Roddick ready for home success
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:45
Roddick was the last homegrown player to win the men’s singles title at Flushing Meadows, his 2003 victory being followed by a five-year dominance by Switzerland’s Roger Federer. Having gone down fighting to Federer at Wimbledon last month, losing 16-14 in the fifth set of a classic Centre Court final, Roddick said he has been energised rather than dispirited by the experience.
“If anything I’m looking at it as a new beginning as opposed to something that’s a finisher,” Roddick said.
Roddick has reached the last eight in three of the last five US Opens but in an event once dominated by the likes of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, American fans are clamouring for another home success.
“I’ve always had a pressure to win, that’s the nature of American tennis,” he added. “I’ve been in that position my entire career following Andre and Pete and probably the greatest generation ever.
“So it’s been on my shoulders and I’m not that concerned about the pressure of it all. At the end of the day my first concern is going in and winning a tennis match and I think as long as I can keep it simple like that, it will be okay.”
Seeded fifth and on schedule to face fourth seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals before a potential rematch with Federer in the semi-finals, Roddick will play Germany’s Bjorn Phau in the first round.
And his Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe agrees that the heartbreak on Centre Court will be a positive rather than a negative.
“I don’t think it will destroy him at all,” McEnroe told ESPN. “I think it actually gave him a renewed hope that he can win another major.
“I think he’s got a great chance, I think he’s a favourite to go all the way and it’s a good section of the draw for him. I think he’ll improve as the tournament progresses.”