Roddick, Ebden/Harrison are Champs in Atlanta
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Andy Roddick came back from a set down to defeat Gilles Muller 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 and claim the 32nd title of his career, and his second in the last three tournaments played. Roddick started out tense and got irritated by the sun, his opponent’s consistency and his top-notch serving early on. He quickly went down 0-3 and ended up dropping the 1st set 6-1 to Muller, who had all the momentum while Roddick had to call the trainer. Many thought he was completely out of the match but he charged back, holding in three service games late in the second set by his fingernails. Roddick fought them off at deuce with aces and sharp returns, forced a tiebreak and charged ahead, taking the breaker and then closing the door on a shaken Muller in the third set. Roddick went up a double break and served it out for the title.
Muller had his chances at finishing off the match and his serving was excellent in the first and second set. Toward the end of the second, he began to lose his energy and struggled to connect on first serves, double faulting a few too many times. Roddick struggled with DFs early as well. Muller did fine coming into the net and volleying but from the baseline he was cold, while Roddick made a few too many errant shots early. His game tidied up later and Muller could not do much to stop him. The final result is that both Muller and Roddick will head into the Olympics with positive momentum.
In the doubles final, Matt Ebden repeated as doubles champion in Hotlanta, this time with his friend Ryan Harrison. The young guns had their day defeating veterans Xaiver Malisse and Michael Russell 6-3, 3-6, 10-6. They played seamlessly all week and this was just a culmination of their fine play together. On a side note, Matt and Ryan stuck around to hit balls with the ball kids after the final trophy presentation. It was a nice gesture from two approachable guys who represent the game well. Other players I will give credit to for being very kind to fans and sportsmanlike to their opponents are Igor Kunitsyn, Brian Baker, Xaiver Malisse, Michael Russell, Go Soeda, Ruben Bemelmans, Ricaradas Berankis, finalist Gilles Muller, Santiago Gonzalez/Scott Lipsky, and the Flemchins.
It was a great week of tennis in Atlanta and a highly enjoyable tournament. A multitude of matches went the distance and there were plenty of tense and thrilling battles in both doubles and singles, including some very late night matches. The tournament was top-notch from start to finish and Atlantic Station proved to be an excellent venue. Atlantic Station has at least another two years hosting the BB&T Atlanta Open under contract. Here’s to next year!