Roddick determined to be upbeat about 2005
When Andy Roddick blasted his way to the US Open title in 2003 at the age of 21, it looked as if the world was at his feet.
But despite finishing 2004 as the world number two, having won four titles and led the United States to their first Davis Cup final since 1997, the American goes into next week's Australian Open knowing he has a mountain to climb if he is to win his second grand slam title.
Roddick reached his first Wimbledon final last year, taking the first set off Roger Federer before losing in four sets.
While the Swiss romped to three of the four grand slam titles, Roddick ended his year on a sour note when he lost to Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-finals of the Masters Cup and saw his hopes of Davis Cup glory ruined by Spain.
The American ended his 18-month spell with coach Brad Gilbert in December and, after a period of recuperation, says he is ready to hit top form at the year's first grand slam event, which begins in Melbourne on Monday.
"I am pretty excited about 2005," said Roddick, tuning up for the Open at the Kooyong Classic alongside Federer, Andre Agassi and Tim Henman.
"I feel good out there and feel like I'm hitting the ball pretty well."