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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 8, 2010

Tennis: Roddick withdraws from Davis Cup in 2010

AP Sports Writer

BRISBANE, Australia — Andy Roddick won’t play Davis Cup in 2010, hoping to avoid more knee problems by cutting down on the number of times he changes court surfaces.

“I’m not playing Davis Cup this year,” Roddick said Friday after beating Richard Gasquet of France in the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International. “I’m not retiring from Davis Cup.”
The 27-year-old Roddick injured his left knee last October, and the Australian Open warmup in Brisbane is his first tournament back. Trainers have told him that his knee would be in better shape if he didn’t shuttle between different types of courts.
“At this point, we felt it was smartest in terms of long-term health,” Roddick said. “It certainly wasn’t an easy decision.”
The United States is scheduled to play Serbia on March 5-7 on indoor clay in Belgrade.
The Web site tennis.com said James Blake had also withdrawn from the match in Serbia in a report quoting United States captain Patrick McEnroe.
Roddick has played 22 Davis Cup matches, including the 2007 final win over Russia, and is 31-11 in singles. He is ranked No. 7 but has been as high as No. 1, and has been the leading singles player for the United States for most of his Davis Cup career.
Roddick said he made himself unavailable for the Davis Cup season because he couldn’t commit to the best-of-five series in Serbia.
“I’m not going to be one of the guys who plays when it’s convenient, when it’s close to home and when it’s good for him health-wise,” he said. “My view has always been you decide at the beginning of the year if you’re going to go through everything or not.”
Roddick said McEnroe had accepted his decision.
“We’ll re-evaluate for next year,” Roddick said. “We’re open and honest and the lines of communications were never hazy. He’s been great through the whole process.”
Roddick went 6-0 in singles during the winning 2007 campaign — the United States’ first since 1995 — and lists that along with his 2003 U.S. Open title among his career highlights.
But he’s also eager to add to his one Grand Slam title.
Since 2003, he has reached the finals of four other majors, including last year’s epic loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon when he lost 16-14 in the fifth set.
His absence will create a void for the United States, which finished last year with only eight others in the top 100: Sam Querry (25), John Isner (34), Blake (44), Mardy Fish (55), Taylor Dent (76), Rajeev Ram (79), Michael Russell (83) and Robby Ginepri (100).
Citing a right hip flexor injury, Roddick pulled out of the quarterfinals in Croatia last July and the Americans lost 3-2 with Blake and Fish playing the opening singles matches.
Roddick said when he hurt his knee in Shanghai in October, he knew he’d have to cut the workload and would be doubtful in Davis Cup this season.
“I think when my knee was bad, I pretty much knew. But I was trying to hold on,” Roddick said. “Sometimes you have to listen to your body and do what’s smart even if it’s not an easy decision to make in the short term.”