Tue, Jul 29, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Andy Roddick volleys his way to a title

AP , INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANAAND STANFORD, CALIFORNIA

Andy Roddick of the US hits a backhand to Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand in the RCA Championships in Indianapolis, Sunday. Roddick defeated Paradorn 7-6 (2), 6-4.

PHOTO: AP

Andy Roddick's 209kph serves earned easy points and impressed the crowd. It was a surprising penchant for volleying that won his third title of the year.

Roddick pounded 16 aces and won the point on 18 of an unusually high 26 trips to the net while beating Paradorn Srichaphan 7-6 (2), 6-4 Sunday to win the RCA Championships.

"I have to mix it up a little bit when things aren't going well," Roddick said. "Paradorn was getting the best of me with baseline rallies, so I kind of mixed it up a little bit."

He faced just one break point all match, in the very first game, and erased it with a cross-court backhand passing shot. Paradorn, also a strong server, had five aces and was broken just once: with a double-fault to fall behind 3-2 in the second set.

The top-seeded Roddick won his third title of the season, each on a different surface: at St. Poelten on clay in May, at Queen's Club on grass in June, and at Indianapolis on hard courts. It's his eighth career title. Roddick also improved to 15-1 with coach Brad Gilbert, who used to work with Andre Agassi. They teamed up after Roddick lost in the first round of the French Open; he reached the semifinals at their first Grand Slam together, Wimbledon.

Next month they'll head to their second major, the US Open, which is played on hard courts like the RCA Championships.

bank of the west

Kim Clijsters is accustomed to playing long matches against Jennifer Capriati, and now she's getting used to winning them.

The second-ranked Clijsters came back to beat Capriati 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 Sunday in the final of the Bank of the West Classic for her 15th career singles title.

Clijsters beat the seventh-ranked Capriati for only the second time in five chances -- but both of her wins were this year. All but one of their meetings went the distance, including the 2001 French Open final, which ended with a record 12-10 third set.

After blowing a 4-1 lead in the first set Sunday, Clijsters hustled down tough balls and stayed in long rallies, even doing the splits twice to try to get to tough shots.

She allowed Capriati to win six straight games to take a 1-0 lead in the second set before getting back into a groove on an 30-degree Celsius day at the hard-court tuneup for the US Open.

The Belgian took advantage of Capriati's mistakes -- and an ailing shoulder -- to jump to a 4-0 lead in the deciding set on the way to her fifth singles title of 2003. She was the runner-up at the French Open, losing to countrywoman Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Capriati double-faulted six times to one for Clijsters, who hit 29 winners. Clijsters beat Capriati in the semifinals at the German Open in Berlin in May, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4. Clijsters won 11 of the final 12 points.

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