Andy Roddick won his opening match at Wimbledon a month after he was ousted in the first round of the French Open.
The 29-year-old right-hander beat Britain’s Jamie Baker, 7- 6 (7-1), 6-4, 7-5 in a match played over two days because of rain delays. Roddick, a three-time finalist at the All England Club, faces Germany’s Bjorn Phau in the second round today.
“The whole reason you play is to try to win something,” the 30th-seeded Roddick said. “Winning is fun; losing sucks.”
Roddick entered a grass-court event in Eastbourne, England, last week on a wild card after an unprecedented six-match losing streak that included an opening-round loss in Paris to France’s Nicolas Mahut.
Roddick won the Eastbourne tournament to tie 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer’s streak of taking at least one title in 12 straight seasons. His semifinal victory also made him the 19th player to reach 600 wins on the men’s tour.
Also today, American Mardy Fish, the 10th seed, takes on Britain’s James Ward, while Sam Querrey plays Canada’s Milos Raonic. Four-time singles champion Serena Williams meets Hungary’s Melina Czink and Andy Murray of Britain faces Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic. Rafael Nadal, the second seed from Spain, plays Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
Asking the organizer of the Aegon International at Eastbourne for a wild card “was a desperate decision but a necessary one,” Roddick said.
“It was kind of ‘Let’s try to get some matches’ and we got a lot of matches,” Roddick said. “It went from not having won anything to riding out a title pretty convincingly. It was what I needed.”
Roddick, the last American man to win a major tennis tournament at the 2003 U.S. Open, lost to Federer in the final at Wimbledon in 2004, 2005 and 2009. He hasn’t been past the quarterfinals at one of the sport’s four major tournaments since, making him all the more appreciative of his victory in Eastbourne.
“Last week was really nice because you don’t know when they stop coming,” he said. “You have these little milestones, like 600 wins, which are not possible when you’re young. Those things are nice.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh at Wimbledon through the London sports desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.