Roddick takes 500th career victory

WASHINGTON: US top seed Andy Roddick captured the 500th match victory of his career on Thursday, defeating countryman Sam Querrey 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP Washington Classic.

Roddick became the 36th Open-Era player to reach 500 match triumphs and the fourth active player at the mark, the ninth-year professional joining Federer with 657, Spain's Carlos Moya on 573 and Australian Lleyton Hewitt with 511. "It's a pretty small number who have gotten there, an elite group," Roddick said. "Moreso, I got there with enough time to add to it significantly. It's just a nice validation of the consistency I've been able to have in my career."

Fifth-ranked Roddick, who turns 27 later this month, won his only Grand Slam title at the 2003 US Open. He seeks a 29th career crown this week and fourth Washington title to go with the cake he received for his 500th match victory. "That's kind of a milestone in tennis," Roddick said. "It's a very humbling experience. Who knows? We might try for 500 more."

Roddick, in his first event since losing a five-set thriller to Federer in last month's Wimbledon final, will play big-serving Ivo Karlovic for a semi-final spot in the $1.4 million hardcourt event. Karlovic ended the dream run of Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-1. The two-time US college champion who ousted Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic in the second round had beaten Karlovic in a January run to the final at Chennai.

Roddick is 4-1 lifetime against Karlovic, having never surrendered a service break to the Croatian in 12 sets, losing sets only in tie-breakers. The lanky Karlovic leads the ATP in aces this season with Roddick second. Roddick, who fired only three aces, won four of the last five points in the tie-break and broke Querrey in the third game of the second set, then saved two break points in the final game, winning when Querrey sent a backhand long.

Former World No 1s Hewitt and Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain both lost. Defending champion and second seed Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina ousted Hewitt 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) to avenge a straight-set loss to the 42nd-ranked Aussie in the second round this year at Wimbledon. Tommy Haas blasted 19 aces to defeat Ferrero 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.