Andy Roddick raced to a 6-3 6-2 win in little more than an hour over the Italian Andreas Seppi at the Aegon International here yesterday. The American came into this tournament on a six-match losing streak – including being dumped out of Queen's, where he has won four times, in his first match – but took the title here after having dropped just one set.
After exchanging breaks in the opening games Roddick, 29, raced to a 5-1 lead before Seppi, the defending champion, realised he was in a match. Despite the Italian breaking back to win the next two games, Roddick served out to take the set 6-3.
Seppi, 28, had little to offer against Roddick's slice return and an onslaught of thundering serves, five of them aces. Roddick dictated the play and was able to come into the net, throwing himself athletically around the court to intercept Seppi's attempted passing shots.
The Italian, meanwhile, was passed several times by Roddick's whizzing forehands. After 72 minutes of play Roddick had three match points but needed only one as he served into the base of the T and Seppi could barely get his racket to it.
"I feel a lot better about my tennis game than I did at the beginning the week," said Roddick, a three-time Wimbledon finalist. "I feel I can put a scare into people right now." He meets Jamie Baker of Great Britain in the first round at Wimbledon, where he is seeded 30.
By contrast the women's final was a much longer affair, taking nearly three hours to complete. Tamira Paszek, 21, of Austria, saved five match points against Germany's Angelique Kerber, 24, to win 5-7 6-3 7-5. Paszek is ranked 51 places below Kerber, the world No 8 who was fifth seed here, but it was an evenly matched tussle with several long rallies.
In sunny but windy conditions, Kerber had been unable to capitalise on her left-handed serve and drilling forehand as shots drifted away in the wind, but in the final set at 5-4, 40-0 up she looked certain to take the title. But Paszek, serving, fought back to save five match points to even things up at 5-5. Despite having heavy strapping to her right ankle after a fall late in the match, the Austrian won the next two games and ran out the winner.
Paszek will now face the out-of-form Dane Caroline Wozniacki, the seventh seed and former world No 1, in the first round at Wimbledon, where she was a quarter-finalist last year.
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