American veteran Andy Roddick was forced out of his much-anticipated second round match against Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open Thursday night due to a hamstring injury.
Roddick retired from the match down 3-6, 6-3 , 6-4 with a right hamstring tendon injury he said he first injured training in December.
Roddick had won the first set but after a minor slip early in the second set for which he received treatment, the 29-year-old could never regain form in the match.
A frustrated Roddick said he hopes to be back to full health in three weeks for San Jose. The injury will also prevent Roddick from playing mixed doubles with Serena Williams.
It was also just the fourth time Roddick’s retired from a Grand Slam match.
Hewitt, who evens his career series with Roddick at 7-7, moves on to face 21-year-old Canadian Milos Raonic on Saturday in the third round.
Q. Do you want to tell us what happened out there.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, hamstring tendon. So I could probably jog in place or jog fine, but it’s extension, getting anywhere above 60%, 70% extension is not really happening right now.
Q. Was it moving both ways or just your left that was hurting you the most?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it was just a matter of, you know, like I said, when you got to full extension. I could probably hit standing still, you know, small steps and stuff. But it’s a matter of pushing anything really explosive.
Q. Was this at all related to the injury you had after Wimbledon last summer?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. Why did you play on? Was that because of the occasion, because of the crowd? Did you feel you wanted to see how bad it was?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably all that. You know, you don’t really have much time for clarity in that situation. I wanted to see what I could do.
He’s a tough guy to play. You can try to ham and egg it against a lot of guys. But he’s really intelligent. He knew what was going on.
Then you’re out there and you’re wondering, listen, even if this goes your way, you’re not going to play in two days. So it’s a miserable, terrible thing being out there compromised like that. It really sucks.
Q. What made you decide to call it?
ANDY RODDICK: They were pretty forthright the first time we treated it. They said it is what it is. They told me what it was. There’s not much to be done right now for it besides time, and unfortunately that’s not something that we have.
They didn’t think stopping was a bad idea.
Q. Your decision to stop, can you tell us why you made that decision then?
ANDY RODDICK: One, I was hitting the ball as well as I could from a compromised position and still felt like I was just hanging on. I don’t know that it would have been smart to do that for two more sets.
And if somehow you pull a rabbit out of the hat, I don’t think you play in two days. If I’m looking at timelines, I think there’s three weeks or so before I have to play again. I like those timelines a lot more than two days.
Q. Did the doctor advise you could have damaged it further?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. I mean, it wasn’t getting better. I mean, it was getting worse as you went on. I mean, anytime you have something like that, there’s always an element of risk, especially something that’s like a groin or a hamstring that has a high likelihood of recurrence.
Q. Did it actually happen in the fall?
ANDY RODDICK: I did it a bit while training in December, reaggravated it then. I don’t know if I just hyperextended it then or whatever. But I felt it then.
Q. Injuries are something you can’t control. Are you feeling a little snake bitten from the last couple years?
ANDY RODDICK: It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging. You know, your sensible mind says to have a sense of perspective. You still have it pretty good.
The competitor in you feels terrible and wants to break stuff. I can’t really complain. I had 10 years pretty much of a clean slate. That’s a lot more than most people get. The last, you know, two years has been pretty tough.
It’s tough physically. It’s as tough mentally, though. It’s hard.
Q. You’re saying three weeks. That means no Davis Cup, and you’re thinking San Jose?
ANDY RODDICK: That’s what I’m hoping, yeah.
Q. Did you have any thoughts of playing Davis Cup anyways?
ANDY RODDICK: I probably wasn’t going to play.
Q. Do you think that perhaps there should be a longer look in the sport in general at the number of hard court events that are played throughout the year? It’s only happened to you in the last couple of years. But for the future benefit of the sport, we have to look at surfaces, technology. There have been so many advances, but in those advances there have been so many injuries, mental and physical.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, yes and no. I mean, you know, it’s tough ’cause that’s the neutral surface. You know, it’s the one that, all things being even, everyone could probably play well on.
I think if you look at heavy balls and slower courts, I think that might have a little bit more to do with wear and tear. I just don’t see how you’re going to get away from hard courts.
Q. Injuries like what you might have makes you think about your career in the context of where you might be at. Are you having those thoughts?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t think it’s coincidental that all of a sudden in the last year and a half or two years that I’m getting hurt more. It’s just frustrating because you can do all the right things and it might not matter. I got treatment pretty much every single day during the offseason.
So, yeah, yes.
Q. Just to clarify, left or right?
ANDY RODDICK: Right.
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