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Roddick continues push for change

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Originally published on: 11/10/11 10:26

One of the more vocal characters in the players’ fight to reduce their punishing schedules, Andy Roddick remains confident the players will meet to discuss their grievances during the Shanghai Rolex Masters this week.

The absence of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who reached the final in Shanghai last year, wont deter the former US Open champion.

“Obviously you need the top players involved,” said Roddick, adding that the world No.1 and 16-time Grand Slam champion are only “a phone call away.”

Not shy to make his views known at this year’s US Open, the Nebraska-native believes the players should keep up the pressure on the game’s authorities, rather than grumble in the background.

“I don’t think we’re storming offices, but I think the sentiment is still there,” he said. “We need to be smart about it and take our time and make sure that it’s well thought out and not be kind of reactionary. But, you know, there is a discussion going on.

“You have to have a voice in order to get it accomplished,” he added. “Whatever our individual interests are and what we want changed, nothing is going to happen unless we’re on the same page.”

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal expressed similar views during the US Open about the potential of a player meeting in Shanghai, and are set to be likely allies for Roddick.

Murray has had a particularly busy schedule of late, albeit a winning one, triumphing in 21 of his 22 matches and winning back-to-back tournaments in a run that began at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Nadal reached back-to-back finals at the US Open and in Tokyo, with a trip home to Spain for the Davis Cup sandwiched in between.

As for Djokovic and Federer, who both withdrew from Shanghai this week, Roddick believes their absence illustrates a case in point.

“They don’t get their money this week,” he said. “Obviously if they were feeling well and they weren’t worn down then they would be here. We’re not getting away with anything by pulling out of tournaments. I feel like that’s the way it’s presented sometimes. That’s just not the case.”

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