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Andy Roddick is king at Queen's again

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TRIUMPHANT: Andy Roddick primed himself for Wimbledon by winning a record-equalling fourth Queen's title on Sunday. Photo: AFP
TRIUMPHANT: Andy Roddick primed himself for Wimbledon by winning a record-equalling fourth Queen's title on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Berdych wins maiden title on grass; Jankovic upstages Sharapova to take Birmingham title

  • Hewitt, Becker and John McEnroe have won four times at Queen's
  • Nicolas Mahut bungled on a match-point in the second set

    LONDON: Andy Roddick staged a great escape to win his fourth Queen's Club trophy in five years with a dramatic 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(2) win over France's Nicolas Mahut on Sunday.

    The American second seed survived a match point deep in the second set tie-break to wreck Mahut's hopes of landing a debut title.

    After winning the most hotly contested final in the event's 29-edition history, Roddick joined Lleyton Hewitt, Boris Becker and John McEnroe as a four-times champion in west London.

    More importantly for Roddick, it allowed him to surpass the achievement of his coach Jimmy Connors, who triumphed three times here.

    Hanging in

    ``Nicolas continually outplayed me the whole match and I was just trying to hang around and keep fighting and got a little lucky there,'' Roddick told the crowd after winning his first title of the season.

    ``This was by far the toughest match I've ever played here and I feel pretty lucky to be standing in the winner's circle so hopefully I can carry the luck over to Wimbledon.''

    Looking over to Connors in the stands, he joked: ``I had to win this one because for the only time in any place where we go, I've won this four times and you've only won it three. That doesn't happen very often and I don't know if I'll get to say it again.'' Mahut made his ranking of 106 look like a mathematical error as he outwitted Roddick in the opening set with his acrobatic tactics in front of the net.

    The 25-year-old had claimed four seeded scalps en route to the final and as the clock ticked towards the 90-minute mark, he came within one point of adding Roddick to his list of victims which included top seed Rafael Nadal.

    Standing his ground

    But the American stood his ground at 7-6 down in the second set tie-break and Mahut saw his chance of victory disappear as he slapped the ball into the net.

    The World No. 5 restored order by pocketing the tie-break 9-7 and despite not finding a way to break the Mahut serve in the entire match, he picked up the top prize after two hours 17 minutes of riveting action by firing his 24th ace to win the final set tie-break 7-2.

    ``I will remember this week forever,'' said Mahut, who was bidding to become the first Frenchman to win the title.

    ``I just needed one more point to make it a real dream.''

    Spoilsport

    At Halle, Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic beat Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 6-4 on Sunday to spoil the Cypriot's 22nd birthday party and win the Halle Open.

    Fourth seed Berdych, beaten by Roger Federer in last year's final, was too consistent for Baghdatis this time as he wrapped up victory over the eighth seed in one hour 20 minutes. The win gave Berdych his third career ATP title and his first on grass.

    Upset

    At the WTA Tour DFS Classic in Birmingham, Serbian second seed Jelena Jankovic stunned top seeded Russian Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to claim the title.

    Earlier, Sharapova had won nine straight games to beat Marion Bartoli of France 7-5, 6-0 in the semifinals of the DFS Classic, while Jelena Jankovic beat Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-1, 7-5.

    The results: At London: ATP Artois Championships: Final: Andy Roddick bt Nicolas Mahut 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(2). At Halle: ATP Gerry Weber Open: Final: Tomas Berdych bt Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 6-4.

    At Birmingham: WTA Tour DFS Classic: Final: Jelena Jankovic bt Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Semifinals: Sharapova bt Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-0; Jankovic bt Mara Santangelo 6-1, 7-5. Quarterfinals: Marion Bartoli bt Daniela Hantuchova 5-7, 6-4, 7-5. Agencies

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