John McEnroe Tennis Academy
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

Andy Roddick capped his best American hard court swing since 2006 when he won his second Sony Ericsson Open title. Roddick defeated Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-4, ending the Czech’s run through the tournament in which he defeated a trio of top 10 seeds, including Roger Federer, Fernando Verdasco and Robin Soderling.

Former world number one-ranked Roddick did not face a break point in the match and dropped serve just twice in the tournament, including once during his masterful win over Rafael Nadal in three sets in the semi-finals. Roddick leads the ATP World Tour with a 26-4 match record so far this season.

 

 

Roddick, who won his first Sony Ericsson Open title in 2004, claimed his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title since Cincinnati in 2006, a year in which he also made a run to the US Open final. Two weeks ago Roddick was the beaten finalist at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells. His title run at the Sony Ericsson Open marks the first time since 2003 (Montreal and Cincinnati) that Roddick has reached the final of back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments.

“But I think just the last month has been real good for me. I've played well on the big moments. Haven't had an off day mentally. I've been able to execute. I've been able to have a game plan and execute it regardless of what kind of shots it takes. So it's all good. It's all encouraging.”

In the first set neither player faced a break point until 5-5, when the Czech was the first to crack. Berdych offered up his second break point of the game with a double fault at deuce and then, after almost double faulting again, sprayed a forehand well long to hand Roddick a 6-5 lead. Roddick then served out the set ending it with an ace.

Berdych began the second set with two tentative net approaches and Roddick earned a break point with a cross-court backhand passing shot and then claimed the early break when Berdych hit another forehand long. That was all the opening needed by Roddick, who won 61 of 63 service games during the tournament.

Berdych was attempting to become the first player in 20 years outside the South African Airways ATP Rankings Top 20 to win the Sony Ericsson Open title.

 

On the womens side, Kim Clijsters needed just 58 minutes to dismiss an error-prone Venus Williams 6-2, 6-1 to win her second Sony Ericsson Open title in Miami Saturday. Backing up from her third-set tie-break win over countrywoman Justine Henin on Thursday night, Clijsters was in sparkling form, dictating play with her crisp ground strokes. Williams, saying that she was "my own worst enemy today," sprayed 30 unforced errors and threw in double faults at crucial stages to drop serve.

Clijsters claimed her second title of the year, adding to her success in Brisbane in the first week of the season. She improved to a 14-2 match record on the year, with Williams slipping to 20-2. Williams is projected to rise to number four in Monday’s new rankings and Clijster will return to the Top 10 for the first time since her return to the game.

“It took a lot of hard work to get back into shape and I have a few people to thank, including my fitness coach and husband,” Clijsters said during the on-court ceremony. “It feels really good to be back here, having won the title in 2005. It’s always nice to come back to a place you have done well before, and to such a beautiful stadium.”

Williams, who won the Sony Ericsson Open title in 1998, 1999 and 2001, said: “Obviously against a player like Kim, if you make too many errors, the match can go quickly. I mean, I think she hit eight winners, so it wasn't she played extremely solid; it's not like I was blown off the court. Unfortunately I was my own worst enemy today.”

Williams, who was riding a 15-match winning streak, was seeking her third consecutive title following her triumphs in Dubai and Acapulco. In claiming her fourth consecutive victory over Williams, whom she beat en route to the U.S. Open title last year, Clijsters leveled her head-to-head series with the 29-year-old to 6-6.

Attendance for the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open shattered the previously held mark of 297,011 set back in 2008. This year's tournament saw 312,386 fans pass through the turnstiles. The tournament recorded nine session records, including four straight (sessions 13-16). Overall the tournament recorded 11 session sellouts, breaking the record for most sold out sessions set in 2008. Session 16 marked the first time in tournament history that grounds passes were issued during a non-weekend evening. The men's final sold out on March 8, the earliest sellout for the men's final, in the history of the Sony Ericsson Open.