Andy Roddick loves his annual visit to west London. "Coming from clay to grass is one of the happiest days of my year," the world No 6 said at Queen's yesterday after winning his opening match at the Aegon Championships. "I don't have to make a lot of adjustments to my game to play on this surface."
Roddick, who has won the title here four times, needed only 55 minutes to beat Belgium's Kristof Vliegen 6-1, 6-4. He served 11 aces and no double faults, did not have a break point against him and played with all the confidence of a man who feels at home on grass.
"I'm playing a lot better now than in years past," Roddick said when asked about his hopes for the grass-court season. "I've been getting deeper into tournaments more consistently and I do love this surface."
The American's Davis Cup colleague, James Blake, whose mother is English, beat Ivan Ljubicic 6-2, 7-6, while Gaël Monfils needed a deciding set tie-break to overcome Andrey Golubev, of Kazakhstan.
Andy Murray, the top seed, who had a first-round bye, plays his second-round match today against the Italian Andreas Seppi. Murray and Lleyton Hewitt were beaten in the second round of the doubles last night, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach.
In the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Anne Keothavong, the British No 1, got off to a winning start, beating Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-2. She now plays India's Sania Mirza, who beat Tatiana Poutchek 6-1, 6-2.
* Ana Ivanovic has parted company with her coach, Craig Kardon, after only four months. During the grass-court season she will revert to working with the Adidas team of coaches headed by Sven Groeneveld and Darren Cahill. Scott Byrnes will continue to work as the Serb's full-time strength and conditioning coach.