Roddick Set to Face Mahut at Queens

Posted on June 17, 2007

No. 2 seed and former three-time champion (2003-05) Andy Roddick faces unseeded Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in Sunday’s title match. Roddick won the previous meeting 7-6(5), 6-3 in the second round of Lyon in October 2005 en route to the title, his last on European soil.

The winner will earn €80,500 and 225 ATP Ranking points while the finalist collects €47,400 and 155 points. Roddick is appearing in his second ATP final of the season (l. to Haas in Memphis) while Mahut is making the first ATP final showing in his career.

Roddick, who is looking to win his fourth Queen’s Club title in five years, is trying to become the fourth player (Lleyton Hewitt, Boris Becker, John McEnroe) to win four career titles. Mahut is attempting to become the first Frenchman to win the Artois singles title. Sebastien Grosjean was runner-up in 2003-04 and Guy Forget in 1995.

Roddick is undefeated in his career in ATP finals (5-0) against Frenchmen, defeating Grosjean at Queen’s in 2003-04, Houston in 2005, Cyril Saulnier in San Jose in 2005 and Gael Monfils in Lyon in 2005.

Mahut is trying to become the fifth first-time winner on the ATP circuit this season, joining countryman Gilles Simon (Marseille), Juan Monaco (Buenos Aires), Ivo Karlovic (Houston), and Philipp Kohlschreiber (Munich).

Roddick brings a 22-2 career record at the Queen’s Club into his fourth final. The former three-time champion (2003- 05) is No. 3 in the tournament with 54 aces (behind Ivo Karlovic’s 75 and Mahut’s 56). He leads the tournament in first serve points won (90 percent) and has held serve 46 of 48 games (96 percent).

The 24-year-old American is playing in his 35th career final (21-13) and he’s won at least one ATP title every year since 2001. This is his sixth career grass court final (3-2), having reached the Wimbledon final in 2004-05. Coach Jimmy Connors won the Queen’s title three times (1972, ’82-83) and reached the final in 1986-87.

Mahut is looking to defeat a seed for the fifth consecutive time in the tournament after knocking out No. 11 Jonas Bjorkman in the second round, No. 5 Ivan Ljubicic in the third round, No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and No. 14 Arnaud Clement on Saturday. He’s been broken five times in the tournament (held serve 53 of 58 games) while breaking opponents 14 times.

The 25-year-old Frenchman has an 11-11 record on the season and 8-3 career mark at the Queen’s Club. The win over No. 2 Nadal was the biggest of his career (3-7 vs. Top 10). At No. 106 in the ATP Rankings, he is trying to become the first player outside the Top 100 to win the Queen’s title since No. 108 Scott Draper in 1998. Two other Frenchmen have won ATP titles this year – Gilles Simon (Marseille) and Paul-Henri Mathieu (Casablanca). (ATP Digital Services)