Roddick wins 30th career title in three-set thriller

February 20, 2011 07:41 PM
Andy Roddick won the 30th title of his career in Memphis.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Andy Roddick won the 30th title of his career in his 50th final Sunday, finishing off a thrilling 7-6 (7), 6-7 (11), 7-5 victory over Canadian Milos Raonic in the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships.

Roddick polished off the 2-hour, 36-minute match by diving to put his racket on the ball for a winner down the line that broke the 20-year-old Raonic for the victory.

The top-seeded Roddick becomes the eighth American with at least 30 titles, only three behind the late Arthur Ashe. He also has at least one title in 11 straight years, something only Roger Federer has done among active players.

``I think I was very fortunate. I feel like I got outplayed, I just stuck around and kept trying,'' Roddick said. ``What a memorable 30th victory for me. I couldn't be happier to do it in Memphis.''

Roddick picked up the $264,000 winner's check, his third in Memphis. He also becomes only the third player to win at least three titles in Memphis since 1976, joining Tommy Haas (1999, 2006-07) and Jimmy Connors, who won four (1978-78, 1983-84).

Raonic just missed out on his second straight title in as many weeks, a two-week performance that will move him to around No. 37 after he finished last year ranked No. 156.

The Canadian had 32 more aces and finished the week with 125. He hit 150 mph to hold serve in the 10th game of the third set, but it wasn't enough. Roddick dove toward the corner and got his racket on the ball barely a foot off the ground before tumbling over, knocking his hat off.

Roddick immediately looked to follow the shot down the line before pulling himself up. He put his hat back on and then almost shrugged at what he had done.

``I think I may be on one of the YouTube most-viewed points,'' Raonic said. ``I was on the wrong end of the court. But at least I'll be on the (description).''

This was the first meeting between Raonic and Roddick, who ranks behind only Federer (67) and Rafael Nadal (43) for career wins among active players. Both have big serves, and each came into the final having been broken only four times during this event.

Roddick had been coughing this week and started slowly with a couple of double-faults and fought off a couple break points to hold serve. He couldn't get a point off Raonic's big serve until the 10th game, when the Canadian put a forehand into the net. Roddick broke him twice in the tiebreaker to go up 8-7 and then served up a 137-mph ace of his own to take the first set.

They broke each other's serve early in the second set before holding serve into another tiebreaker. Raonic converted on his third set point after Roddick hit a backhand wide off his serve and then hit a forehand long.

In the third set, Roddick had a chance to close out the match early as he broke Raonic and held serve to go up 4-1.

But Raonic broke back, converting on his fifth break point to pull to 4-3. Roddick was up 5-4 with a chance to break Raonic at 30-40 only to put a backhand into the net. Facing deuce, Raonic served up his 150-mph ace and then hit a backhand crosscourt for the winner.

Raonic tied the final game at 30 when Roddick put a forehand into the net by doing the same. That set up the final point for Roddick's exciting dive to finish off the match.