Andy Roddick and Gilles Muller kicked off their 2012 summer hard-court campaigns in earnest with a trip to the final of the Atlanta Open.
Finishing on top of the junior rankings can present two different indicators of determining success on the adult tour.
Case in point: Andy Roddick, the American who won the 2000 U.S. Open boys’ title, followed it up with a win at the senior event three years later. His successor at the juniors’ event, Gilles Muller, hadn’t hit the same heights as he struggled with injuries, and by 2012, had only reached three finals on the main tour.
In preparation for that year’s U.S. Open, the two played the BB&T Atlanta Open and proceeded to advance to the final. Along the way, the fourth-seeded Roddick beat the number-one seed John Isner, while the unseeded Muller upset Mardy Fish and Go Soeda.
Back in 2005, the former top-ranked juniors met in the opening round of the U.S. Open and it was Muller who pulled off the stunning upset. Over the years since that encounter, Roddick had little difficulty with the Luxembourgian, including winning their most recent one in Miami that year.
However, in this final, Muller showed he was taking the court with a short memory.
He broke Roddick’s serve twice on his way to winning the first set, 6-1, the first time he’d captured the opening frame against the American since the ’05 U.S. Open.
After getting assistance from the trainer due to some shoulder discomfort, Roddick was able to get his serving game back on track as Muller was unable to earn a break point throughout the set. At 5-6, Roddick went up love-40 on Muller’s serve, but was unable to convert, sending the set into a tiebreaker. Roddick kept up the pressure and raced through the breaker, taking it 7-2 to level the match.
Muller struggled with his serve throughout, and in the third, was broken multiple times as Roddick would go on to take the decider 6-2, and earn his second title of the year. (It would also be his last: Before the start of the U.S. Open, the American announced he was retiring after the tournament.)
Muller’s latest final came at his third different post-Wimbledon tournament.
Of Roddick’s 32 titles, this was only the fifth tournament he won after dropping the first set.
Before this tournament, the last time Roddick won a summer hard-court tournament was in 2009, when he beat Isner in the Washington final.
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ATP & WTA Washington D.C.
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