Andy Roddick, playing in his 10th ATP tournament and first clay-court event, routed Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-2, 6-4 Sunday to win the Verizon Tennis Challenge in Duluth, Ga., for his first title.
The 18-year-old Roddick became the youngest American to win an ATP event since Michael Chang in 1992 at 19.
Roddick faced just one break point and served consistently in the 115-139 mph range. He took advantage of his powerful serve and big forehand to attack the net, winning 15 of 20 attempts.
"They had to worry about my serve and about me coming in to net," he said. "This is definitely part of my game in the future."
Roddick will rise to the top 35 on the ATP Champions Race. He also grabbed the attention of U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe, who flew to Atlanta to watch the match.
The U.S. team, ousted from the 2001 competition, will play India this September in a relegation zone match.
BOXING: Augusta Boxing Club members Ray Whitfield and Jason Pinckney are in Reno, Nev., this week for the Golden Gloves National Tournament.
Whitfield, ranked No. 2 nationally by USA Boxing, is competing in the 106-pound division, while Pinckney is in the 132-pound category. Both advanced to the nationals by taking Georgia and Southern Golden Gloves titles.
Roberto Leyva of Mexico remained undefeated with a unanimous 12-round decision over Daniel Reyes of Colombia on Sunday and won the vacant IBF strawweight title.
The matchup of unbeatens at the Amazura Ballroom in Jamaica, N.Y., was the first fight for each outside his home country.
Leyva, 1041/2 pounds, was ranked fifth by the IBF. He improved to 18-0 with all but two of the wins by knockout. Reyes, 104¨, the No. 2-ranked contender, fell to 25-1 with 20 knockouts.
DRAG RACING: Doug Kalitta became the first Top Fuel repeat winner of the season Sunday by capturing the inaugural Mac Tools NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway with a clocking of a 4.690-second run at 300.75 mph.
Ron Capps won his ninth Funny Car title at 5.045 at 288.52 mph, and Greg Anderson earned his first-career Pro Stock victory with a clocking of 6.993 at 196.85 in the $1.9 million event, the sixth of 24 in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
HORSE RACING: Startac, the Turf Paradise Derby champion, has been confirmed as a starter for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. The 3-year-old son of Theatrical is owned by the Allen Paulson Living Trust. He is scheduled to arrive in Louisville today from California.
Trainer Simon Bray said Alex Solis would ride Startac in the Derby.
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