Tue, Aug 07, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Roddick bests Isner to win a third ATP Washington Classic

AFP , WASHINGTONAP, SOPOT, POLANDAFP, MONTREAL, CANADA

US top seed Andy Roddick won his third ATP Washington Classic title, defeating upstart John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) on Sunday to end a fairy-tale run by the unheralded 416th-ranked newcomer.

Roddick, who also won at Washington in 2001 and 2005, captured his 23rd career singles crown and second of the year at the US$600,000 tune-up for the US Open, the year's final Grand Slam event that begins in three weeks.

"I was happy with the way I could control things with my serve," Roddick said. "I was putting pressure on him. I was making him serve well out of jams. I returned well. If I was putting a racket on it I was putting it on the court."

Wild card Isner missed out on a perfect ending to a week that saw him win five matches in a row in third-set tie-breakers, thought to be an unprecedented feat, after making the field only because wild card Fernando Gonzalez withdrew.

"The whole week has been a dream come true. It's amazing," Isner said. "I will always remember playing Andy Roddick in an ATP final. It's a big honor. I will never ever forget it. It's unbelievable."

Fifth-ranked Roddick took the US$74,250 top prize while the 2m-tall Isner, who fired 144 aces and hit 70.4 percent of first serves this week, will jump to about 190th in the rankings and received a Cincinnati Masters wild card.

Second-seeded Tommy Robredo beat Jose Acasuso 7-5, 6-0 on Sunday to win the Prokom Open.

"Winning two times at the same place, it means that I like this place," Robredo said.

The 25-year-old Spaniard won his first career title at the clay-court event in 2001. He captured his fifth title with Sunday's win.

The players traded breaks early in the first set before Acasuso broke again to lead 4-2. But Robredo hit a sliding backhand volley to break back and then level 4-4 on serve.

Robredo saved two set points serving at 4-5. Then at 5-5, Acasuso pushed a forehand long and Robredo clipped the line with a forehand winner to break and serve for the set.

Acasuso threw up his hands in frustration after knocking a slam long to give Robredo a break to open the second set. The Argentine struggled the rest of the way from the baseline and consistently netted volleys or pushed them wide.

Robredo, ranked No. 7 in the world, said the victory gave him confidence after inconsistent play earlier this year and a 12-month title drought.

"It's great always to win a title, this week especially because it has been one year without a title, since Bastad [Sweden] last year," he said.

Roger Federer, preparing on Sunday to launch his build-up to the US Open, came to the defense of Nikolay Davydenko, named in a suspicious mid-match injury withdrawal this week.

"I hope it's not a problem," the Swiss world No. 1 said of allegations raised in London which caused the online Betfair agency to refuse to pay out on a second-round match in Sopot, Poland, where the Russian quit claiming a foot injury.

Bets had swung heavily to winning opponent Martin Vassallo Arguello as the tide turned in what ended as a 2-6, 6-3, 2-1 win for the Argentine.

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