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12 Jan 2008 06:36
Andy Roddick warmed up for next week’s Australian Open in ideal fashion with a 7-5 6-3 win over Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus on Saturday to win the Kooyong Classic for the third successive year.
The American, who is seeded sixth next week, outgunned Baghdatis in 76 minutes to emulate the achievement of his compatriot Michael Chang, who won the exhibition event from 1995 to 1997.
“Is there a three-for-one special where you can swap three titles here for one Australian Open?” Roddick joked in an on-court presentation.
“It’s been a great week. I hope the form I showed this week will be indicative of how I play next week.”
Both players were solid on serve early on, but Baghdatis had a break point to lead 5-4 only for Roddick to dig himself out of trouble with a strong second serve.
The first set looked to be heading for a tiebreak only for the Cypriot to slip up in the 12th game, handing Roddick the set.
An early break in the second set put Roddick in control and once he had saved three break points in the seventh game, he eased to victory, sealing the win with his 10th ace.
Baghdatis, who was a last-minute replacement for world number one Roger Federer, who had a stomach virus, said his form was not quite what it was when he reached the final of the Australian Open in 2006.
“I need some matches,” he said.
“I think the most important thing for me is to get through the first two rounds.
If I do, then I will feel confident that I can go further.”
Roddick begins against a qualifier at Melbourne Park, while Baghdatis plays former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden.
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