MEMPHIS, Tennessee, Feb 21 (AFP): US top seed Andy Roddick captured his 30th career ATP title, outlasting Milos Raonic 7-6 (9/7), 6-7 (11/13), 7-5 to deny the Canadian his second title in as many weeks.
The dramatic Sunday�s showdown was decided on a diving forehand down-the-line passing winner by Roddick to break Raonic for the match after two hours and 26 minutes, a shot the eighth-ranked American called the greatest he has ever made.
�That�s the best shot I�ve ever hit in my life, considering the circumstance,� Roddick said. �Just making the return, you get disheartened when he doesn�t miss the next ball because he�s tough to get a serve back. �He had a great volley there. I don�t really remember much else besides the fact that I went for the ball. I hit it. I didn�t really think much of it. Then I heard people cheering. I was like, �No, there�s no way that went in.��
Roddick scraped his right arm but brought his 50th ATP career final to a triumphant conclusion as a result. �I think I was very fortunate,� Roddick said. �I feel like I got outplayed. I just stuck around and kept trying.�
Roddick fired 20 aces to join Germany�s Tommy Haas as a three-time winner at the $1.32 million Memphis indoor tournament played alongside a women�s event. US legend Jimmy Connors holds the Memphis record with four career titles.
�What a memorable 30th victory,� Roddick said. �Winning tennis tournaments I don�t ever take for granted. I�ve won 30 of them now, but I think every one of them is just as exciting. I get just as much joy today as I did my first one.�
Roddick, whose prior Memphis titles came in 2002 and 2009, ranks third among active players in crowns, trailing only Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and he joined Federer as the only active players with titles in 11 years in a row.