>Robin Soderling sent an ominous message to the other ATP players today. His hard hitting and violently accurate serve had Roddick under pressure early in the finals. Roddick looked defensive from the beginning as Soderling stood on the baseline and demonstrated his strength, wasting a break point opportunity in Roddick’s opening service game.
The depths of balls off Soderling’s racket made Roddick work hard constantly as he tried to play aggressively but lacked consistent depth. Roddick looked, from the outset, to be unable to really hurt Soderling from the baseline.
As Soderling served at 3-1, Roddick forced him to come into the net where the Swede looked awkward trying to pick it up unsuccessfully. There was no taping on his knee like there was earlier in the week but it was the first sign that his movement was not 100%.
When Soderling stepped up and served a 211km second serve ace, which was quickly followed by two more aces and he took the first set easily 6-3.
In the second set Roddick started complaining about one of the linesman’s calls but it was to no avail as Soderling continued to force Roddick to play defense. After Roddick commended the umpire for a good over rule after stating that the linesman was effecting play, he almost did the splits trying to retrieve the balls Soderling was smashing all over the court. The awesome power of the Swede just overwhelmed Roddick as he searched for ways to end points.
Roddick was again forced to work hard to defend his service points, suddenly realizing that Soderling’s lateral movement is far superior to his forward movement and starting working more towards some net play. The American crowd favourite pumped his fist as he hung on and held for a 3-2 lead in the second set.
When the rain came down even more heavily, blowing some rain onto the court, both players said they couldn’t continue in the conditions, which the umpire accepted. Instead of sitting down and cooling down, Roddick lost it, accusing the umpire of not recognizing the risk of playing on a wet court.
Play eventually continued and it was more of the same from the Swede, whereas Roddick’s rhythm appeared to be disrupted. Before long the power of Soderling proved too much to suppress and he took the title from defending champion Roddick 6-3, 7-5.