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Roddick claims Eastbourne crown for first title of 2012



Eastbourne, England (Sports Network) - Andy Roddick made his final preparation for Wimbledon a successful one, capturing the title at the Eastbourne tune-up on Saturday with a straight-set win over Italy's Andreas Seppi.

Roddick has struggled mightily this year, with his best previous results being quarterfinal appearances in San Jose and Delray Beach. The American star was eliminated in the first round of the French Open and also lost his first match last week at the Queen's Club before taking a wild card entry into this event to get ready for Wimbledon, which starts next week.

A three-time runner-up at the All England Club, Roddick earned his 31st career title and first since last year in Memphis with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Seppi on Saturday. It also gave Roddick at least one title in 12 straight years to match Roger Federer's active streak. He also became the first American to reach the winner's circle in 2012.

"I wanted to keep alive winning one tournament a year for 12 years," said Roddick. "I know three or four people have done that. I need to remind myself of those numbers just to [remember] this is a what did you do last week type sport. So looking back on that, maybe I need to look at those a little bit more and realize that I've done this for a long time pretty well."

Roddick blistered five aces, broke serve five times and had his serve broken twice in the 72-minute thrashing. He improved to 2-0 lifetime against Seppi, who was trying to win the Eastbourne crown for the second straight year.

Now ranked 33rd, Roddick had lost six straight matches entering this week's event and hadn't tasted victory since a surprising third-round win over Federer in Miami back in March. He dropped only one set this week.

"The thing that makes sports great is there is no script," Roddick added. "You can draw it up, and it rarely works out the way this week has. I think, as I've gotten older, I guess I've learned to appreciate this a little bit more."

The 29-year-old Roddick improved to 31-20 all-time in finals. He'll start his Wimbledon fortnight as the 30th seed against British wild card Jamie Baker.

Seppi, seeded third this week, was vying for his third career title. In addition to last year's win at this event, he also claimed the Belgrade title last month.

Seeded 23rd for Wimbledon, Seppi will face Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in the first round at the All England Club.

Roddick, who earned a first prize of $92,000, improved to 2-0 lifetime against Seppi, with the previous win coming in the third round at the 2008 U.S. Open.

06/23 13:17:32 ET