A miraculous end to a remarkable week of tennis has seen two new champions crowned, records broken and history made at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne. It’s a week that has got everybody in the mood for Wimbledon.
Andy Roddick picked up his 600th ATP tour victory yesterday and the 601st never looked in doubt today. The American has 18 victories more than Rafael Nadal and just seven less than the legendary Bjorn Borg and he admitted it’s a humbling milestone to reach.
“When you do something that only fifteen or sixteen people have done in the history of the game, it’s two things; It makes you catch on to the fact that you’re probably older than you want to be and secondly, it’s a lot of wins, it’s a humbling thing.” said the twenty-nine year old.
Defending Champion Andreas Seppi hadn’t dropped a set all week before stepping out on Centre Court today, but despite breaking in the first game of the match, there was only ever one winner in this one.
Roddick immediately broke back and reeled off five straight games, before quelling a mini-fightback by Seppi to take the first set 6-3. Into the second set and there was still no stopping A-Rod as he broke Seppi twice more to once again lead 5-1. And when Seppi held his serve for just the third time in the match in the seventh game it was just delaying the inevitable as Roddick served to love to grab the title and complete the perfect preparation for Wimbledon.
“I feel better about my tennis game,” said Roddick after claiming his first title in sixteen months. “A lot of the time you make plans on-the-fly, in a perfect world the idea was; I didn’t get matches at Queen’s, let’s come here and get some matches in.”
“The thing that makes sport great is that there’s no script. You can draw it up and it rarely works out the way this week has.”
Earlier today we crowned a new ladies Singles champion in the form of 21-year-old Austrian, Tamira Paszek. She saw off in-form German, Angelique Kerber in a see-saw final.
Kerber flew out of the blocks on a blustery Centre Court, to take a three-love lead in the first set before being pegged back by Paszek. The German eventually took the set 7-5, dropping just a single point in three service games at the end of the first set.
In the second Paszek bounced back, breaking the previously dominant Kerber serve three times to take it 6-3 and put the match into a decider.
In the final set, Kerber made the breakthrough in the fifth game, and looked set to claim the crown when she earned three Championship points at 5-3 and 40-0 up against the Paszek serve. There was another twist however as Paszek produced one final comeback, saving five championship points in the game and despite a long medical time out and heavy strapping on her right ankle, came back to level the match at five games all.
Paszek then took the lead and forced Kerber to serve to stay in the match. This time it was the German’s turn to save Championship points, denying her opponent two chances to claim victory. At the third time of asking it was a different story as Paszek converted to complete a miraculous comeback and take the title.
“The feeling I cannot describe.” said Paszek, who’s Godparents are residents of Eastbourne. “I love Eastbourne and am already looking forward to coming back next year.”
In the final match of the tournament Nuria Llagostera Vives and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez defeated the World’s no.1 Doubles pair of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond to claim the ladies doubles championship, 6-4 retired.