Roddick banks on Wimbledon familiarity for Olympic bonus
LONDON - Whether it is the dip that trips him up as he walks on court or the veteran staff who have been there for ever, there are many things at Wimbledon to help Andy Roddick develop an Olympic relationship he has never had before.
The big-serving American has played at the Games once in Athens in 2004, but has a long-standing love affair with the grasscourt slam stretching back 11 years and three losing finals.
With his star beginning to wane, the 29-year-old will no longer among the favourites for a medal when the players return to south-west London to fight it out for supremacy for a second time in quick succession.
But having decided not to play in Beijing four years ago, saying he would rather concentrate on that year's U.S. Open, Roddick is excitedly anticipating a shot at Olympic glory.
"The Olympics is a one-off event every four years and it's not in the same place, so you don't develop a relationship with the Olympics," he told reporters after moving into the Wimbledon second round by beating Britain's Jamie Baker 7-6 6-4 7-5 on Wednesday.
"You don't go to the venue and recognise people and know where you're going.
"So I think it (this year) might be a little bit different...
"Even (dressing room attendants) Doug (Dickson) and Garry (Taylor) in the locker room, seeing those guys for the first time every year.
"I think they've been here since the '20s. Maybe not quite that long.
"When you walk out to Court One, there's this little dip. When you have grasscourt shoes on you trip on it every time, so I've tripped on it about 66 times throughout the years. That always reminds me that I'm back.
"Going over to Aorangi walking up to the practice. There's a million things."
As a Wimbledon veteran, there was something very familiar for Roddick about having to return a day after starting his first-round match to finish it off due to the drizzly weather that descended in the late evening and returned early afternoon on Wednesday.
Leading by a set and a break overnight, the number 30 seed was efficient if unspectacular in the way he dispatched the British wildcard to set up a second-round clash with Germany's Bjorn Phau.
"They tell you to go play, you go play," he said about the near 22 hour rain delay. "You can't really stress about what's out of your control. I've done it a million times.
"You just do it. It's not always perfect, but you just try to get through."