American Andy Roddick has got his 2010 off to the perfect start, winning the Brisbane International over defending champion Radek Stepanek in a gripping final at Pat Rafter Arena on Sunday.
In a marathon two set match, Roddick won 7-6 (2) 7-6 (7) in just over two hours.
Roddick led the second set 5-1 before Stepanek fought back to send the set into a tiebreak in which Roddick lost five championship points before finally winning it 9-7 thanks to a Stepanek double fault.
Post match Roddick said he had a lot of thoughts in the game.
“I don’t think I have ever squandered a lead where I have been putting in serves and approach shots,”Roddick said.
“But at the end of the day all that is going to be remembered is a w [win].”
On his comeback tournament Roddick said: “I certainly don’t know if I expected to win my first tournament after a pretty extended lay off. I feel pretty good about it.
“My serve is the thing that wins me a lot of matches.
“He [Stepanek] knows how to play tennis. He knows how to construct points. He is very smart with his decision making.”
When asked about the tournament itself, Roddick only had praise.
“I really enjoyed it and I am not just staying that because it ended on a good note,” Roddick said. “I think everything from the hotel to the facilities to the people working at the tournament. Everything was very enjoyable. My wife enjoyed the city, which is always a big part of the decision making process. So yeah it was a good experience.”
Stepanek said he fought to the end.
“You know I was able to come back from 1-5 down in the second set against such a player as Andy with a tremendous serve and to break him twice in a row ... I was fighting to the last point and I never give up,” the 2009 winner said.
“The biggest difference today was in the serve.”
This is Roddick’s 45th career ATP tour level final and his first tour final in Australia. His previous best results on Australian soil has been the semifinals at the Australian Open in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009.
This was Stepanek’s 11th career ATP World Tour final and his second in Australia, winning the Brisbane International last year.
Previously, Roddick has won five of their six meetings, 2-0 in finals, with the Czeck’s lone win in the San Jose semifinals last February.
In the men’s doubles final, Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Marc Gicquel defeated Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes 6-3 7-6(5).
In the women’s final, 6000 tennis fans witnessed the ultimate women’s final at the Brisbane International where Kim Clijsters defeated Justine Henin in three sets with the pair tussling it out for two hours and 23 minutes.
When asked about the Clijsters–Henin match, Roddick said “I don’t remember any time in any recent history with this many storylines and this many stars competing in the women’s game.”
In the women’s doubles final Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka defeated Melinda Czink and Arantxa Parra Santonja 2-6 7-6(3) [10-4].
Total attendance at the Brisbane International has been 82,257 over the past eight days compared to 66, 024 last year.
Sunday's results at the Brisbane International are as follows:
Men’s Doubles - final Jeremy Chardy/ Marc Gicquel (FRA) d  Lukas Dlouhy(CZE)/Leander Paes(IND) 6-3 7-6(5)
Men’s Singles - final  Andy Roddick (USA) d  Radek Stepanek (CZE) 7-6(2) 7-6(7)