Only a victory will be acceptable for Roddick

WIMBLEDON, England --- The current edition of Wimbledon is the 23rd Grand Slam tournament since Andy Roddick won his lone major championship at the 2003 U.S. Open.


He badly wants to win a second.

It's why he changed coaches for this season. Slimmed down. Put in as much work as ever in practice, striving to improve his returns, his backhands, his volleys.

Add it all up, and the sixth-seeded American is back in the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time since 2005, facing No. 3-seeded Andy Murray of Britain today. Roger Federer -- seeking a sixth Wimbledon championship and record 15th Grand Slam title -- faces No. 24 Tommy Haas of Germany in the other semifinal.

"Andymonium" has hit the All England Club, but don't think Roddick is happy merely to be a part of it.

"By no means is he satisfied, because the whole gig when he hired me is we've got to win a Slam," Roddick's coach, Larry Stefanki, said. "I said, 'That's what I'm here for.' Winning a Slam is what it's all about. Coming in second is like kissing your sister. And he knows that he's already won one. Nothing is going to suffice. Even if you get to the final, it won't do."

Roddick's major title, not quite six years ago, was also the last at any Grand Slam event for an American man, the country's longest drought in the Open era, which began in 1968.

That wait must seem rather quaint to the folks around here.

Murray is trying to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. No British man has won any Grand Slam championship since Perry at the U.S. Open later that year.

So the buzz builds with each victory by Murray. The 22-year-old wrote on Twitter about the good-luck note he received from Queen Elizabeth II -- everyone in Britain wants to know whether she'll show up in the Royal Box if Murray reaches Sunday's final -- and the phone call he got from actor Sean Connery.

"It doesn't make any difference the way you perform, the hype. If you ... spend a lot of time reading the papers, watching everything on the TV, all the things that are getting said on the radio, then you get caught up in it," said Murray, the runner-up to Federer at last year's U.S. Open. "If you ignore it, you don't realize it's happening."

Murray is 6-2 against Roddick, including a lopsided victory in their most recent meeting, in the final of a hard-court tournament at Doha, Qatar, in January.

That was Stefanki's first tournament with Roddick and expects Friday's encounter to look different.

"It wasn't pretty. That tactic won't be used again. It was a very aggressive, offensive, bring-out-the-bugle-and-charge," Stefanki said.

"And this guy is like (Mats) Wilander or (Bjorn) Borg -- you give him a target and he's going to pass you, lob you, dink you, because he's a great mover off the ball."



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