SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Top seed Andy Roddick won his first title of the year by beating Radek Stepanek 6-4 7-5 in the final of the San Jose Open on Sunday.
Roddick used his huge serve, had a consistent game from the baseline and returned proficiently to win his first ATP Tour title since last August in Washington D.C.
“I’m happy the way I played this week,” said Roddick. “Sometimes it’s just staying alive in tournament and giving yourself a chance to play well.
“The more you play, the more comfortable you feel on court.
“I’m happy I found my form.”
Stepanek tried to confuse Roddick by mixing his serve and volley game with sharply angled ground strokes, but the Czech was never able to hit through the court or combat Roddick’s serve.
“You can’t worry what he’s going to do because I don’t know if he knows what he’s going to do,” Roddick said of his opponent’s tactics. “It’s like a revelation before he starts a point and all of a sudden he figures it out.”
Roddick broke Stepanek in the opening game of the match when the Czech missed a forehand volley and he was able to sit on the lead to take the first set.
Stepanek served better in the second set and was able to fight off break points in the third game, but was unable to return enough of Roddick’s serves to seriously challenge the former world number one and he began to fade.
He was broken to 6-5 when Roddick ripped a forehand passing shot down the line before the 25-year-old American, who did not face a break point, won the contest on his third match point when he smashed a 206kph (129mph) ace.
“He just served too good to give me a chance,” Stepanek said. “That’s what he did perfectly. Usually I take the rhythm from the players and today I didn’t have any.”
The title was Roddick’s third in San Jose and 24th overall.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury