Roddick warms up for Wimbledon with Eastbourne win

Andy Roddick won his first title in over a year when he defeated defending champion Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to win the Eastbourne grasscourt title, a perfectly-timed boost ahead of Wimbledon.

The American, a three-time finalist at the All England Club, was joined as a new champion on the south coast by Austrian Tamira Paszek, who saved five match points to beat world number eight Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in the women's final.

Former world number one Roddick, aged 29 and ranked 33rd, has been troubled by injury and illness for the past several seasons but may have turned a corner with his 72-minute confidence-building win over the Italian.

He came to the event as a wildcard after losing his sixth match in a row last week in an early Queen's club exit.

Roddick's victory means that he has won at last one title for the past 12 seasons.

The American now owns 31 trophies from 51 finals having won his last grasscourt title at Queen's five years ago.

Roddick will be seeded 30 at Wimbledon, which starts on Monday, where he starts against Briton Jamie Baker.

The American had a modest five aces on Saturday, but broke Seppi five times as he played his first final since winning in Memphis in February, 2011.

"The thing that makes sports great is there is no script," said Roddick. "You can draw it up, and it rarely works out the way this week has.

"As I've gotten older, I guess I've learned to appreciate this a little bit more.

"I feel better about my tennis. It's just such a fine line but it seems like a big line between playing well and hitting the ball well in drills in practice and getting that to translate to matches.

"I was able to kind of find that crossover this week. Now it's just a matter of taking care of myself the next couple of days and just trying to maintain what I started this week."

Paszek, ranked 59th, who had come onto the grass with just two wins from 15 matches this season, did what she has done best in recovering from disaster against Kerber.

Paszek's momentum could not be stopped by a lower calf injury which she had taped late in the match after a slip on the grass.

She carried on to claim her third career title after last winning one in September, 2010, in Quebec.

"I was feeling a bit weird on court. But you have to get on with things which aren't perfect. So I just tried to keep hanging in there," she said.

"I've always known I'm a fighter, I always believed in myself," said the winner. In practise everything has been working, and now it was just a matter of getting that aggression and pleasure to play on court.

"It just all fitted together this week."

Kerber was Paszek's third seeded victim of the week after beating number eight Daniela Hantuchova and putting out holder and fourth seed Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals.

Paszek fought hard to save five match points in the ninth game of the second set after losing the first, holding for 4-5 before breaking the fifth seed a game later after Kerber double-faulted for a pair of break points.

The Austrian won the title on her third match point and heads to Wimbledon with a huge confidence boost.

Kerber missed out on her third trophy of 2012 after finally finding fitness following a series of injuries this season.

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