Beijing:Andy Roddick claimed his third ATP title of the season, beating unseeded Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 on Sunday in the final of the China Open.
No 2 Roddick struggled all the way against Sela, who reached the final by beating top-seeded David Ferrer, fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo and Rainer Schuettler of Germany. It was the first ATP final of Sela's career.
Sela is only No 92 in the ATP rankings and is the first Israeli to reach an ATP final since Harel Levy in 2000. He failed to become the first Israeli winner since Amos Mansdorf in 1993.
In the late women's final, No 1 Jelena Jankovic faced No 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Roddick did not have everything his way.
"At the end of the day, a win is a win and I'm happy with that," Roddick said.
After Roddick broke serve early in the second set, Sela broke back in the sixth game. After a double fault and then a missed shot at the net, which cost the American the game, Roddick teed off and smashed a tennis ball high over the crowd and out of the two-tiered Beijing Tennis Center.
In the second-set tiebreaker, Roddick failed to close out Sela. With Roddick serving and leading the breaker 6-4, Sela won four straight points to take the set. Sela raced to his chair, sat down quickly and clenched his right fist.
In the final set, Sela kept returning Roddick's big serve and frustrated the American repeatedly with clever lobs and passing shots from the backhand and forehand.
Roddick finally broke Sela in the sixth game and then closed out the match with an ace.
"In the back of my mind, I knew I'd played in 38-40 finals and I knew this was his first one," Roddick said. "I knew that had to count for something. I wanted to stay in here and compete, even though he was the hot player for the majority of the day."
Roddick won twice earlier this year, taking a tournament in February in San Jose, California, and in March in Dubai. It was his 40th final, and his 26th career ATP title.
Sela managed to relax after a nervous first set, returning more serves and making Roddick work.
"I think that was a key point, returning a lot of balls back from the serve so he didn't have a lot of free points,'' Sela said.
Sela said he lost concentration slightly in the sixth game of the final set, allowing Roddick to break and take control. Still, he saw victory in the defeat.
"This helps a lot," he said. "It's a lot of confidence that showed I can play with these big players."