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Soderling, Almagro win back-to-back titles

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Originally published on: 21/02/11 10:38

Robin Soderling and Nicolas Almagro clinched their second successive ATP titles -in Marseille and Buenos Aires – this weekend, while Andy Roddick prevented Milos Raonic from replicating their feat by edging the Canadian for his 30th tour title in Memphis.

World No.4 Soderling continued the hot streak that took him to victory in Brisbane in January and Rotterdam last week, rallying back from the loss of the first set to see off Marin Cilic 6-7(8) 6-3 6-3 in the final of the Open 13 tournament in Marseille.

“Winning three tournaments in four tries is something I’ve never been close to before,” said Soderling. “It’s the best possible start. I’ve won many matches (17, in fact) and only lost one, unfortunately in the fourth round in Melbourne. It’s a great start and I really hope it can continue this way.”

In Buenos Aires, Almagro joined the Swede in claiming his ninth career title – and his fifth from the Latin-American Golden Swing – after defeating Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3 3-6 6-4.

“It’s great to play the Latin American swing every year,” said the Spaniard. “I’ve always had great results. When I was younger I made some semi-finals and lately I’ve won a lot of titles. I hope I can keep getting more here.”

Meanwhile, Andy Roddick ended the incredible recent form of 20-year-old Milos Raonic, clinching his 30th title in 50 tour level finals after firing a stunning, diving backhand winner on match point.

The world No.8 prevailed 7-6(7) 6-7(11) 7-5 in a tight serving battle in Memphis, becoming just the third active player – after Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – to win 30 or more career singles titles.

“Winning tennis tournaments I don’t ever take for granted,” said the Nebraska native. “I’ve won 30 of them now, but I think every one of them is just as exciting. I get just as much joy today as I did my first one.”

And on that dramatic match point, where he lunged to full stretch on the forehand side – at the cost of a grazed forearm – to force a winner down the line for the title, Roddick said: “That’s the best shot I’ve ever hit in my life considering the circumstances.

“I don’t really remember much else besides the fact that I went for the ball, I hit it, I didn’t really think much of it. Then I head people cheering. I was lik, ‘No, there’s no way that went in.’ I guess it did.”

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