Andy Roddick has pulled out of next week's Madrid Open because of a right-hamstring injury. It's unclear whether it's the same injury he suffered at the Australian Open or a new one, but it will also keep him out of Rome the following week, according to the Madrid Open website. This means that unless he plays the tournament in Nice, France, the week of May 20, Roddick will go into the French Open (if at all) without a single match on clay.
The scheduling change isn't particularly new for Roddick, who has never played the Madrid-Rome-Roland Garros combo in his career. The 28th-ranked Roddick has virtually no clay points to defend, as he lost in the first round of Madrid and Rome and then missed Roland Garros because of injury last year. Regardless of the severity of the injury, shortening his clay season is a smart move, especially given the Wimbledon/Olympics double coming up over the summer. The goal is to be as healthy as possible for the prolonged grass season on his best surface, not grind himself unnecessarily on his worst.
That said, I can't be the only person who is disappointed we won't get Roddick's opinions on the blue clay, am I? (We also won't get Mardy Fish's, as he is not playing the event either.) Who knows, Roddick's legendary racket-smashing in Madrid could have looked pretty cool against a blue backdrop.