By Blair Henley
After winning his 30th career title in Memphis on Sunday in a marathon match against up-and-comer Milos Raonic, world No. 8 Andy Roddick announced this afternoon that he is pulling out of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships due to a flu-like illness.
It’s been nine years since Roddick’s last appearance at the South Florida tournament where he made his professional debut in 2000.
“I was really looking forward to coming back,” he said. “South Florida has always supported me very much.”
An ill-looking Roddick explained that he woke up yesterday feeling like he got “hit by a bus.” He managed to outlast Raonic 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 that afternoon, but was clearly feeling the effects today.
“I woke up this morning and my bed was soaking wet with sweat,” he said. “I’m going on antibiotics.”
Roddick’s sickness could deal a significant blow to the United States’ Davis Cup effort in Santiago, Chile March 4-6. Though he’s still planning to play, he acknowledged that he has no idea how he’ll feel in the coming weeks.
“I can’t really work my inner Miss Cleo,” he joked, referencing the now-infamous T.V. psychic.
Roddick, who is second only to John McEnroe in Davis Cup singles wins, would be returning to the U.S. team for the first time since 2009. He said he’s looking forward to playing for newly appointed captain, Jim Courier.
“He’s been very involved,” Roddick said of Courier. “I don’t think there have been four of five days that have gone by that I haven’t been in contact with him.”
The press conference announcing Roddick’s withdrawal nearly overshadowed Sam Querrey’s much-needed 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win over Germany’s Dustin Brown.
As they took the court this afternoon, it was easy to wonder which of the two might win in a slam-dunk contest. At 6’6” and 6’5” respectively, Querrey and Brown both took advantage of their booming serves on a very windy afternoon.
Brown, nicknamed “Dreddy” thanks to his long dreadlocked hair, didn’t seem fazed after he lost the first set in 20 minutes. When Querrey broke him to go up 2-0 in the second set, it seemed the match would be over in under an hour.
But Brown, ranked 103rd, used every shot in his arsenal, including a barrage of drop shots, to work his way back into the match before the 23-year-old American closed it out in the third.
Querrey has had a rough start to the year, losing in the first round of his first three tournaments of 2011. Though he picked up two wins in Memphis last week before falling in the quarters to Mardy Fish, it’s safe to say this was a must-win for the world No. 22.
Next up, Querrey will face the winner of American qualifier Ryan Sweeting and Igor Andreev of Russia.