‘You don’t win the Australian Open by cutting short your work outs.’ says Andy.

It is undoubtedly that sort of attitude and determination that has seen former World No. 1 Roddick succeed for so long at the top of the game. Despite suffering mononucleosis that set him back during the crunch stage of the season over the summer, Roddick still produced strong enough results to earn his place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the eighth straight year. And the Texan firmly believed that had he not been ill, after his blistering start to the season, he could have finished in the Top 3 or 4 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings.

With that in mind, Team Roddick is treating victory at the Australian Open as a realistic target for the American and as such, the hard work began in earnest as soon as Roddick returned from London. “The planning and talking about it started the day that the season ended,” confirmed Roddick’s physio, Doug Spreen. “At that point he and Larry [Stefanki] had a chance to sit down and talk and go over a few things. Within a few days of getting back to Austin he was already starting to do some conditioning work and strength training, so it started up pretty quick.” After the illness and injury problems of 2010, Spreen confirmed Roddick’s primary goal for the off season was to get healthy. “The goal coming out of December is that when you go down to Australia you want to feel good. The goal is to find a happy medium where you continue to do a lot of work to get yourself in shape, but at the same time you want to show up in Australia feeling healthy and hopefully a little bit rejuvenated.”

With Roddick’s late finish to the season there has not been much time to add specifics to his game. However, Hooten has been focusing on improving the American’s first step to chasing balls on the court, achieved by increasing Roddick’s lean muscle tissue and taking away his hesitation by making him as fit and supple as possible. “With the drills we’re doing lots of ply metric jumps, we do a lot of medicine ball throws for power and speed,” he explained. With the hard work done, Roddick will travel to Australia as a four-time former semi-finalist in Melbourne, with a wealth of major experience, and the confidence of feeling fit, healthy and strong. He should not be discounted as a serious contender.


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