7/23/12 12:23 AM | Ricky Dimon
Andy Roddick is once again a champion at the site of his first career ATP title. Roddick beats Gilles Muller in three sets on Sunday in Atlanta for his 32nd winner's trophy.
At 18 years old way back in 2001, Andy Roddick captured his first career ATP title in Atlanta. Eleven years later, Roddick triumphed in the same city for title No. 32.
The former world No. 1 recovered from a slow start to defeat Gilles Muller 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in the the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Sunday afternoon. Roddick fired 18 aces and did not face a single break point in the final two sets to prevail in two hours and 13 minutes.
But it was Muller who got off to a fast start. The Luxembourgian did not face a single break point in the quarterfinals and semis and he remained dominant on serve in the first set. Muller also broke right away for a 2-0 lead after Roddick double-faulted twice then sent a backhand wide. Another break came at 4-1 before Muller closed out the opener with one more routine service hold.
Roddick took a medical timeout for his right shoulder in between sets but he came back out a man on a mission. The 29-year-old American took care of his serve easily en route to a 6-5 advantage then finally sank his teeth into a Muller service game. Muller, however, erased a 0-40 deficit then saved a fourth set point en route to forcing a tiebreaker.
Two mini-breaks were more than enough for Roddick in the decider. The first came at 1-0 and Muller double-faulted at 1-4 to all but end his chances of a straight-set victory. Roddick soon finished off the proceedings with two easy service points at 5-2 and 6-2.
From there it was all Roddick. The world No. 22 (as of Sunday night when the new rankings were revealed) earned breaks at 1-1 and 3-1 to take complete control. Muller held to stay in the match at 1-5 only to see Roddick serve it out at love in the final game, punctuating his performance with back-to-back aces.
"Throughout the course of my career I've fought pretty hard," Roddick said of coming back from a set down against Muller. "I've always appreciated (winning titles). I've won 32 times and every one of them I never assume I'm going to win again."
"At the end of the second set I got very, very tight," admitted Muller, who is 0-3 lifetime in ATP finals. "I got too nervous because I was close to closing that match out. It's been a long time since I've been in position to win a big tournament like that."
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