Roddick beats Haas to clinch Kooyong Classic
His win also serves notice to world number one Roger Federer, who lost his opening match at Kooyong.tennis Updated: Jan 14, 2006 12:35 IST
Andy Roddick announced his presence as a title threat at the Australian Open with a 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) victory over Germany's Tommy Haas in the final of the Kooyong Classic on Saturday.
The 23-year-old American second seed, who will open his 2006 Grand Slam campaign at Melbourne Park against a qualifier, fine-tuned his game as he won his fourth consecutive match against the revitalised German.
The 27-year-old Haas, several kilograms lighter and minus his trademark ponytail, now has a 4-4 lifetime record against the American.
The contest in windy conditions turned into a harsh workout, with Haas making a match of it in the second set, nearly forcing a third, but the world number 41 was unable to capitalise on a 5-2 lead.
Roddick slowly began closing the gap, saving four Haas set points in a tense eighth game in front of the biggest crowd (8,000) ever in the 18-year history of the Kooyong event.
Roddick broke Haas for 4-5, and eventually pushed the match into a tiebreaker.
In the decider, Roddick finally closed it out on a second match point with a backhand from the net into the empty court.
Roddick exits the elite tune-up event for some of the game's biggest names with a perfect 3-0 record after wins over Gael Monfils and Nicolas Kiefer, although the German retired after just one full game with an ankle injury.
Roddick's win also served notice to world number one Roger Federer, who suffered a rare loss in his opening match at Kooyong, the former home of the Australian Open.
First Published: Jan 14, 2006 12:35 IST