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Roddick claims first title of the season

  • Story Highlights
  • Andy Roddick claims 27th Tour title with Memphis win over Radek Stepanek
  • American Roddick was beaten by Czech Stepanek in semifinals in San Jose
  • Roddick confirms he will not be in Dubai this week for the defense of that title
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(CNN) -- Andy Roddick powered to his first ATP Tour title of the season with a 7-5 7-5 victory over fifth seed Radek Stepanek in Memphis.

Roddick was back to his best to claim the ATP title in Memphis.

Roddick was back to his best to claim the ATP title in Memphis.

The comprehensive victory avenged a semifinal loss to San Jose winner Stepanek in the previous event and continued his excellent start to 2009 under new coach Larry Stefanki.

Roddick confirmed after his win that he would not be defending his title in Dubai this week, angered by the refusal of a work permit to allow Israeli Shahar Peer to play in the preceding WTA tournament in the Emirate state.

But the world number five was delighted by his form on home soil.

"I'm very satisfied and thought it was a very good level of tennis," he told the official Tour Web site www.atptour.com

"We have a long year ahead of us and this is a nice start but there's a lot of work ahead. I am feeling good and I like coming here. It's nice to win again here and 2002 seems like a long time ago. I felt like I have left a couple of titles here out on the table."

Roddick broke in the second game of the opening set and held a 3-0 lead before his Czech opponent broke back in the fifth game.

It remained on serve to the 12th game when Stepanek hit a forehand long at set point to Roddick.

The second set went with serve, Roddick saving three break points as Stepanek pressed, before the 12th game again proved decisive.

Stepanek fell love 40 behind and after saving one match point, Roddick hit a forehand winner to claim his second Memphis title.

Stepanek rued his missed chances in the second set.

"I had some break chances in the second set and couldn't convert and that was the difference. His game is based around his serve and he served really well when he had to. The only difference was break points and I couldn't convert when I had chances."

It was the 27th ATP Tour title success for Roddick, who beat Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the semifinals.

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