The Salem Open lost drawcard Andy Roddick who conceded his first-round match last night to non-plussed Brazilian Andre Sa because of a 'fluke' inflammation to his right foot. American hot-shot Roddick, 19, was seen grimacing in pain midway through the third set while receiving on-court treatment from a doctor. With the score level at one set apiece and the battle tantalisingly placed in the decider, Roddick returned to court heavily favouring his right foot. But with his movement badly hampered, Roddick threw in the towel to leave Sa winner 3-6, 6-4, 3-3. It was the worst nightmare come true for organisers of Hong Kong's ATP tournament. Losing a big name player is not easy. And Roddick, young as he is, realised that. 'I'm sorry this happened. I wanted to do well here. I will come back next year,' Roddick apologised to Hong Kong. 'I really don't understand it, how it happened. It is not like I slipped or anything like that.' Sa said: 'You never want to win a match like this. It is not satisfying. But at the same time it is fortunate for me although I felt I had a chance of beating him at that stage.' There was no hint of the impending drama at all as Roddick steamed into a 3-0 lead in the deciding set after having seen little-known Sa steal the second set from under his nose. Roddick was angry with himself and threw his racquet in disgust after a solitary break in the fifth game was enough to hand Sa, who played in the qualifying rounds last year, the set. At 3-0 in front, things seemed to look brighter. But that was a mirage. Sa managed to clear his head and held serve in the fourth game before breaking Roddick's serve in the fifth to close the gap to 3-2. Roddick returned to his chair and sat slumped. He then called for the doctor who removed his right shoe and took off a tape. The first hint of trouble came when Roddick started grimacing while the tape was being taken off. 'I was having trouble putting pressure on my right foot. It was a fluke inflammation and it got worse when the tape was taken off. I'm surprised as anybody else as to how it happened. I was feeling a hundred per cent going into the match,' said Roddick afterwards at the post-match press conference. The bandage on his right foot would have been the envy of an Egyptian mummy. He left the interview room limping badly, assisted by ATP staff. His immediate future is in doubt. He had plans to play in next week's AIG Open in Tokyo but is uncertain if he can do it. 'I plan to stay in Hong Kong for the next few days. The doctor has told me to rest my foot for four to five days. It is extremely inflamed but thankfully it is not a stress fracture,' said the teenager. Ranked 15th in the ATP's Champions Race, Roddick was also the fourth seed in Hong Kong. But his youth - he is the youngest player in the main draw - has also seen him the centre of attraction with a large crowd of young fans following him around. 'I hoped to stay in this tournament longer,' said Roddick, a quarter-finalist at this year's US Open. Organisers would have hoped too. Thankfully for them, the other big drawcards in Hong Kong, Marat Safin and Michael Chang advanced. Chang defeated fellow-American James Blake 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 to provide some good cheer to the late-night fans at Victoria Park. Safin was just too good for John Hui Kin-yip. What more would you expect when a toughened professional who a few weeks ago was playing in the US Open semi-finals comes up against a rank amateur. Safin, struggling at times to find his range and timing, still sped to an easy 6-3, 6-2 victory over Hui, completing his task in just under an hour. The world number 11, who has an eye on winning this tournament so as to boost his chances of moving into the top eight in the world and qualify for the US$3.7 million Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney in November, was is no mood to dawdle. 'I was satisfied. It was a good match to start with,' said Safin. 'I'm trying to get a good start here and trying to win so that my chance of playing in Sydney will get better.' Safin looked as if he was in second gear throughout the match. He struggled to get his first serve in, averaging 50 per cent. He moved sluggishly at times, and seemed to be surprised by the serve-and-volley and court speed of Hui. 'Yes he surprised me,' admitted Safin, who faced double break-point on three occasions. In the end, predictably, Hui stood in Safin's shadow. But he was certainly not disgraced by any means and he did strike a blow for the underdogs of the world. The scoreline hides the fact that Safin was broken in the fourth game in the second set. It raised the biggest cheer from the crowd. But unfortunately for Hui, he could not capitalise as he had failed to hold his first two service games and then was broken immediately afterwards to trail 4-1. In total, he dropped serve four times in the match. 'I should have won a couple of games on my serve in the second set. But I couldn't play consistently at a high level,' said Hui. 'But I'm happy at the way I played.' Hui, 23, is in the early days of trying to fashion a career for himself on the unforgiving ATP circuit. He began his odyssey in January this year. So far he has mainly concentrated on doubles, playing in a few tournaments around the region, including last week's Shanghai Open where he reached the quarter-finals. 'But I want to concentrate more on singles in the future,' said Hui, a Hong Kong Davis Cup player and the latest in a trickle of local players attempting to make their name on the professional circuit. Safin had no advice for Hui, although he did offer an encouraging pat. 'He has got good technique and is fast. But he has to build his game. His coach has to map out what is the best route for him, whether to play Satellite or Challenger tournaments,' said Safin. 'It is not my job to say what needs to be done.' Safin has other more important things on his mind.