Archive for the 'Andy Roddick' Category
Roddick Captures 26th ATP Title In Bangkok

Second seed Andy Roddick (pictured) captured his 26th ATP title with a hard fought 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 victory over Dudi Sela on Sunday, ending the Israeli’s hopes of claiming his maiden title at the China Open in Bejing.

After beginning the week in seventh place in the ATP 2008 Race, eight points behind No. 6 David Ferrer, Roddick, a three-time Tennis Masters Cup semifinalist, will now usurp the Spaniard and assume sixth place as he bids to qualify for the circuit finale for a fifth time.

Afterwards, Roddick announced that he would donate $25,000 of his prize money to the Chinese Tennis Association (CTA) to support in assisting and helping those who suffered in the catastrophic earthquake in Sichuan Province.

"I would really like to contribute a part of my prize money to those families affected, to those who lost everything they had, suffered painful injuries or lost loved ones in the earthquake," said Roddick. "It’s my great honor to be in Beijing to work with CTA to assist those kids who are in need. It is an athlete’s privilege and responsibility to give back."

The 26-year-old Roddick titled at San Jose (d. Stepanek) and Dubai (d. Nadal, Djokovic, F. Lopez) earlier this season and has now taken his title tally to three for the season, tying him in third place with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Gilles Simon on the singles titles leader board.

The American has also finished runner-up at Los Angeles (l. to del Potro) and made semifinal exits at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami (d. Federer, l. to Davydenko), Masters Series Rome (ret. vs. Wawrinka) and Queen’s Club (l. to Nadal) this season.

The Austin resident was appearing in his 40th ATP final and now improves to a 26-14 record after capturing his 11th hard court title.

"I’ve always enjoyed my time playing the Masters Cup (in Shanghai) and I came here (to Asia) even as a junior," said Roddick. "It’s a place I’ve always felt comfortable and maybe this year just translated into some wins, which is really nice."

The former World No. 1 and 2003 US Open champion (d. Ferrero) did not enjoy a smooth ride to victory against Sela though. He appeared to be on course to secure the title in straight sets when he held two match points at 6-4 in the second set tie-break. However, Sela hit back to win the next four points and force the match into a third set. Roddick regrouped though and a break in the sixth game proved sufficient for him to go on and win after 2 hr., 1 min. He now improves to a perfect 9-0 record in finals against players challenging for their maiden ATP title.

"I saw him (Sela) play yesterday and he probably played the best of anyone this tournament," commented Roddick. "To beat Ferrer, Robredo and Schuettler - it’s tough to chalk that up as a coincidence. He was definitely playing well this week and I thought he played well today also. I knew in the back of my mind that I was playing in my 40th final and he was in his first one, so I knew that had to count for something."

The 6’2’’ right-hander fired 17 aces in the final, taking his total for the week to 73. Making his debut in Beijing, he becomes the third American champion, following in the footsteps of Michael Chang, who won the title three years in a row, starting with the inaugural edition in 1993, and Jim Courier, who titled in 1997.

His fourth defeat by a Top 10 player (2-4 record) brings to an end a dream week for the 23-year-old Sela, who had defeated World No. 5 and top seed David Ferrer, sixth seed Tommy Robredo and seventh seed Rainer Schuettler en route to his first ATP final.

He attributed his loss to a combination of early nerves, strong serving from Roddick and a loose key game in the third set: "I was very nervous at the beginning of the match and couldn’t read his serve at all. But as the match continued I saw a little bit more where he was serving and could just block it back. I think that was the key point, that suddenly I returned a lot of balls back so he didn’t have a lot of free points.

"I’m not used to staying concentrated like that for a long time. Tennis is a mental game and at 2-3 (third set) I missed two easy shots. I went for too much and hit into the net and he hit a good return down the line and suddenly I’m 0-40 and it’s a lot of pressure when you play against him because you know you have to hold your serve every time."

Andy Roddick The Tel Aviv resident is the first Israeli to reach an ATP singles final since Harel Levy at Nottingham in 2001 (l to T. Johansson) and was bidding to become the first title winner since Amos Mansdorf at 1993 Washington (d. Martin).

The 5’9’’ right-hander, who is the top-ranked Israeli, has improved to 15-21 for the season on the strength of his results this week, which is already an improvement on his previous career-best of 10-5, recorded last year.

"Overall I feel very good," said the 92-ranked Sela. "I played a good match and I had some chances but I hope next time I’m going to do better. It gives me a lot of confidence. I showed myself that I can play with the big players and hopefully I’ll continue like that and improve my game a little bit and improve my ranking of course."

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Roddick Keeps His Eye On Tennis Masters Cup Prize

American Andy Roddick (pictured) took advantage of a bad day for his fellow Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai contenders by fighting back to defeat Juan Carlos Ferrero 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the China Open semifinals on Friday in Beijing.

Three players – Fernando Gonzalez, Tommy Robredo and Richard Gasquet – who have an opportunity to qualify for prestigious circuit finale in November, each suffered quarterfinal exits.

Second seed Roddick fired 23 aces and converted two of four break points as he recovered from a one set deficit to improve to a 5-0 record against Ferrero. The 26-year-old right-hander, who trailed David Ferrer by eight points in the ATP 2008 Race at the start of the week, is attempting to clinch his place at the circuit-ending championships for a fifth time. The Beijing debutant improved to 39-13 for the season, highlighted by winning his 24th and 25th ATP titles at San Jose (d. Stepanek) and Dubai (d. F. Lopez) and reaching the final at Los Angeles (l. to del Potro).

In the semifinals, Roddick will face German World No. 137 Bjorn Phau, who battled past Gonzalez, the third seed and defending champion, with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory in one hour and 50 minutes. The 28-year-old Phau advances to his first ATP semifinal since April 2006 at Casablanca (l. to Massu). Gonzalez, who saved 10 of 15 break points, dropped to 35-12 on the season. The 28-year-old Chilean is currently No. 11 in the ATP 2008 Race and is attempting to compete at the prestigious circuit finale for the third time (2005, 2007).

Phau’s compatriot Rainer Schuettler overcame fourth seed Richard Gasquet of France, currently No. 22 in the ATP 2008 Race, with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in two hours and 22 minutes. Seventh seed Schuettler, who is making his fifth appearance in Beijing, broke the Gasquet serve four times to improve to 15-17 on the season. Since reaching the Wimbledon semifinals (l. to Nadal) in July, the 32-year-old Korbach native has also made a quarterfinal exit at Kitzbuhel (l. to Melzer). Gasquet, who hit 12 aces, had won their only previous meeting at Tokyo last year. This year’s Stuttgart finalist, currently No. 22 in the ATP 2008 Race, dropped to 27-19 this year.

Dudi SelaSchuettler will next meet unseeded Israeli Dudi Sela (pictured right) for the first time on Friday. World No. 92 Sela continued his giant-killing run Friday after defeating sixth seed and last year’s runner-up Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-4, 6-1 in 79 minutes for a place in his maiden ATP semifinal. The last Israeli to reach an ATP singles final was Harel Levy at 2000 ATP Masters Series Toronto (l. to Safin).

Sela, who overcame World No. 5 David Ferrer in the second round on Thursday, hit three aces, won 22 of 28 points on first serve and saved five of six break points he faced. The 23-year-old also beat Robredo at ATP Masters Series Miami in March. The Tel Aviv resident improved to 14-20 on the season, while Robredo dropped to a 33-19 mark. The 2006 Tennis Masters Cup qualifier began the week at No. 17 in the ATP 2008 Race. In July he won his seventh ATP title at Bastad (d. Berdych).

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