Tue, Aug 22, 2006 - Page 18 News List

On-fire Roddick nets first title in over 12 months

AP , MASON, OHIO

Andy Roddick hits a forehand to Juan Carlos Ferrero during the final of the ATP Masters in Mason, Ohio, on Sunday.

PHOTO: EPA

Andy Roddick won his first title in more than a year, an emphatic 6-3, 6-4 victory over Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters on Sunday that completed his impressive weeklong comeback from injury and futility.

The last time Roddick won the event was 2003, when the momentum carried him to a US Open championship a few weeks later. He dominated Ferrero with his serve to win that Grand Slam title, and did it again to win their rematch on Sunday.

With each overpowering serve, he made a point.

The 23-year-old Roddick bristled when he was written off after his disappointing showing at Wimbledon. He hadn't won an ATP tour event since Lyon last October, and hadn't even reached a final this year.

He broke that streak by reaching last month's title match in Indianapolis, where he lost to James Blake. Then, he strained his left side and was sidelined for two weeks.

Roddick returned in Cincinnati, lost his first set, then got on a roll that saw him improving match by match. By the semi-finals, he was playing like he did three years ago, dominating with a serve clocked at 230kph at one point on Sunday.

Ferrero, also enjoying a long-awaited renaissance this week, saw his chance slip away early.

For both players, this tournament amounted to a turnaround.

Ferrero hasn't won an ATP tour title since 2003, when he was on top of the tennis world. He won the French Open, was runner-up to Roddick at the US Open and had an eight-week run at No. 1, before Roddick took over for the next 13 weeks.

Ferrero then fell fast.

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