A high quality 2-hour 3-minute RCA Championships final between the two best Americans at the time: No. 6 in the world (Blake) & No. 11 (Roddick)…
Roddick, fresh after a disappointing third round loss at Wimbledon, began a cooperation with Jimmy Connors, and advanced to the final not dropping his serve in his first event under the guidance of the legendary ‘Jimbo’. A-Rod was broken for the first time at 0:1 (30/15) in the 2nd set, when Blake played three consecutive backhand winners. In the deciding set, Blake saved four break points in his three service games: 2-all, 3-all & 4-all, every time escaping with the help of the 1st serve down the T. In the tie-break Roddick had another opportunity leading 3:1*, then Blake got a double match point after a spectacular rally which he finished with a backhand passing-shot. “This is one of the best finals I’ve ever played,” Blake told reporters. “I had to play like that to beat a champion like Andy. I played my best tennis, it’s very satisfying to have done it in the final.” Huge win for Blake, who was very weak in the deciding third set tie-breaks; overcoming his fellow American, he improved to an abysmal 2-9 record (finished his career with 11-17).
Blake’s route to his 6th title:
2 Danai Udomchoke 7-6(5), 6-4
3 Wesley Whitehouse 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4
Q Nicolas Mahut 7-6(2), 7-6(5)
S Xavier Malisse 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
W Andy Roddick 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5)
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