Re: ATP Finals
Top seed Robin Soderling denied Andy Roddick's quest for back-to-back titles with a 6-3, 7-5 win over the American in the Brisbane International final Sunday. The victory elevated the power-hitting Swede back to his career-high mark of No. 4 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.
“I’m playing really well and it makes me really happy," declared Soderling. "I’ve never really played well in Australia before and now finally I won a tournament playing really good tennis. It gives me a lot of confidence for Melbourne.
"I’ve had the best possible preparation I could have with five good matches here, now I’ll have a week of rest and practice in Melbourne and I’ll be more than ready to go. I know I have a chance to do really well if I play good tennis like here.”
Watch Video: Match Highlights | Interviews
Soderling won his seventh career title but just his second title outdoors. (Although the Pat Rafter arena is largely covered by a roof to shade spectators, the event is an outdoor event.)
The Swede did not face a break point in the match and won 35 of 39 first serve points. In contrast, he earned 10 break point chances on the Roddick serve, converting once in each set.
“I think I served really well and I played really well again," said Soderling. "The last two matches have been my best ones in this tournament. Today the conditions were a little tougher than the other days, it was a bit windy and the rain came on the court a little bit, but I think it was a great match."
Soderling did not drop a set en route to the title and was broken just once in the tournament (by Stepanek in the semi-finals). Last year Soderling captured two ATP World Tour titles in five finals, including his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris (d. Monfils). He now has a 7-10 career mark in finals.
Roddick, who hit 12 aces in the final for a tournament tally of 54, announced after the match that he would double the $100 he previously pledged for each ace hit to benefit Queensland flood relief efforts. Roddick will donate $10,800 to flood victims.
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“He served great. Conditions were heavy and he served through it better," admitted Roddick. "I think that was the difference; I wasn’t able to get into any return games and he got into two and was able to break in those.
“I don’t think the conditions will be similar to this in Melbourne. But all you can ask for is getting in five good matches, that’s what you want after a lay-off. It didn’t go my way today, but overall I feel like I should be prepared for Melbourne.
"I felt like I hit the ball well this week, I returned pretty well. I think I could serve a little better, but if there’s one thing that I don’t worry about as much as the rest when it’s not going well it’s my serve. I feel comfortable and feel like I got what I needed out of this week.”