Roddick works for his day of atonement with Federer
MELBOURNE (AFP) - Andy Roddick has been brutally honest about his one-sided rivalry with Roger Federer as the leading players in men's tennis try to figure out a way of bringing the world No.1 back to the field.
The power-serving American has come up short three times in Grand Slam finals since his victory in the 2003 US Open, mainly down to his inability to get past the considerable roadblock that is Federer.
The brash-talking Roddick goes into the 2008 season on the end of a miserable 1-15 record to the Swiss, stretching over six years.
It was at the last Australian Open when Roddick, with new coach Jimmy Connors in his corner, was expected to close the gap on the maestro only to come off an abject 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 semi-final loss in just 1hr 23 min.
Roddick was candid in his disappointment at the very public execution.
"It was frustrating. You know, it was miserable. It sucked. It was terrible," he told his post-match press conference.
Not much has changed since then.
Roddick tested Federer in the quarter-finals of the US Open, but the result was the same, a 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 loss.
But he refuses to throw in the towel as he comes to Australia, looking to improve on his best of three semi-final appearances in Melbourne.
"Well, it seems like most times we play he's on top of his game, which is a little annoying," Roddick said.
"I guess I just have to figure out, what about my game brings out the best in him and try to adjust.
"You see some of the guys who beat him are quick, (David) Nalbandian types who can run a little bit more. Unfortunately, that's not my strength.
"You kind of have to go with what you're good at, try to make adjustments.
"I promise you this isn't for lack of thought or lack of conversation or lack of work.
"My answer probably gets redundant to this question. You get up, you work, you try to think your way through it, hope for that day. There's not much more you can do.
"I'm certainly not going to quit or feel sorry for myself. That is not going to happen."
Roddick will just rely on what he does well, serve big and be aggressive and hope that Federer has a rare off-day if they meet again here.
America's top player finished in the top-10 for the sixth straight season and led the United States to its first Davis Cup title since 1995 against Russia last month.
Roddick dismisses talk that he has not improved his net game, having realised he cannot match Federer from the baseline.
"I've become a better net player. There's not a doubt about that," Roddick said.
"Credit to Roger for putting me in tough situations. It is tough against him. But I can honestly go home and say I haven't left anything on the table as far as work."
Andy... that's why I like him.