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Grass is always greener for Roddick

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Originally published on: 28/05/12 00:00

Andy Roddick is used to making an early exit from the French Open, but the former world No.1 was bitterly disappointed by his first-round defeat to Nicolas Mahut, who had won only one match in his nine previous appearances at the tournament.

“I move just horrendously out here,” Roddick said afterwards. “My first step is just so bad on this stuff. I feel like I'm always shuffling or hopping or not stopping or something. So my footwork on this stuff now is just really bad.”

He added: “Just from the first ball to get set I just feel like I get exposed too easily out here. I feel like I'm not set on most shots. If you're not set, it's tough to get much of a flow going. When you don't have much of a flow going, it lends itself to sporadic play. It all adds up. You can't fake it out here. These are the best tournaments in the world. It's tough to lie out here. My footwork on this stuff is really, really bad.”

Roddick has never gone beyond the fourth round in 10 visits to the French Open, but this was his first defeat in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament for five years. The last time he went out this early was also at the French Open, against Russia’s Igor Andreev. A hamstring injury hampered the American’s preparations for Paris this year and he went into the tournament with only three matches under his belt on the surface.

Having fallen to No.33 in the world rankings, Roddick could even be in danger of not being seeded at Wimbledon. His next tournament will be on grass in the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club.

At least he should feel more comfortable the next time he sets foot on a court. “There are a lot of guys who know how to play on clay and it's just second nature to them,” Roddick said. “I feel that way on grass, so hopefully I can turn it around there.”

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