Roddick knee passes final test in Brisbane title victory

January 10th, 2010 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Andy Roddick Brisbane, Jan 10 (DPA) Andy Roddick began 2010 with his first ATP title in 11 months through a defeat of holder Radek Stepanek 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (9-7) to win the Brisbane International Sunday.
The American, ranked seventh, last lifted a trophy in Memphis last February - where also going past Czech Stepanek in the final

Roddick’s victory in the clash between the top two in the field in Queensland answers a lot of questions about his form with a week to go before the start of the Australian Open.

Roddick was playing for the first time since withdrawing last October in Shanghai with a knee injury. His success could be a warning to rivals at the Melbourne Slam where the 26-year-old has reached four semi-finals but stalled.

The victory in just over two hours featured a low ace count for both men, with the normally big-hitting winner finding seven while Stepanek struck five.

Roddick broke twice on eight occasions in a contest marked by runs of form followed by a late wobble despite winning ten straight points out to 2-0 in the second set.

The top seed needed 65 minutes to finally nail the opening set after his 12th-ranked opponent saved two set points in the tenth game for 5-all. Roddick ran away with the initial decider with a 5-1 lead and closed it out on the first of four additional set points.

Stepanek suffered a lapse in the second set as he dropped to a double break down 0-3 with a pair of his eight double-faults featuring in the third game.

But with Roddick looking comfortable up 4-1, the momentum shifted temporarily.

The 31-year-old Stepanek suddenly found inspiration to break for 3-5 and eventually force the former US Open winner to achieve his victory through a struggling second tiebreak.

Roddick’s immediate programme is to hopefully get a practise match at Kooyong club next week after successfully testing his knee in the heat of competition in Australia’s northern metropolis.

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