Del Potro outlasts Roddick to defend ATP Washington title

WASHINGTON: Juan Martin Del Potro blasted five of his 19 aces in the deciding tie-breaker Sunday to beat US top seed Andy Roddick 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8/6) and win his second consecutive ATP Washington Classic title.

Ignoring fatigue and sweltering heat to launch his most powerful serves of the match at the finish, the Argentine second seed finally overcame Roddick on his fourth match-point chance when a line call review upheld a forehand winner.

Del Potro became the first player since Andre Agassi in 1999 to win back-to-back titles at the 1.4 million-dollar hardcourt event, capturing the top prize of 300,000 dollars after 2 1/2 hours in hot and humid conditions.

Roddick, in his first event since a five-set Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer, fired 21 aces and had a superior first-serve percentage but missed out on a fourth Washington title and 28th career crown.

Sixth-ranked Del Potro, 20, won his sixth career ATP title and second of the year after a January crown at Auckland. It was his first ATP title defense and showed his improvement since a shock 2008 title opposite the Beijing Olympics.

Fifth-ranked Roddick, 26, lost his only prior meeting with Del Potro in last year''s Los Angeles final.

Roddick likes the state of his game three weeks ahead of the US Open.

Del Potro opened the tie-breaker with his fastest serve, a 137-mph ace, then took a 3-1 lead on a second-serve ace and a 4-1 edge on a 136-mph ace. A fourth ace gave him a 6-3 edge and three championship points.

Roddick saved the first with an ace and Del Potro followed by sending a backhand wide and a forehand long, sustaining Roddick''s hopes. But Del Potro fired his final ace and then captured the match on the replay call.