cincinnati03roddick_fish

Points won by each set: | 31-35, 45-40, 49-42 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
45 % Roddick – 50 of 111
29 % Fish – 39 of 131

A final between two young Americans and very good friends who as servers were more efficient than ever at the time, albeit applying different tactics: sheer service power of Roddick supported by his huge forehand, and classical gamestyle of Fish (serve-and-volley after each 1st serve) following his diversified serve. For Roddick [4] that great service period extended to three big events (Montreal, Cincy, US Open), for Fish [41] only Cincinnati, also a bit of the US Open – between the first round at Cincy (vs. Mark Philippoussis) and the second round at UO (vs. Karol Kucera), Fish held 92 straight times!
The only break of the final occurred at 2-all. Fish had two match points leading 5:4 in the 3rd set – Roddick fought them off with service winner and ace. Fish should have produced a third match point, but missed an overhead from a relatively easy position. In the deciding tie-break one mini break at 2-all made the difference. Roddick said afterwards: “It’s hard to try and kick someone’s ass who you like so much. Mardy has made impressive strides in the last year or so and he is working hard.”

Roddick’s route to his 5th title:
1 Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2
2 Ivan Ljubicic 6-1, 6-4
3 James Blake 7-6(3), 6-2
Q Mariano Zabaleta 6-1, 6-2
S Max Mirnyi 7-6(5), 6-4
W Mardy Fish 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(4) – 2 m.p.

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