Roddick falters but finishes Stepanek in Brisbane
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:52
Andy Roddick saw a 4-0 second-set lead disappear before letting a 6-1 lead slip in the following tiebreak, but ultimately sealed the Brisbane International title with a 7-6(2) 7-6(7) victory over Radek Stepanek.
The American, returning from a three-month layoff to recover from a knee injury, saw defending champion Stepanek bring up set point with a six-point run, but the Czech undid all that hard work with a double fault to end the match.
“I don’t think I’ve ever squandered a lead where I’ve been putting in first serves and making approach shots,” said Roddick after clinching the first of his 28-strong title haul in Australia.
“The first time I served for it I had a double fault, but I don’t know that I missed a ball apart from that. The next one I actually made five out of six first serves and again was coming in.
“Once he got down he kind of loosened up and played more aggressively,” added the 27-year-old. “I certainly don’t know if I expected to come and win my first tournament after a pretty extended layoff.”
After sealing the first set with a runaway performance in the tiebreak, Roddick broke Stepanek in the first game of the second set as the Czech’s game became horrendously erratic.
Stepanek slipped a double break down, but with his title slipping away the XX-year-old regrouped and broke back twice to level things up at 5-5 in the Pat Rafter Arena, before once again recovering from the death to bring up set point.
But the errors crept back into his game with a third set beckoning, and a grateful Roddick took the title at the sixth time of asking.