Washington: August 11-17

August 5, 2007 05:52 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Andy Roddick wasn't about to let John Isner have another chance at a third-set tiebreaker, much less let the unseeded American win the first title of his career.

Instead, Roddick put a stop to Isner's dream week, beating him 6-4, 7-6 (4) Sunday to win his third Legg Mason Tennis Classic title.

Roddick, who also won here in 2001 and 2005, earned his 23rd ATP title by solving Isner's serve, which had carried him to five straight wins in third-set tiebreakers.

"I knew I had to win the second-set tiebreaker because I thought I had no chance in the third-set tiebreaker against him," Roddick joked. "I was fortunate to be able to hold my own serve because it was just one point. ... I was happy with the way I controlled the match with my serve."

It was the second straight day Roddick had to face a powerful serve from a taller player. The 6-foot-9 Isner had 12 aces against Roddick, seven fewer than 6-10 Ivo Karlovic had against Roddick in the semifinals.

Coming into the final, Isner had spent nearly six hours more on the court this week than Roddick, and that appeared to catch up with him.

"I didn't really have that much left in my tank, playing so many matches," Isner said. "But even on a full tank, I probably would have come up a little short."

Roddick broke Isner at-love to take a 4-3 lead and eventually win the first set.

Serving in the second set at 4-all, Isner hit an overhead into the bottom of the net from just inches away, costing him the first point of a game that he went on to win after saving two break points.

"I don't know what I was doing," Isner said. "It's impossible to do that, but I managed to do it. Thank God I won that game and didn't lose 4-and-4 knowing that I missed the easiest overhead in history."

The only point Isner lost on his serve in the tiebreaker was when a backhand half-volley went long to give Roddick a 3-1 lead. Roddick hit a crosscourt forehand to close out the match and earn $74,250.

Isner finished the tournament 7-4 in tiebreakers, including his wins over Tim Henman, Benjamin Becker, Wayne Odesnik, Tommy Haas and Gael Monfils.

Isner only had one break-point chance in the match, with Roddick serving at 1-2 in first set. However, Roddick came up with a forehand winner and later held for 2-all.

Despite the loss Sunday, a lot has changed in a week for Isner. In addition to taking home $43,700 in prize money, he will jump from No. 416 to inside the top 200 in next week's rankings and has been granted a wild card into Cincinnati in two weeks.

"I told him, this is a start," Roddick said. "You have great momentum, great confidence, people are going to respect you a lot more, but this is the beginning. I told him at the net to keep going."

 

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