Vamos Mandy :)
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Looking for Andy's forehand with Sarah and Re...
Re: The "We Love You, Dean!" Australian Open Thread!!
Roddick seeking to get back on track at Aussie Open
MELBOURNE (AFP) - A frustrated Andy Roddick returns to the venue where his stellar rise through the ranks began to falter last year, leaving the big-serving American struggling to emerge from the shadow of Swiss rival Roger Federer.
The "A-Rod", 22, was world number one and ranked top seed going into last year's Australian Open (news - web sites) but by the end of the tournament had conceded his world crown to eventual winner Federer.
The Swiss went on to defeat Roddick in the Wimbledon (news - web sites) final and also added the French Open (news - web sites) to his 2004 Grand Slam trophy cabinet. (Uh what??? LMAOOOOOOOO)
Federer's red-hot form halted the momentum built by Roddick in a breakthough 2003, when he appeared set to become the next tennis superstar on the back of a US Open triumph.
Instead, it has been Federer who has been hailed as a legend in the making and Roddick has been left with the cold comfort of the number two spot and a relatively disappointing four titles in 2004.
Defeat by Spain in the Davis Cup final capped a miserable year for Roddick, who responded last month by sacking his coach, Andre Agassi's former mentor Brad Gilbert, and replacing him with the low-profile Dean Goldfine.
Roddick said he was determined to lose the best-of-the-rest tag and wrest back "his" number one spot from Federer.
"To get my spot back or get back to where it is actually a debate who the top player is, then I'm going to have to step it up, and I know that. So I'm just going to try to do everything in my power," he said.
He said his enthusiasm for the game revived under Goldfine, a US Davis Cup assistant coach.
"I've had a great training period with Dean, felt better than I have in a long time," he said. "I'm happy with the team around me now. I feel very optimistic for 2005 -- I'm excited," he said.
While Roddick managed to fend off a determined challenge by Australia's Lleyton Hewitt for the number two spot, he is in no doubt defending champion Federer is the man to beat at the Australian Open.
"There's no doubt the way he finished last year and started this year, he's playing the best in the world," Roddick said.
Roddick refused to concede Federer had a mortgage on Grand Slams in 2005 but said exceptional one-off performances would be needed for the chasing pack to catch up.
"Luckily for us, we only have to be better on one day and not for the whole year, so we'll take that attitude and really go after it if that happens," he said.
While he has never won the Australian Open, Roddick has already participated in one of the tournament's classic games, a marathon quarter-final against Morroccan Younes El Aynaoui in 2003.
The five-hour epic included the longest fifth set in Grand Slam history, with Roddick eventually winning the tie break 21-19, after which both competitors walked off the court hand in hand to tumultous applause.
An exhausted Roddick was then eliminated by Rainer Schuettler in the semi-final.
Last year, he made it to the quarter finals before falling to Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands. (Uh what??? LMAOOOOOOOO)