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Can Roddick win another Major?
He's in Brisbane now and the local media are running this story about him and his views on our Aussie hero Lleyton Hewitt:
American drawcard Andy Roddick says Lleyton Hewitt is anything but a spent force as both former world No.1s strive to rebound from disheartening ends to 2010.
A refreshed and renewed Roddick officially began preparations from next month's Australian Open with an hour-long hit at Pat Rafter Arena on Wednesday, where next week he'll attempt to defend his Brisbane International title.
At the same time, Hewitt will make his long-awaited comeback from a broken hand by teaming with Alicia Molik in the Hopman Cup in Perth.
Hewitt's injury, sustained in Australia's gut-wrenching 3-2 Davis Cup world group play-off loss to Belgium in September, has seen the 29-year-old drop to 54th on the world rankings after starting the year at No.22.
But Roddick firmly believes Hewitt still has what it takes and can again return to the top-10, so long as his body holds up.
``Lleyton is always a champ,'' the Texan said.
``With him it's health at this point.
``There's no question whenever he's been able to put together six, seven, eight healthy months he's put together some goods results.
``The last two years probably haven't been the best of his career so far, but if he's healthy and motivated he knows how to win tennis matches.
``Those intangibles are something that only a few guys have and he certainly has them.''
Like Hewitt, Roddick has plenty to prove to himself after an illness-wrecked season which originally promised much after title wins in Brisbane and Miami.
The world No.8 crashed out early in the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open but a case of the energy-sapping disease mononucleosis explained his loss of form.
``For me, it's just a matter of getting right, getting healthy -- I battled sickness for a big part of last year and from there I just felt like I was playing catch-up,'' he said.
``You train hard and you get hurt in training coming back. You don't train you rest and you try and come back and your body is not right and it shows.
``I think it's the first time I've felt right since last May so when you are fit it takes a lot of the mental pressure off.
``You feel like you can play any way you want so I feel fresh and I feel enthused and ready.''
Having worked overtime in the off-season, Roddick felt Brisbane could again propel him up the rankings after beating Czech Radek Stepanek to win last year's final.
``I came in last year and hadn't been playing much so this was a really good springboard into the year for me,'' he said, adding it was the best preparation for Melbourne Park.
``I like being in the same country but also I like this event - my wife enjoys coming here so let's not pretend I make any decisions.''
He will start as the second seed behind world No.4 Swede Robin Soderling when the tournament starts on Sunday, but is pleased Rafter Arena has included Hawk-Eye for the first time after being a critic of its absence in 2010.
``It will keep me out of trouble,'' Roddick said.
Only if they are willing to change. A large reason players become worse as they reach their thirties - Their game is no longer a secret. The same old tricks will only work for so long. Roddick and Hewitt both need to find what other weapons they possess before anything good happens on their behalf.
Not only discover new weapons, but be OPEN to philosophical changes in the way they approach the game.
Hewitt is a great player, but getting older and 5'10", everyone knows he's gonna baseline bash with medium strokes and serves, no surprises. He's the "standard" of baselining, and very predictable.
Roddick might have more upside, being 3-4" taller and possessing a truly great serve. But his push forehand, his attacking CC tactics, just limits his ascendance into the top 9 right now. He needs to rethink his strategy, while still retaining his weapons.
Can Roddick win another major?
Personally I don't think Roddick has much chance of winning another Grand Slam, which is a pity as I'm a big fan of his. Since his Wimbledon 2009 final defeat vs Federer (which he was very close to winning) I can't remember him beating any of the Top-5 guys and his results at the majors have been disappointing.
However, don't feel too sorry for him - last year he still made almost $2 million on court (the rest off court), has won amost $20 million in on-court prize money and is married to an absolute babe - life is good for the A-Rod even if he does only finish with one slam.
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