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Roddick wants to be talk of the tennis town

Monday, January 19, 2009 , Posted by Linda at 11:19 AM

MELBOURNE – For Andy Roddick, there's only one thing worse than being talked about -- not being talked about.

The former world number one admitted he was desperate to "get back into the conversation" by returning to the top of men's tennis.

Roddick wants to be talk of the tennis town Andy Roddick of the US during his match against Bjorn Rehnquist of Sweden at the Australian Open

The American, seeking his first Grand Slam title since 2003, demolished Swedish qualifier Bjorn Rehnquist 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the Australian Open's second round on Monday.

He admitted he did not deserve to make headlines like the 'Big Four' of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

"Not until I earn my spot back. They absolutely deserve to be the four that get talked about right now," he said.

"My results last year, especially in Slams, don't warrant me being talked about.

"The thing about sports is no one really remembers yesterday, and that's fair. You have to go out and prove yourself on a daily basis. I have no problem with that."

Roddick, 27, won the 2003 US Open and was crowned number one the same year. He remains confident he can still win a Grand Slam after three semi-final appearances here.

"Well, I have," he said, when asked if he could still beat the top players regularly.

"Last year was an exciting start to the year, and then I kind of plateaued and felt like I was playing catch up the rest of the year after I was out for a little bit."

The seventh seed braved scorching temperatures at Rod Laver Arena as he raced through the first set and then saw off patchy resistance to progress in just 105 minutes.

Roddick traded on his powerful serve with nine aces in the match against the frustrated Rehnquist, who smashed his racquet in anger as he went a break down early in the third.

With the outcome hardly in doubt, the American converted his second match point as Rehnquist dished up his 37th unforced error with a backhand into the net.

Roddick, the world number eight, was shocked in last year's third round by Philipp Kohlschreiber after reaching the semi-finals in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

He faces a possible third-round re-match with the German, with second seed Federer and third-ranked Djokovic the main threats in his half of the draw.

"I feel like last year was disappointing for me. A good year is obviously winning a big tournament and trying to get back into the conversation," he said.

"I guess anything between the two would be okay."

Last year was Roddick's worst Australian Open result since his second round exit on debut in 2002.

He admitted feeling the heat in his opening match but fiercely rejected a journalist's suggestion that he lacked energy.

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