Thursday February 16th, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A hobbled Andy Roddick walked away with a victory at the SAP Open on Wednesday by doing his best Kim Clijsters impersonation.

Roddick was down a set and on serve late in the second against 19-year-old American qualifier Denis Kudla when he sprained his right ankle. It was a frustrating moment for the 29-year-old, who was playing for the first time since retiring from his second-round match at the Australian Open with a hamstring injury.

But after getting the ankle taped and putting on a brace (why did he abandon those trademark braces in the first place?) Roddick, ironically, had a bit of pep in his step. He was fired up and playing with renewed conviction, putting pressure on Kudla to go for his shots. Roddick rallied from an early break down in the third and pulled out a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory. (See highlights in the above video starting at the 1:34 mark.)

Roddick, now dealing with a fresh injury, was understandably subdued in his post-match news conference. Here's what he had to say, on a variety of topics:

On the status of his hamstring injury: "It's not going to be perfect for a while. I don't think I'm going to get in the habit of a day-by-day analysis on how it's feeling. It always annoys me when people do that. It's good enough and I'm going to play on it."

On sustaining yet another injury: "Unfortunately, it's become all too familiar recently. I didn't want to stop, though. I'm really sick of doing that. ... I've dealt with this before. I know what the pain is. It's going to hurt, it's not going to feel comfortable. But I don't think it's something where I'm risking months and months of damage by continuing. That's probably the thought process."

On big-serving American John Isner, who beat Roger Federer last week in Davis Cup: "He's got the biggest weapon in tennis right now. No one's comfortable. He can take the racket out of your hands. He has such good tempo, such good rhythm for someone so big. His service motion doesn't look awkward at all. Honestly, I think he's finally realizing where he can be." • On playing well under pressure: "I've always said, winning matches you're supposed to win makes a career. Winning a match that's unexpected is a little easier mentally sometimes."

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