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Sunday, 24 February, 2002, 23:19 GMT
Roddick wins Memphis title
Andy Roddick of America
Roddick has now won four ATP titles
Second seed Andy Roddick won the all-American battle in the Kroger St Jude tournament as he powered his way past James Blake in a thrilling final.

The 19-year-old sealed the fourth ATP title of his career with a 6-4 3-6 7-5 win.

Blake, 22, had overturned the form book in the previous round when he knocked out another American, Jan-Michael Gambill.

But he had no answer as Roddick's superior fire power eventually took its toll in Memphis.

Afterwards Roddick, who became the first teenager to win the tournament since Andre Agassi in 1988, said: "There are some other great players coming up.

"I'm definitely excited to be a part of it but I'm just trying to do my thing and have fun out there."


I'm improving very quickly but Andy seems to be improving just as fast if not faster.
James Blake

Roddick went into the match unbeaten in every ATP final in which he has competed and got off to the best possible start, breaking Blake's opening service game.

From there he rounded off the first set comfortably.

But Blake, vying to become the first black player to win an ATP title since Malivai Washington in April 1996, fought back with a strong opening service game in the second set.

And he got the break he needed to go 2-0 up. Roddick broke back before losing his serve for the second time in the set.

The two Americans were evenly matched in the third, which looked to be heading for a tie-break.

But Blake's nerves finally snapped serving 6-5 down.

Blake said he was improving but not fast enough
Blake took the match to three sets

He hit two unforced errors into the net and a double fault to gift Roddick the match.

Afterwards Blake insisted he had just not been good enough.

"I'm improving very quickly," he said, "but Andy seems to be improving just as fast if not faster.

"He's going through the rankings like it's easy, which it's not."

In the process, Roddick became one of the most successful American teenagers in the history of the game.

He trails only Jimmy Arias, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, who all won five titles before turning 20.

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