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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Roddick claims Queen's hat-trick
Andy Roddick lifts the Queen's trophy for a third time
American Andy Roddick raced to his third consecutive Queen's title with a solid 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) win over surprise finalist Croat Ivo Karlovic.

Karlovic shook off a nervous start to save three break-points in the second game of the opener but it was Roddick who claimed the ensuing tie-break.

A fast and furious second set rolled to another inevitable tie-break with neither player claiming a break-point.

The American stepped up a gear to seal the breaker and the title in style.

"We knew it would be a tight match," Roddick told BBC Sport. "Just a couple of points here and there.

"Karlovic's serve is probably the biggest weapon in tennis and it was not fun at times.

"But I've had a great week and I love playing here.I feel pretty comfortable on the grass and I'm looking forward to Wimbledon."

As predicted, the match was dominated by both player's thunderous serves - Roddick ended the encounter with 10 aces and Karlovic 16.

Nonetheless, Roddick and the unseeded Karlovic warmed up for Wimbledon in two weeks time by demonstrating plenty of ability at the net too.

Roddick grabbed a mini-break in the first-set breaker, placing the ball down the line.

An unlucky bounce off the net for Roddick took the scores back to 6-6 before Karlovic over-hit his forehand return to hand the American the tie-break and the set.

The tempo of the match increased at 3-3 with both players chasing down the ball and engaging in some longer rallies.

But neither could find a chink in their opponent's armour until the predictable tie-break.

Roddick grabbed a mini-break straight away with a backhand winner that clipped the outside of the line.

A pair of aces consolidated the American's lead and though Karlovic clawed back four points, it was Roddick who served out the breaker to seal his title defence.

The 22-year-old's triumph saw him join John McEnroe and Lleyton Hewitt as the only players to win three consecutive Queen's titles.

Roddick now goes to Wimbledon expected to at least match his runner's-up performance of 2004.

Meanwhile, Karlovic has raised his stock as he looks to better last year's fourth-round performance at the All England Club.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: Roddick v Karlovic


Interview: Queen's champion Andy Roddick



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