Roddick finding form with U.S. Open on the horizon

By Steve Ginsburg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Andy Roddick has rebounded from a disheartening Wimbledon and is finding the form that could make him a threat at the upcoming U.S. Open, the hard-hitting American said on Monday.

World number nine Roddick, one of the tour's best hardcourt players, said encouraging sessions on the practice court had given him a boost and helped him forget about his last 16 exit at the All England Club.

"I'm hitting the ball a lot differently than I was eight or nine days ago," said Roddick, seeded second at this week's Washington Tennis Classic. "I'm excited."

Following his disappointing five-set loss to unheralded Taiwanese Lu Yen-Hsun at Wimbledon, Roddick went home to Texas to fine-tune his game.

The big-serving American returned at Atlanta two weeks ago where he lost to Mardy Fish in the semi-finals, just his second loss in 11 matches against his compatriot.

Roddick said he had needed to tinker with his schedule in the wake of his Wimbledon heartbreak.

"It was a matter of going out early at Wimbledon then finding the happy balance between training and going into Atlanta a little short on preparation," he said.

"I played Atlanta because I wanted to play well here in Washington. I'm glad I went there and took my lumps. It's a constant give-and-take.

"Last year I needed to rest after Wimbledon. This year it's a little bit different. With the way my schedule was set up, I was planning to do better at Wimbledon.

"When that happens, you make adjustments."

A year ago Roddick reached the finals of Wimbledon before losing to Roger Federer in a classic five-set affair. But the Texas native failed to capitalize on his good form and lost to American John Isner in the third round at Flushing Meadows.

"I'm leading the tour in percentage of service games held (92 percent)," said Roddick, who has won in Washington three times.

"It's certainly one of the best times of the year for me ... I always get excited about it."

"I've played well ... But I don't feel like I've gotten my feet into the summer yet.

"The next three events (Washington, Toronto and Cincinnati) are what you circle as your U.S. Open preparation. But overall I feel great. I've always felt comfortable on hard courts."

"Twenty-four seconds after they announced they were going to have mixed doubles in the Olympics I was flooding Serena's telephone with calls, missed calls, text messages," joked Roddick. "It was borderline stalking.

"I annoyed her into submission. I've always said my best asset as a doubles player was picking good partners."

(Editing by Ian Ransom)