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Roddick in no rush to take to clay

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Originally published on: 05/04/12 10:42

Andy Roddick will delay his first clay-court appearance of the season until he feels happy with his fitness. The 29-year-old American, who this week confirmed his particpation in the AEGON Championships grass-court event at Queen’s Club in June, has had a difficult year in terms of his fitness and wants to be in the best possible shape for a busy summer. He is not expected to play again before next month’s Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid.

Roddick was encouraged by his victory over Roger Federer in last week’s Masters 1000 tournament in Miami, where he lost to Juan Monaco in the next round, but says his immediate aims now are “getting in shape, dropping weight, and building strength”.

The world No.29 explained: “You can’t lie to your body. It’s been a tough three or four-month start [to the season]. When I first got hurt in Australia, they said it would be six to eight weeks, and I played San Jose in three.”

Although still short of peak fitness, Roddick is at least happy that he has been able to compete. “I’d rather this scenario than being hurt and not knowing about the tennis. My tennis has felt a lot better. There was a lot of progress. Now it’s a matter of I feel good enough, where I feel like I can put in the work away from the court and get my legs back under me as far as strength and fitness.”

Roddick is not at his best on clay – he has never gone beyond the fourth round at Roland Garros – but wants to be in good shape in time for the grass and hard-court seasons later in the summer. “Right now my priority is I feel like there is a little bit of a window to get right,” he said. “I’m playing a very, very heavy summer schedule from Queen’s, Wimbledon, pretty much straight through the US Open. I’ll go [on clay] when I feel fit and ready. I’m certainly going to get some [matches] in before the French, that’s for sure.”

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