Roddick down and out Down Under at Australian Open

By John Pye

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Williams won the Australian Open in 2009 and 2010, but didn't defend her title in 2011 because she was injured.

No. 2 Petra Kvitova moved into the third round with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win over Carla Suarez Navarro. Maria Sharapova, one of the three former champions in the women's draw, routed U.S. qualifier Jamie Hampton 6-0, 6-1. No. 7 Vera Zvonareva, a two-time semifinalist at Melbourne Park, No. 9 Marion Bartoli and No. 21 Ana Ivanovic all advanced.

For Roddick, this was his earliest Australian Open exit since he first entered in 2002. By not defending points he won at the start of last season, he'll fall in the rankings. He already dropped to No. 14 last year, losing his spot as the top American, after an injury-interrupted season.

For a player who hasn't been able to add another Grand Slam singles title since his only major victory at the 2003 U.S. Open, Roddick acknowledges the physical and mentally toll.

He had treatment every day in the offseason to get prepared for 2012. He entered mixed doubles at the Australian Open with Williams with the idea of competing at the London Olympics. Mixed doubles is off for now, as he concentrates on returning at San Jose, Calif., next month.

Hewitt is still recovering from left foot surgery last year, which restricted him to 20 tour matches and resulted in his ranking plummeting to No. 187.

He won the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002, but hasn't been back to a Grand Slam final since losing back-to-back in the 2004 U.S. Open and 2005 Australian Open. But he keeps believing he can win. And he paid tribute to Roddick for having the same attitude.

"He's similar to me," he said. "He plays with his heart on his sleeve, has that never-say-die attitude as well. It's never easy to play injured or to pull out of a match. It's not a good feeling."

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