US Dominance - for a Week
The sizzling Serena won her first crown in nearly a year's time.
US Dominance - for a Week
Roddick, Serena, Querrey Come up Huge in Dubai, Bangalore, Vegas
Andy: 'I'm the best bad tennis player of all time'
It's been a long time since America's top players could claim that they dominated a week of tennis. But with Andy Roddick's stunning title run in Dubai and Serena Williams' refreshing title romp in Bangalore, US tennis fans had every right to celebrate long and hard on Sunday afternoon.
It's the first time that Roddick and Serena - America's two top players over the past five years --- have won crowns together in the same week since 2004 Miami.
Add to that the first career title for unseeded American Sam Querrey in his 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory of South African qualifier Kevin Anderson at the Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas, and US fans have a delicious three course meal in which to partake.
Roddick had stated two weeks in San Jose that he was ready to go hunting big scalps in Dubai and although he was in fine form then, no one could have predicted a title run in Roger Federer's adopted home town of Dubai. But the fast-talking, fast-playing 26-year-old served incredibly well during the tournament (not automatic for the tour's most feared server), volleyed efficiently, kept his forehand deep and moved his backhand around competently.
He brushed off world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 3 Novak Djokovic and in the final, the threatening lefty Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. "I was literally asleep before my first match, on the floor in the players lounge with people stepping over me and (Novak) Djokovic dropping stuff on me," said Roddick of his jet lag. "I actually didn't warm up that day because I was pretty tired. I really didn't know what to expect coming in, and maybe that's why I played well. I stated a couple of weeks ago that a big part of decision to come here was to try to get a shot at the top players," and success here has made it look like it was a good idea. I'm just happy to be playing really good tennis right now."
During the week, Roddick broke the news that his head coach, Jimmy Connors, had left his personal building. But instead of moping, he put the lessons that Connors (albeit briefly), his brother, John, and his trainer, Doug Spreen, had taught him. He played to his strengths and in a two out of three set match, if Roddick is clicking, he's tough to expose. Now he has to show he can do that again in a major, where his warts become more apparent.
"I think the only thing that bothers me is that sometimes I get presented as not a very good tennis player," said Roddick. "I can play sometimes, besides the serve I'm serving well, but I think I'm hitting my forehand pretty well and there's not much I'm not happy with as far as this week goes. I've been playing the right way, which is good. Sometimes I tell people that I'm the best bad tennis player of all time."
Roddick, who closely reads his press, chided the analysts for not taking a more in depth look at his game. But the fact remains that he's only won five titles in the past two and a half years and only one was a Masters Series --- 2006 Cincy. If he wants to garner more accolades, he's going to have to go to Indian Wells and Miami and put up a "W."
"With the exception of Roger (Federer), if you look at my record against the rest of the top 10 it's pretty good for a guy who can serve and can't really volley or hit a backhand or his forehand isn't big anymore. The list goes on and on and on. There must be something there."
Serena and her older sister, Venus, went to India because they no longer play Indian Wells and needed matches prior to Miami. If Serena had pulled out, she would have gone two months without a match since falling to Jelena Jankovic in Australia.
But Serena looks like she has recovered just fine from the dental surgery she underwent in February as she won her first title in nearly 11 months, the last coming in 2007 Miami. She took down Venus in arguably their best match ever, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4), which regrettably, wasn't seen outside of Asia. It was Serena's eighth win in 15 tries against her elder sister. In the final, she bested the competent Patty Schnyder 7-5, 6-3.
"This was a really big win for me and there are a lot of important tournaments coming up," said Williams, who should crack the top 10 again on Monday. "I missed some tournaments before this and I think my ranking suffered because of it; to win here was very important, and to even win here was really big for me. I'm just hoping to continue to play well."