Roddick chases Open title after Wimbledon heartbreaker

NEW YORK: Andy Roddick has bounced back from the heartbreak of an epic five-set loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final eight weeks ago to serve notice he will be a contender again at the US Open.

"You play the hand you are dealt," Roddick said.

"I don't think at any point that I sit around and feel sorry for myself. I feel pretty fortunate there have been great champions that you have to go through every era in tennis."

Roddick's 27th birthday came Sunday on the eve of the year's last Grand Slam tournament on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts where the American won his only Slam crown in 2003.

Roddick hopes to add another magic memory in two weeks.

"There was never a point where I was going to just lay down afterwards or not come back and play hard," Roddick said.

"I wish more than anything I had won that tournament but at the same time I'm still going to move on and keep going with the plan because I feel like it is working."

The fifth seed could meet Federer again in the US Open semi-finals, but even that rematch would likely lack the tension and drama of their Wimbledon final matchup, which Federer won to capture his record 15th career Slam title.

"It's always tough in tennis," Federer said. "There is always going to be a winner even though both have played great throughout the event.

"I've walked off tennis courts a loser many times. I wouldn't ask the other guy to feel sorry for me. Or the fans. It's just part of the game. Same thing here. I'm happy it was a great match. I think that's what we look back on."

Federer took the last set 16-14, a marathon that proved to be the longest fifth set in Grand Slam history. Roddick took a heartbreaking defeat but found that in the valiant effort he had touched something with those who watched it.

"I'm not sure what made people emotionally invested in it. Obviously I think it was a very high-level match. We were both trying our hardest but beyond that I think that's for (others) to decipher," Roddick said.

There were some low points in Roddick's recovery.

"For the first two or three weeks afterwards I think it changed daily but like anything, the more you distance yourself from it, you start remembering the better things as opposed to the most disappointing things," Roddick said.

"It was a very good event. I would have loved to have changed the last five minutes of it but you look forward to another opportunity."

Roddick joked that more people could relate to his failure than astonishing success such as that of Federer, but the US fireball server also admits the well-wishers played a major role in helping him overcome the defeat.

"The support I got from fans, from peers, from everybody, it was surprising in the best way possible and pretty humbling," Roddick said. "I was really surprised how many people watched it and were affected by it.

"To be honest, that really helped the process."

One person Roddick did not hear from was Federer, who said it was far too soon for him and Roddick to sit down and talk about the dramatic showdown.

"That's not stuff you do, really," Federer said.

"Maybe you do that in 25 years' time, play some exhibitions as old guys. You don't do that really like when it's still so fresh."

Since Wimbledon, Roddick has lost to Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in the Washington final and Toronto semi-finals and to countryman Sam Querrey in his first match at Cincinnati.

"I've been hitting the ball really well," Roddick said. "I had enough time to rest up a little bit and get ready to go again after Wimbledon.

"I feel fine."