Andy Roddick on Grand Slam-Worthy Grub

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Serve and rally, ace and volley, sweat, sweat and sweat some more: So goes the typical grind of the U.S. Open, which kicks off today in New York City.

But before and after all of that, the stars of the tennis world indulge in a wholly necessary, albeit much less grueling ritual: eating. And while Andy Roddick would rather be chowing down on Mexican food, the No. 9 ranked player in the world, who turns 28-years-old today, is sticking to a healthier diet for this tournament.

"I'll try some sort of chicken, some sort of pasta or carb," he told ABCNews.com at BNP Paribas' annual Taste of Tennis charity dinner. "But the biggest thing is to make sure you're hydrated well."

That's Roddick's prematch regimen. At the Taste of Tennis, he whipped up a version of the chicken and carb combo with celebrity chef Katie Lee. But when a grand slam tourney's not around the corner, he lets himself go.

"My favorite thing to do after four or five weeks on the road is to come back to Austin, Texas, and get some Mexican food -- something greasy -- chips, salsa, the whole deal," he said.

Yes, his wife, Sports Illustrated and Victoria's Secret swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, indulges too. They also dabble in developing their own dishes.

"We like to go do the Whole Foods thing, get the stuff and come back and cook a meal," he said. "I don't know that we're really good at it, but it gives us something to do. I think we enjoy the process of cooking more than the actual food we come up with."

His New York City restaurant of choice: Campagnola, on 74th Street and First Avenue, which serves Italian staples and has been on his must-nosh list "for years and years." As for south of the border fare, the stuff in this neck of the woods doesn't suit his fancy ("It's tough to measure up against Austin. That's authentic, and I'm a little bit biased toward it"), but that's probably for the best.

"The good thing about that is that during these tournaments I'm not supposed to eat a lot of Mexican food," he said, "so it's not too tough to stay away."

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