Roddick healthy to prepare for US Open

July 22, 2008 10:44 AM

By the Associated Press

Andy Roddick 225
Andy Roddick’s right shoulder feels healthier than it has in months, just in time for him to begin preparing for the US Open.

Roddick is in the field at the Rogers Cup, which begins Monday in Toronto, part of the Olympus US Open Series of hard-court tournaments leading up to the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.

He hasn’t played a match since losing to Janko Tipsarevic in the second round at Wimbledon on June 26. Roddick missed the French Open because of the bothersome shoulder.

“I feel good. I’ve been on the court a lot the last couple of weeks and I haven’t had to censor my practices at all,” he said in a conference call with reporters Sunday night. “I’ve been able to go as long as I want, as hard as I want, which is a good thing. I’m not short of practice, which is really good.”

He said it’s the best he’s felt since helping the United States beat France in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in April.

Roddick won the 2003 US Open and finished that season ranked No. 1. He is currently No. 6 -- and still in search of a second major championship.

Aiming to perform well at this year’s US Open, which begins Aug. 25, he decided to skip the Beijing Olympics to concentrate on his hard-court game and avoid the long trip.

“Let me first say that it was probably one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my career. You normally don’t have to choose between two huge events,” Roddick said.

“My decision had nothing to do with lack of respect for the Olympics or anything like that. I completely am the biggest fan of it, and I’ll be a huge fan watching it from home. It had to do more with, at the end of my career, I want to have been making runs in Slams.”

Asked how important for him it would be to beat No. 1 Roger Federer, No. 2 Rafael Nadal or No. 3 Novak Djokovic at a Grand Slam tournament, Roddick said: “I mean, that’s kind of the next step. I feel like I had a lot of momentum going through April of this year, then kind of had a little bit of hard luck with the injury and stuff.

“I kind of almost feel like I’m starting again, you know?” he continued. “I’m starting a new season because I haven’t played that much.”