Andy Roddick sat on a bleacher on Court 3 at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, all ready for his 10 a.m. practice Monday, and said, "I just want to feel like a tennis player again."
It was a cry from the heart from this whole-hearted performer who rarely has been given proper credit for his service to America's Davis Cup cause and his back-breaking effort of finishing in the world's top 10 every year from 2002-10.
It didn't quite break his back but it beat up his muscular frame to such an extent that 2011 turned into a relentless struggle to get fit and stay fit. As a result he has played only eight matches since October and misses the routine of constant tournament play.
Once he got on court for practice Monday, he seemed to be hitting the ball very well against the talented German Philipp Kohlschreiber as coach Larry Stefanki watched from the sideline but that is not the same thing as playing matches. He is scheduled to meet another German, Philipp Petzschne...