RODDICK RALLIES TO WIN ATLANTA TROPHY
Fourth seed Andy Roddick overcame a slow start to charge past World No. 63 Gilles Muller 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in the BB&T Atlanta Open final on Sunday to win the first event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The 29-year-old American has won 11 of his past 12 matches.
“I know by now the score of a set is irrelevant. Whether it’s 7-6 or 6-1, it still counts the same,” said Roddick. “With most other sports, you get way up in the first quarter and it actually means something in regards to the rest of the game.
“In tennis, it’s not really the case too often, with the exception of momentum. You just try to start over and put some holds together. I was able to [slide] out the second set and I think he might have gotten a little tired in the third.”
Roddick is bidding to win his third Series, having finished atop the Bonus Challenge Standings in 2005 and 2006. He defeated Muller for the fourth time in five meetings and celebrates his second triumph this season, following victory at the AEGON International in Eastbourne over Andreas Seppi. The World No. 27 improved to a 32-20 final record.
“I’ve won 32 times now and every one of them, I’ve never assumed I was going to win again,” said Roddick. “I’ve always appreciated it... I go through the process of playing, work hard, and hope that I can put myself in position enough times to create some success.”
Muller blazed out of the gates in the first set, converting two of his three break points and winning 10 of 11 first serve points to clinch it in 33 minutes. Serving at 5-6 in the second set, Muller saved four set points to get into a tie-break, but Roddick snatched the momentum with a double mini-break to force a third set.
Yet to break Muller in the match, Roddick capitalised on both of his opportunities in the deciding set to take a 5-2 lead and served out the match to love to seal the win in two hours and 14 minutes.
“I played very well in the first two sets. At the end of the second set, I got very tight,” Muller said. “I felt like I was in a position to win that match. I was too nervous to close it and then Andy started to play better. He started to return my serves and put a lot of balls in the court. And I started to miss a lot. Maybe I lost the belief in myself to win that match too quickly.”
The left-handed Muller is the 10th different player this season to lose in a final when attempting to capture a first career ATP World Tour title. There were 10 first-time winners in 2011. He was appearing in his first tour-level final since the 2005 Farmers Classic in Los Angeles, dropping to a 0-3 record in title matches.
2012 Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge Standings
Through Sunday, 22 July 2012
Position Player Country Total Points
1 Andy Roddick USA 70
2 Gilles Muller LUX 45
T-3 John Isner USA 25
Go Soeda JPN 25
T-5 Matthew Ebden AUS 15
Kei Nishikori JPN 15
Michael Russell USA 15
Jack Sock USA 15