For Andy Roddick, the annual return to Key Biscayne stirs up plenty of good memories.
He came to the tournament site as a school student, bused in with hundreds of other kids for clinics. Seven years ago, at age 18, he nearly decapitated Pete Sampras with a 136-mph (219-kph) serve en route to a third-round upset. In 2004 he won the title.
"I have a little bit of history here," Roddick said on Thursday.
He hopes to make more with a title run at this year's Sony Ericsson Open. Roddick plays his opening match tomorrow against Serbian qualifier Viktor Troicki.
The timing might be right for a repeat of 2004. Roddick is off to a good start this year -- he's one of five players with two ATP titles -- while nemesis Roger Federer has yet to reach a final.
With the top-ranked Federer off his game, does that create an opportunity for Roddick? They could meet in the quarterfinals.
"I've got to get there, so it's not even relevant for me right now," said Roddick, who is 1-15 against Federer.
"I'm sure Roger would tell you he's probably not playing his best right now. That being said, I think Roger's earned the right for us to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"No matter how much everyone's creating questions, he's still capable of coming out and winning this tennis tournament."
Roddick said he's pleased with his year so far, aside from a third-round loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Australian Open.