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|In their only previous meeting, back in 2002, Roddick defeated Russell in straight sets in Houston, on clay. Interestingly, Roddick was ranked No. 13 at the time and Russell No. 97. Over nine years later, Roddick and Russell enter the open ranked No. 21 and No. 96, respectively.||While Russell doesn't have much experience playing Roddick, he has been on the tour for over 14 years, dividing his time between the main tour and the Challenger tour. Overall he has a 53-111 career record on the main tour. He hasn't done well against the game's elite. He's 0-12 vs. top 10 players.|
|Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champ and former No. 1, isn’t just the far more accomplished player. He also is 6 inches taller, 40 pounds heavier and has far more firepower in his game. As long as he plays aggressive, serves decently, and doesn’t rack up a bucket-load of errors, he should make it through this match comfortably.||Russell, whose nicknames on tour are “Mussells,” “Wheels,” and “Iron Mike,’’ is a crafty baseliner who prides himself on hustle and fitness. If he can get Roddick’s serve back, and attack his sometimes shaky backhand, Russell could have a shot. We know he won’t tire over the course of a long match.|
|Coming into the Open, Roddick is ranked No. 21 in the world, his lowest ranking since 2001. Last year at this time he was ranked No. 9. In his only two hard court events over the summer, he lost first round in Cincinnati and in the semis in Winston-Salem. For his standards, he is definitely struggling a bit, with injuries playing a major factor in his lackluster results.||Russell played a full plate of hard court events over the summer. When including qualifying match wins, he went 11-5 on the main tour since Wimbledon, with wins over two top 50 players, including taking out Xavier Malisse on his way to the third round in Washington.|
|Roddick has been plagued by injuries in 2011, having pulled out of the French Open with a shoulder injury, and from Washington this summer with a partially torn abdominal muscle. While he appears to be injury free at the moment, who knows just how sharp his game can be after all of the forced time off.||Russell has a tremendous return of serve, which could neutralize Roddick’s biggest weapon. As evidence of this, this year Russell has twice taken out big-serving Ivo Karlovic, with both matches coming on hard courts.|
|In 2011 Roddick has won 89 percent of his service games versus 22 percent of games when his opponent is serving.||Early in his career, Russell made a name for himself on clay when he reached the round of 16 of the 2001 French Open. However, in his career he has won 40 main tour hard court matches versus just 8 main tour clay court matches. Russell also has an impressive 163-90 career hard court record at the Challenger level.|
|Roddick lost his long-held spot as the top-ranked American male this past spring, overtaken by good friend Mardy Fish. This can not sit well with the former U.S. Open champ, still the last American man to win a Grand Slam. He likely feels extra motivation to do well in this American major.||Russell has gotten past the first round at least once in every Grand Slam except the U.S. Open, where he has lost all six times he’s played in the first round. At age 33, this may be his last chance to finally taste a win in his own country’s Grand Slam.|