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NEW YORK (AP) — Andy Roddick’s former coach, Jimmy Connors, says that for the American to win another Grand Slam title, “he’s going to have to come up with something spectacular, and I don’t know if he can do that now.”
The 28-year-old Roddick won the U.S. Open in 2003 and played in four major finals from 2004-09, but has fallen to No. 10 in the rankings. Connors coached Roddick for two years before resigning in 2008.
“I think for him to win one, he’d have to come up with something very, very special now,” Connors said on a conference call Tuesday to promote next month’s World TeamTennis match in New York against John McEnroe. “The other guys have kind of gotten on to him a bit. The big serve seems to be coming back a lot more, and the guys are getting the ball in play. They’ve figured out a way. Because all the guys have big serves now, and some of them are even bigger than his.”
Roddick pulled out of the French Open with a right shoulder injury. At the time, he was mired in a four-match losing streak in singles dating to mid-March.
Roddick came back to reach the semifinals at Queen’s Club, losing in straight sets to Andy Murray.
“He certainly has the weapons,” Connors said. “I think he’s lost a bit of confidence.”
Roddick now heads into Wimbledon, where he has lost in the final three times to Roger Federer, most recently in a marathon five-set match two years ago.
“Grass is certainly a different animal to where things can happen in a hurry with his serve and his game,” Connors said. “It might fit him a little bit. But he’s not 23, 24 years old anymore.”
Connors, who won eight Grand Slam singles titles as a player in the 1970s and ’80s, recalled how it became harder to maintain his focus as he got older. He noted that Roddick got married in 2009.
“There’s other things on his mind probably that are taking up space,” Connors said. “Tennis is a 365-day-a-year job. If you’re not willing to put in that time and make that happen over the course of that year, other things creep in there, they take your mind off your business, and all of a sudden tennis is not the most important thing.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.