Tennis

Soderling wins in Brisbane

2011-01-09 13:21
Robin Soderling (File)

Brisbane - Top-seeded Robin Soderling beat defending champion Andy Roddick 6-3, 7-5 on Sunday to win the Brisbane International singles title.

With torrential rain falling outside the roofed but outdoor Pat Rafter Arena, Soderling's strong serve and pinpoint return of serve stymied Roddick throughout the match and enabled the Swede to finish the tournament without dropping a set.

"He had a great week, played well today and served too well," Roddick said. "Every time I had a look in, he came up with one of those big serves. I'm usually on this side, but today I was on the other side."

Chair umpire Fergus Murphy called the players off the court after rain blew in through a gap between the stands and the roof. The delay at 4-4 in the second set appeared to be prompted by Roddick slipping on the baseline.

During the break, Roddick was heard to tell Murphy: "I am not getting hurt before the (Australian) Open," which begins January 17.

"I just wanted to make sure we weren't playing on a slippery court," he said later of his spirited conversation with Murphy.

"I love this tournament but that being said if it was set alone you wouldn't have the entire tennis world coming down to this area. The end goal is Melbourne. I don't think you want to compromise the quality of your final with having guys scared to move."

At the trophy presentations, Roddick endeared himself to the crowd of about 5 000, first by jokingly offering to buy umbrellas for the spectators at the top of the stadium who got wet due to the heavy rain.

He then doubled his contribution to victims of extreme flooding in Queensland state, of which Brisbane is the state capital. Ten people have died since late November and about 200 000 have been affected by the floods, and roads and rail lines have been cut.

Roddick pledged $100 for each of his 54 aces during the tournament. He then said he would double that amount and told the crowd that if they each contributed $2 to the flood appeal, they'd match his total.

In the women's final on Saturday, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-1, 6-3.

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