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April 4, 2010

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Sony Ericsson Open 2010, Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
April 4, 2010
Editorial by Jane Voigt.


Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Roddick Rocks, Wins Sony Ericsson Open
April 4, 2010 -- American Andy Roddick rocked Stadium Court at today's Sony Ericsson Open men's singles final, thrilling fans with robust first and second serves, a mature ground game, and a couple forays to the net that left his opponent Tomas Berdych with no openings. In fact, the Czech native had zero break point chances over the course of Roddick's 75 64 victory.
"It's a surprising stat, especially on one side," Andy said. "It was really tough with the sun on first serves -- you're having to adjust your toss and seeing spots on the first ball. But, it was a pretty good day."
This is Andy Roddick's second ATP Tour Masters 1000 title from the Sony Ericsson Open. He won in 2004. Roddick now becomes the fifth player in the history of this tournament to win the singles title at least twice. He shares that distinction, now, with Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl.
"It's a big title for me," Roddick began. "I felt a little pressure to win this one because I had a pretty good opportunity in Indian Wells and didn't come through. I've played well on the big moments. I haven't had an off day mentally, either. I've been able to have a game plan and execute it regardless of what kind of shots it takes. It's all encouraging."
Tomas Berdych, seeded #16, was attempting to win his first 1000-level championship on American soil. If he had taken the title Berdych would have been the first player ranked outside the top ten since Jim Courier - seeded #18 in 1991 -- to do that.
"He was really good today," Berdych said. "I was looking for maybe to get one chance, or maybe one is enough. But he held pretty well. I didn't get any chance during the whole match. During both sets."
The two men faced off twice this year at ATP World Tour stops in Brisbane, Australia, and San Jose, California. Roddick defeated Berdych both times.
Roddick, #6 seed, came into the Sony Ericsson Open with the best ATP World Tour match record this season -- 25-4. He held serve for an impressive 50 out of 52 games, this week. He lead in aces, too, with 42. With 13 aces served in the final, his total for the tournament was 55.
Roddick is, without a doubt, a huge force in men's tennis. He holds 28 career titles, which is third behind Roger Federer (62) and Rafael Nadal (36). In 2009, Roddick finished in the top 10 for the seventh consecutive year. This ties Roger Federer's ranking record.
Roddick has grown in the game physically, mentally, and strategically all the while young guns such as Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Juan Martin del Potro, infused the sport with the advantages of youth and presumable better stamina. So for Andy to maintain his top-ten ranking is a major accomplishment and one not to be treated lightly.
Rounding out Roddick can be attributed, in part, to Larry Stefanki.
We know he lost 15 pounds, when Roddick first brought on Larry. And, since then, his game has matured into a multi-dimensional one that usurps his predominantly aggressive baseline game. His second serve is a lethal and homegrown American Twist not for the faint of heart.
Some had said that Roddick was merely a serve and a forehand. No more.
"Larry's a great influence," Roddick said. "Obviously being settled at home is a really, really good thing. All in all, I have a pretty simple day-to-day existence when I'm not involved in the circus too much."
It's hare to imagine that in this sport a man so young, at 27, can seem so old compared to his mountain of achievements.
In his acceptance speech, Roddick thanked Butch Buchholz for granting him his first wildcard into the tournament at The Tennis Center at Crandon Park.
"It's come full circle," Andy said, as he held the premier men's championship trophy aptly commemorated as the Butch Buchholz Championship Trophy.
As he had done after the women's final, Mr. Buchholz thanked everyone involved with the tournament and with his fine career. When Mary Jo Fernandez said, "We love you," to Butch, tears swelled in his eyes.

[6] Andy Roddick (USA) d [16] Tomas Berdych (CZE) [green shirt] 75 64
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Earlier Columns from this Event:
April 3, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open: Clijsters Claims Second Title of Year, Reaches Top 10 - Clijsters, Venus Williams
April 2, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open: Roddick Ousts Rafa, Berdych Takes Care of Soderling - Roddick, Nadal, Soderling, Berdych
April 1, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open: Distractions - Venus Williams, Bartoli, Henin, Clijsters, Youzhny, Soderling, Berdych, Verdasco
March 31, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open: Saving The Best For Last - Nadal, Tsonga, Roddick, Almagro, Clijsters, Stosur, Henin, Wozniacki
March 30, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open: Young and Old, Relatively
March 29, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open: Waiting For The Sun
March 28, 2010 Sony Ericsson Open: I Know You

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