Roddick beats Federer to retain Kooyong title | india | Hindustan Times
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Roddick beats Federer to retain Kooyong title

The defending champion picked up a confidence boosting 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over top-ranked Federer in the final.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2007 13:02 IST

Andy Roddick snapped his losing streak against Roger Federer.

Unfortunately for him, the result will not count on their official records.

The defending champion picked up a confidence boosting 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win Saturday over top-ranked Federer in the final of the invitational Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament. But he remains 1-12 in official head-to-heads against Federer, who looked good in patches in the second set on the weekend before he begins his Australian Open title defense.

Asked after the match if he'd prefer to trade the win for one at Melbourne Park, Roddick walked toward Federer holding out the trophy and asked: "Can we do that?"

Beating Federer was encouraging, Roddick said. But, "I think it needs to be done on a big stage before you put too much emphasis on it."

"That being said, it's nice to get some good preparation and feel like you're playing well going into the Aussie Open." Federer, bidding for a 10th Grand Slam title, said he mixed up his game because of the gusting wind, and tried to get to the net as often as he could.

"It's hard in those conditions. I didn't want to lose my rhythm from the baseline, so I decided to go to the net," Federer said. "I haven't done it in years, so it was kind of a tough thing right away ... but it gave me the idea that I have that option as well." Federer compiled a 92-5 season with 12 titles _ including three majors _ in 2006, losing only to No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

Murray placed third in the Kooyong event, beating 2005 Australian Open champion Marat Safin 7-6 (2), 6-2 before the Roddick-Federer match.

Roddick had less trouble than Federer in the hot and windy conditions and dominated the first set on the back of his powerful serve.

The 24-year-old American did not concede a point on serve between the second game of the opening set and the second game of the second set.

He broke Federer in the fifth and seventh games and finished off on three consecutive backhand errors from the Swiss star. Federer rallied in the second, breaking Roddick in the second game and missing two set points at 5-2 before holding serve at love to pull even, capping the set with an ace.

He wasted five breakpoint chances in the third and fifth games of the deciding set, but Roddick held and then made the decisive break himself to lead 5-3.

He made no mistake serving out, firing back-to-back aces to get two match points and clinching it when Federer put a backhand out. Roddick said his return was consistent and he was well prepared for the Australian Open.

"I think I can actually serve a little bit better than I have this week," he said. "But if I'm looking at my game, that's a good problem to have for me. I feel like that's something that can be fixed pretty quickly."

Despite the loss, and with only three matches this season, Federer said he was on track.

"I'm feeling good _ I feel like I'm ready," he said. "It's a shame I couldn't win ... but it was good preparation. That's what really counts."

Both players have their first-round matches on Monday at Melbourne Park. Roddick, seeded sixth, opens against French wild card entry Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Federer starts against Bjorn Phau.