Mon, Jan 10, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Soderling tops Roddick to win Brisbane title

Reuters, SYDNEY

Robin Soderling celebrates his victory over Andy Roddick at the Brisbane International yesterday in Brisbane, Australia.

PHOTO: AFP

Top seed Robin Soderling underlined his credentials as an Australian Open contender by overpowering defending champion Andy Roddick 6-3, 7-5 to win the Brisbane International yesterday.

Soderling, who had not dropped a set all week and only been broken once, matched Roddick’s fearsome service game and unleashed his deadly forehand to win his seventh professional title.

The Swede’s victory ensured he would move above Britain’s world No. 4, Andy Murray, in the rankings and take the fourth seeding for the Australian Open, which starts next Monday.

The 26-year-old stayed calm as Roddick raged through a delay while rainwater that came under the roof of the Pat Rafter arena was cleared from the court and sealed his triumph with a 16th ace after an hour and a half.

World No. 8 Roddick was always on the back foot in the contest and required a couple of aces just to win his first service game against the powerful Swede.

That only delayed the inevitable and Soderling, who was running the game from the back of the court, got the break at the next attempt, before racing to a 4-1 lead.

Soderling summoned up -another trio of aces to give himself set point four games later and went 1-0 up with a low cross-court backhand that kicked off the line.

The American continued to struggle to keep his serve at the start of the second set — it took him seven minutes to go 3-2 up — and the frustration boiled over when play had to be stopped.

Roddick was incensed at the way umpire Fergus Murphy had tested how slippery the court was and made it quite clear he was not prepared to take any risks before the year’s first Grand Slam.

“I’m not going to get hurt before Melbourne,” he said to Murphy.

Soderling had remained in his chair with a towel over his head throughout the delay and when play resumed was quickly on the Roddick serve again, racking up his seventh, eighth and ninth break points of the match against none for his opponent.

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