Roddick outguns Berdych

Roddick outguns Berdych

Andy Roddick with the trophy after winning the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami on Sunday. AFP

The former world number one captured his 29th career title, and second at Key Biscayne, after two fiercely contested sets.

Roddick was especially delighted to win the crown after losing the Indian Wells final to Croatian Ivan Ljubicic two weeks ago.

"Obviously it's a big title for me. I felt a little bit of pressure to win this one, because I had a pretty good opportunity in Indian Wells and didn't come through there," said Roddick, who also triumphed in Brisbane in January.
"I think just the last month has been real good for me."

There was nothing to choose between the pair for most of a high quality first set, with Berdych producing some delightful lobs and Roddick unleashing his powerful serve.
But Roddick, who went to high school in South Florida and played many of his early junior tournaments on the Crandon Park courts, broke in the 11th game and then served out the set in style, finishing with a magnificent ace.

The 27-year-old American, who had last won a Masters event in 2006, then grabbed the momentum when he broke Berdych's first serve of the second set with some blistering forehand strokes.

Once ahead Roddick, roared on by a packed crowd basking in Floridian sunshine, never looked like giving up his advantage, not once offering a break point. But he faced tenacious opposition throughout from Berdych who had beaten world number one Roger Federer on his way to the final.

There was much more to Roddick's game than his trademark blasting serve, he sliced well and was smart on his feet.

"He was really good today. He was really strong, serving well I was looking to get one chance or maybe one is enough," said Berdych.  "But he held pretty well. I didn't get a chance during the whole match."

Coach delighted

Roddick could emulate Andre Agassi and enjoy his greatest success in the latter years of his career, his coach Larry Stefanki said after watching the American win the Sony Ericsson Open.

Stefanki, who guided Chilean Marcelo Rios and Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov to world number one ranking, has been working with Roddick over the past year and believes that the big server has his best years ahead of him.

"I think this is still the infancy, I really do, I think he could be similar to Agassi where his best years are from 27 onwards," he said. "I have seen it done before. I think he was very raw and his game is starting to come to where it is not hit and miss."

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