MELBOURNE PARK, Australia -In what was built up as a battle between veterans, turned out to be a disappointment as American Andy Roddick was forced to retire from his second round match at the Australian Open due to a right hamstring injury on Thursday night. Lleyton Hewitt was up 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, when Roddick called it quits.
“One, I was hitting the ball as well as I could from a compromised position and still felt like I was just hanging on,”said Roddick, “I don’t know that it would have been smart to do that for two more sets.
“And if somehow you pull a rabbit out of the hat, I don’t think you play in two days. If I’m looking at timelines, I think there’s three weeks or so before I have to play again. I like those timelines a lot more than two days.”
“It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging. You know, your sensible mind says to have a sense of perspective. You still have it pretty good.
“The competitor in you feels terrible and wants to break stuff. I can’t really complain. I had 10 years pretty much of a clean slate. That’s a lot more than most people get. The last, you know, two years has been pretty tough.
“It’s tough physically. It’s as tough mentally, though. It’s hard.”
Hewitt: “After I broke serve in the second set, the next game I hit a pretty good shot to get up 30‑15. Sort of went back in behind him. He sort of pulled up a little bit lame after that.”So after we went on, I didn’t notice anything. I didn’t hear him call for the trainer straightaway while the game was still going. Obviously he called for the trainer at the change of ends.
“But it’s hard playing. Mentally, it was one of my better performances tonight throughout my career. To keep your mind ticking over the whole time isn’t easy. It would have been a lot easier if you weren’t playing a big server, he could keep holding his serve out there because there was obviously nothing wrong with his shoulder.
“Yeah, that was hard. That’s probably the biggest positive to take out of tonight.
Hewitt advances to the third round and keeps Australian hopes alive. He’ll take on young Canadian Milos Raonic.
“Andy’s a great competitor,” said Hewitt. ” He always has been. He’s similar to me. He plays with his heart on his sleeve out there on the court. He has that never‑say‑die attitude as well. It’s never easy to play injured or to pull out of a match. It’s not a good feeling.”
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News