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We are just good friends, say Roddick and Sharapova

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) Andy Roddick was not in party mood after marking his 24th birthday with victory at the US Open, trying to put to rest rumours he is romantically linked with Russian Maria Sharapova.

''We're not dating,'' he told reporters after his 6-3 7-6 6-3 win over Danish qualifier Kristian Pless.

''I've said it a million times already, but you guys refuse to write it. You know, we're friendly. We're in the same places. I think she's a great girl. You know, we'll talk. That's about it.'' Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion and former world number one, said life on the tennis tour made relationships difficult to manage.

''It's a little bit of a stretch when we both travel. She's actually busier than I am. That's a little bit of a stretch.

But, you know, I think she's great. I can't say enough nice things about her,'' he said.

Sharapova, who beat Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-3 6-0 yesterday, was also quizzed by reporters about Roddick.

''You know what, I really don't talk about my personal life,'' she said. ''When two tennis players know each other and are friends, and are known around the world, there's a chance people are gonna talk. That's exactly what's happening.'' REUTERS PM BST1020

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