Roddick says it's hard to carry US hopes
Updated: 2011-01-25 07:53
Andy Roddick of the U.S. reacts during his match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne in this January 23, 2011 file photo.
MELBOURNE - Andy Roddick admitted it was tough to carry the hopes of an expectant nation after his latest failure to break the United States' longest-ever men's Grand Slam drought.
Roddick was despondent after only his second straight-sets loss at the Australian Open against Stanislas Wawrinka, missing the quarterfinals. Another Swiss, Roger Federer, blanked him in the 2009 semis.
The 28-year-old Texan won his first and only major - and the last for an American man - at the 2003 US Open, a yawning gap for a country whose previous longest dry spell was five years in the 1980s.
"It's tough. I remember last summer when I was catching all the heat for not having an American guy in the top 10 for the first time in 15 years," Roddick said.
"Didn't really make sense to me that I was the one taking heat when I was the only guy that had been there for the past six years.
"I didn't know how I was catching it for that one. If I hadn't been there, it would have been for the last whatever it was. So it's a responsibility that has great benefits, and it's hard sometimes as well."
Roddick's defeat leaves the Australian Open without any US men or women quarterfinalists for the first time since the draw changed to 128 in 1987. It is the first Grand Slam with no US quarterfinalist since the 2008 French Open.
On the men's side, American No 2 Mardy Fish went out in the second round, while 18th seed Sam Querrey was shocked by Lukasz Kubot in his opener and qualifier Ryan Sweeting ran into Rafael Nadal in his second match.
"You know the benefits (of being the US No 1) for me have far outweighed the downside of it," Roddick said.
(China Daily 01/25/2011 page24)
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