen’s, winning the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event four times in the last five years to draw level with Lleyton Hewitt, John McEnroe and Boris Becker on the all-time list.

French fifth seed Richard Gasquet, who beat Roddick en route to the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, returned to action with a routine 6-3, 6-3 win over Italy’s Simone Bolelli.

A knee injury forced Gasquet to miss the French Open but he cruised through in just over an hour here.

Gasquet took the first set comfortably after breaking in the fourth game. He clinched the match with his second break of the second set and now faces Croatia’s Mario Ancic. Japan’s Kei Nishikori continued his dream debut at Queen’s with a 7-6 (10/8), 6-3 win over unseeded Frenchman Olivier Patience.

Nishikori, 18, is rapidly emerging as the best Japanese prospect for over a decade

and he had underlined that status by coming from behind to beat Alejandro Falla in the first round here. After a dramatic first set which saw both players squander winning positions, Nishikori finally snatched it in a tie-break and went through after taking the only break in the second set.

Now the teenager, who won his first ATP tournament at Delray Beach in February, could face French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the third round if the Spaniard beats Jonas Bjorkman later today.