Roddick hopes his luck will change this year
LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Roddick has an enviable record on grass and possesses all the weapons to succeed at Wimbledon. All he needs now is a slice of good fortune.
Backed by his thunderbolt serve, the American has displayed his flair on the lush green lawns by lifting the oversized Stella Artois trophy three years running.
Each time he has gone on to reach the latter stages at Wimbledon. Each time he has run into an impenetrable brick wall named Roger Federer.
For the first time in four years, Roddick arrives at the All England Club without the Stella Artois title in his possession and the Nebraskan believes that it could turn out to be a good omen when the grasscourt grand slam begins on Monday.
"I feel like I'm serving well. I feel like I'm returning well
," said the 23-year-old Roddick, who followed up his last-four showing in 2003 with two successive runs to the final.
"Coming to your favourite surface and coming to one of your favourite tournaments, the recipe's there for something good to happen."
Roddick wants to make up ground at Wimbledon after his claycourt season ended abruptly with an ankle injury. He will also be aiming to end a 10-slam drought for the U.S. men.
Having lifted the 2003 U.S. Open title just two months after Federer's debut grand slam success at Wimbledon, Roddick had been expected to challenge the Swiss for many of the top awards.
While Federer's trophy cabinet now displays seven grand slam prizes, Roddick has failed to add any major silverware to his collection.
The lopsided nature of their rivalry has irked Roddick.
"It's tough knowing that you're a better player than you were two or three years ago but not having a lot to show for it," said the world number five, who has beaten Federer just once in 11 meetings.
"It's not fun losing in a grand slam final, especially in a tournament that you just want to win so bad. Just not being able to match somebody, it's frustrating.
"I think I've proven over the last three years that I probably am the second best grasscourt player.
"Roger's the measuring stick ... I don't know many people in history who would beat him. I just hope he gets bored or something."
Since Federer is unlikely to get bored of winning anytime soon, Roddick knows he will have to rely on his own strengths.
He adopted the right approach for a set and a half in the 2004 final when his frenzied attack put a spanner in Federer's usually impeccable timing. But the world number one's mesmeric skills eventually doused Roddick's fireworks.
That was the last time the American has even taken a set off the Swiss.
Considering he has not won a title this year, Roddick knows he will have his work cut out if he is to become the first American man to hold aloft the famous gold cup since Pete Sampras in 2000.
"I would give anything to win Wimbledon," declared Roddick, who has a 37-4 record on the slick surface since 2003.