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Cuevas Ousts Ailing Roddick

Miami, USA

Pablo Cuevas© Getty ImagesPablo Cuevas recorded the biggest win of his career.

An ailing Andy Roddick suffered a shock second-round exit in his title defence at the Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday, falling to Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 7-6(4).

The loss will see World No. 8 Roddick fall from the Top 10 of the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, possibly to as low as No. 15, which would be his lowest since June 10, 2002 when he was No. 15. The American has spent just four weeks outside the Top 10 since August 2006.

“I didn't feel good all day,” lamented the top American, who won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title last year with victory over Tomas Berdych. “I had a little trouble breathing out there today. I've had something for a little while, but I'm going to have it checked out when I get home. You don't like going out there with less than what you got, and I feel like I have been doing that a lot. It's just frustrating.”

The 28-year-old Roddick, who won his first professional match in Miami 11 years ago (d. Vicente), suffered his earliest loss at Crandon Park since 2002, when he fell to Juan Ignacio Chela in the second round.

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The defeat capped a disappointing month for Roddick, who was beaten in the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Gasquet) last week. In the same period last year he reached the final in Indian Wells (l. to Ljubicic) before triumphing in Miami.

Victory marked the biggest win of World No. 67 Cuevas’ career. The 25 year old, who went 0-4 at the start of the season, won successive tour-level matches for the first time since reaching the Moscow semi-finals (l. to Troicki) in October as he fired 15 aces and saved all four break points he faced to oust Roddick in one hour and 56 minutes. It was his first win over a Top 10 player.

“He definitely had more game than I did today, that's for sure,” said Roddick, who noted the strength of Cuevas’ serve.

DEUCE Magazine: Cuevas Brotherly Love

"It can be difficult [to play an injured player]," said Cuevas. "But I was just concentrating on what I could do and control. Only towards the end of the match did I see there was something wrong with him." The Uruguayan next will face French No. 25 seed Gilles Simon, who overcame German qualifier Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-3 in 76 minutes.

Roddick was not the only seeded player to exit on Saturday. No. 20 Albert Montanes, No. 26 Juan Ignacio Chela, and No. 38 Ernests Gulbis were beaten by Florian Mayer, Feliciano Lopez and Carlos Berlocq, respectively.

In a contest between doubles partners, Philipp Petzschner upset No. 10 seed Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-4 in 86 minutes. The German saved five of the six break points he faced to notch his ninth win of the season and match his best result at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. He goes on to meet either Croatian No. 18 seed Marin Cilic or Serbian Janko Tipsarevic.

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