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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 15, 2010

Roddick falls in SAP Open finale


Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. Fernando Verdasco had come so close in recent matches against top-10 players only to fall short at the end. He saved his best tennis for the final set against Andy Roddick, bringing an end to a frustrating streak.

Verdasco rallied to beat Roddick, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, yesterday in the SAP Open, earning his fourth career title and ending a 15-match losing streak against top-10 players.

"It's special for me and I'm happy I did it," Verdasco said.

Verdasco often did just enough to lose against the world's best players, going the limit in three-set losses to Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Murray at last year's season-ending tournament in London and dropping a five-setter to Nikolay Davydenko in the fourth round of last month's Australian Open.

After being broken twice in the opening set yesterday, Verdasco didn't lose his serve again. He converted the only break point of the third set to take a 5-4 lead and won the match with a 130 mph ace.

SODERLING WINSABN AMRO

Robin Soderling won the ABN Amro final yesterday when former champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia retired because of a thigh injury in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The third-seeded Soderling, who finished second to Michael Llodra two years ago, became the first Swedish winner of the indoor tournament since Anders Jarryd in 1993.

Soderling led 6-4, 2-0 before Youzhny bowed out, giving the Swede his fifth career title.

FERRERO SWEEPS TO BRAZIL OPEN TITLE

Top-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Lukasz Kobut of Poland, 6-1, 6-0, to win the Brazil Open yesterday in Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil.

The former No. 1 ranked player needed only one hour to become the third Spaniard in a row to win the clay-court event. Nicolas Almagro won the title in 2008 and Tommy Robredo last year.

DEMENTIEVA TAKES PARIS CHAMPIONSHIP

Top-seeded Elena Dementieva recovered from a set down to beat Lucie Safarova, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4, in the final of the Open GDF Suez yesterday in Paris.

It was the second victory of the season for the world's No. 7-ranked player, who won earlier this year in Sydney. Dementieva finished off her 16th professional title in 2 hours, 17 minutes.

ZVONAREVA DEFENDS PATTAYA TITLE

Vera Zvonareva successfully defended her Pattaya Open title, beating hometown favorite Tamarine Tanasugarn, 6-4, 6-4, in the final yesterday at Pattaya, Thailand.

The top-seeded Russian collected her 10th career title and avenged her loss to the Thai in the second round at Wimbledon two years ago. She also became the first player to win the singles title two years in a row in the 19-year history of the event.

BASEBALL

D-BACKS, JACKSON AGREE TO 2-YEAR DEAL

Right-hander Edwin Jackson and the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a $13.35 million, two-year deal, avoiding an arbitration hearing. Arizona announced the deal yesterday.

Jackson went 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA in 33 starts for the Tigers last season, making his first All-Star team. He was acquired in a three-team deal in December that also moved All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson from Detroit to the New York Yankees.