Roddick hopes to practice next week

Updated: November 24, 2009, 4:12 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- After missing the ATP World Tour Finals because of a left knee injury, Andy Roddick is already looking forward to the start of the 2010 season.

Roddick, who was at the O2 Arena on Tuesday to announce a renewed sponsorship deal with Lacoste for another four years, said his knee was "coming along well."

"We're probably a little bit ahead of where we thought we would be," the 2003 U.S. Open champion said. "I've been able to run, run in a straight line, and hopefully next week I'll be able to get back out on the courts and practice."

Financial details of the deal with the French apparel maker were not announced. Lacoste CEO Christophe Chenut said Roddick brings "his human dimension" to the company.

"Andy will continue to be a major ambassador for the crocodile, thanks to his natural elegance, thanks to his fair play and smile," Chenut said.

Roddick had one of his best years on tour this season, reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open and losing to Roger Federer 16-14 in the fifth set of an epic Wimbledon final.

"As far as the disappointment of Wimbledon, I don't think I'll ever be happy with the result," Roddick said. "But I'll always want to win that tournament."

With this season over for Roddick, he is focused on what's next. He said he is planning to start in Brisbane, Australia, in January and then move on to the Australian Open in Melbourne.

"I'm going to try to get down there probably earlier than I normally would, try to get used to conditions in heat," Roddick said. "Obviously, I'd love to get some sets in with these guys before it's all said and done."

The guys Roddick was referring to were the eight taking part in the ATP World Tour Finals, the season-ending event that runs through Sunday in London.

Top-ranked Federer, Rafael Nadal and U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro are among the competitors.

"It is a different dynamic for me to be here and to be talking with all of you, not playing," Roddick said. "It was a lot easier to deal with for me not being at this tournament when I was home. But to be able to come here and see just the energy that's around it, just the great event that's being put on, I definitely am envious towards those guys out there."

His disappointment didn't detract from his sense of humor, though.

Instead of answering yet another question about his chances of winning the French Open, the only Grand Slam tournament played on clay, Roddick joked that he may use his contacts to get some things changed at Roland Garros.

"Well, we were talking earlier, and I said we have ... the Lacoste family here, a bunch of big players, big people in France. So we were talking about a surface change maybe for the French Open," Roddick said with a smile. "So we'll keep you updated on that. We're still in negotiations."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press