Andy Roddick prepares for Wimbledon with Eastbourne victory
ANDY Roddick’s confidence was boosted by winning the Eastbourne Championships on the eve of Wimbledon when he beat defending champion Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-2 in the final yesterday.
Tamira Paszek of Austria fought off five match points to defeat fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in the women’s final.
Roddick entered the event as a wild card after losing his opening match at Queen’s Club last week, a defeat that stretched his personal losing streak to six matches dating to mid-March.
It’s his 31st career title, ending a 16-month drought. He looked brisk and business-like against the third-seeded Italian, speeding to a 5-1 lead in the opening set. He was equally dominant in the second set, often forcing his opponent into errors.
Roddick was thrilled with his week in the genteel atmosphere of the English south coast resort.
“It’s everything I could have asked for,” he said. “I feel like I can come here and get my work in. The facility has been great. The courts have been great. There’s plenty of practice courts. The community really seems to support this event.
“You know, you’re not dealing with the hustle and bustle of a massive city. I think before a major, that’s nice.”
Paszek claimed her first title since she won Quebec City late in 2010, and her victory comes after she won just two matches this year with 11 first-round defeats.
The unseeded Austrian battled back from a set and 4-0 down against defending champion Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals, and she trailed Kerber 4-2 in the final set of their 2-hour, 45-minute final.
Kerber, chasing her third title of the year after winning the Paris Indoor and Copenhagen events, made a blistering start, holding three break points for a 4-0 lead.
Paszek held off that threat and went on to level at 3-3 before Kerber broke again for the set. Showing greater enthusiasm for battle than her opponent in the second set, Paszek levelled the match by breaking serve twice to set up a tense finale.
Kerber broke serve to lead the third set 4-2 and went on to hold five match points on Paszek’s serve at 5-3.
The Austrian fought off the challenge but after slipping during the game she needed her right ankle strapped before continuing play. Kerber then failed to serve out the match at 5-4, and after Paszek held off a break point at 5-5 she clinched victory on her own third match point by breaking Kerber’s serve.
“I don’t know what kept me going,” said Paszek, who faces former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in her opening match at Wimbledon. “I was dead tired in the third set. I could hardly move. I just gave all I had left, and it just was enough.”
Kerber was disappointed at the result but satisfied with her week of preparation for Wimbledon.
“She was playing very well in important moments and also when I had the match points. So actually I couldn’t do anything,” Kerber said.
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