Roddick ready for first action since Wimbledon

August 4, 2009 07:50 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Andy Roddick is healthy and ready for his first match since losing the Wimbledon final.

Roddick, who hasn’t played since being beaten by Roger Federer on July 5, said Monday he is recovered from the right hip flexor he sustained in that championship match at Wimbledon. Roddick is the top-seeded player in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic and has won the event three times.

He was originally scheduled to begin play Tuesday after an opening-round bye, but his start was pushed back to Wednesday. Defending champion Juan Martin del Potro is the No. 2 seed.

“Physically I feel great,” Roddick said. “I didn’t want to make the error of coming back until I felt physically prepared to play in an event.”

Lleyton Hewitt, who won this tournament in 2004, advanced with a 7-5, 6-2 victory against 20-year-old Donald Young. Hewitt will face No. 15 seed Dudi Sela in the second round.

Young battled Hewitt through a first set that featured five service breaks before Hewitt held serve in the deciding game. Hewitt then took the final three games of the second set for the win.

“We both seemed to return serve pretty well out there,” Hewitt said. “We both didn’t serve great, either, so that made life for the returner easier.”

Hewitt had not played since losing to Roddick in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.

“It’s always hard after a few weeks off,” Hewitt said. “It’s nice to get through in straight sets.”

Mikhail Youzhny opened the first full day of play with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Robert Kendrick. Youzhny will face fifth-seeded Robin Soderling in the second round. Qualifier Somdev Devvarman, a two-time NCAA champion from the University of Virginia, advanced to the second round with a 6-0, 7-6 (6) victory over Yuichi Sugita.

Roddick injured his hip when he fell in the fourth set against Federer. He went on to play for another 1 1/2 hours before losing 16-14 in the longest fifth set in Grand Slam final history, a match that is still on Roddick’s mind.

“Heartbreaking,” Roddick said. “But at the same time, not a lot of people get a chance to play for that title and be a part of something like that, so that part of it is never lost on me. Ten seconds after the final, I still realized it’s a pretty special thing.”

Roddick said the hip didn’t bother him in the final—“Adrenaline does a lot for you”—but he compared the feeling in the days after to falling on a rock. He said he doesn’t expect any lingering problems.

Last year, Roddick was upset in the quarterfinals of this tournament. He is hoping this year the Legg Mason puts him in position to replicate his Wimbledon performance at the US Open, which will be played Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in New York. However, the extended layoff could mean it will take a few times out before he is fully back up to speed.

“This is the start of the process toward the US Open,” Roddick said. “I’d love to get off to a great start, but I think it would be presumptuous of me to expect that in my first match in over a month. That being said, if I can get through one or two matches then maybe we can get it going.”

In other results Monday, Yen-Hsun Lu defeated Michael Russell 4-6, 6-1, 7-5; Philipp Petzschner won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Teimuraz Gabashvili; Frank Dancevic beat Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-3; Marc Gicquel won 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 against Jerzy Janowicz, and Alejandro Falla advanced with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Jesse Witten.

In the final matches of the night, John Isner defeated Andrey Golubev 7-6 (8), 6-3 and Igor Kunitsyn beat Frederico Gil 7-6 (1), 6-4.