Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina has collected his second consecutive Legg Mason Tennis title by winning a grueling final match against American Andy Roddick.
Andy Roddick was playing in his first tournament since losing in an epic Wimbledon final to world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland. The fifth ranked Roddick returned only to end up with a similar result in Washington.
Playing in bright and very hot sunshine on Sunday, the top-seeded Roddick fell short in his bid to win a fourth Legg Mason title. Juan Martin del Potro was defending the title he won last year. Seeded second, he seemed no match for Roddick in the opening set as the American quickly prevailed, 6-3.
But del Potro never gave up. He regained his composure to earn a hard fought 7-5 second set win. The third set proved even tighter. Del Potro barely hit the boundary line to complete a 7-6 set with an 8-6 tiebreak advantage. He says he had to take many chances to win.
"If I do not play aggressive against this kind of player, you cannot win," Del Potro said. "I broke [serve] early in the second [set] and that helped me to come back in the match. And now, I am the champion one more time."
Roddick says the loss is not as important as gaining good playing experience ahead of the U.S. Open in New York, which begins later this month.
"You look at the end and you are plus 24 winners to errors, and close to 70 percent and 20 aces, and my fitness held up," Roddick said. "Those are all encouraging signs. I am going to take a lot more good than bad away from this week, especially heading into these next couple of events."
Del Potro is the first player to win consecutive Legg Mason titles since American great Andre Agassi did it in 1998 and 1999.