Farewell Andy Roddick
I have been an Andy Murray supporter from day 1 [tantrums, expletives and all], and have enjoyed witnessing his struggles and conquests of competition. Murray will receive plenty of ink in future issues of Tennis View, I’m certain of that, but for now my focus will center on Andy, the American.
I wasn’t surprised when Andy said he’d retire after the US Open. Although he’s still young enough to compete a few more years, his injuries were occurring more frequently and taking longer to heal. His shoulder, in particular, required a lot of T. L. C. Injuries for a veteran player are not only very physically challenging to overcome, but psychologically challenging as well. Injuries cost him time away from competition and important ranking points, dropping him outside the top 10, a spot he enjoyed consecutively from 2002 through spring 2011.
By March 2012, however, Roddick had fallen in ranking to No. 34. He managed to string together an impressive spring and summer, though, winning titles in Eastbourne in June and Atlanta in July. The victories were too little, too late. He said he’s neither healthy enough to continue nor does he have the desire to compete any longer.
Health and motivation issues aside, logically Andy was distracted by interests outside of tennis. Married to the beautiful actress-model Brooklyn Decker since 2009, the tour’s travel demands, I’d imagine, influenced his decision to retire. He also accepted a radio gig earlier this year with good friend Bobby Bones. The syndicated sports-based format provides Roddick a creative outlet once a week.
Success on the tour demands the upmost dedication; marriage and part-time employment would make it difficult for any professional athlete to stay focused on their sport. For Andy, who wanted to leave tennis while still playing respectably, it was time to exit.
Over the last decade, Andy Roddick has been dubbed many names: Grand Slam champion. One-hit wonder. Witty. Difficult. Hard working. Loyal. Charitable. The Luckiest Man Alive [following his marriage to Brooklyn]. The Sexiest Athlete of the Year. The Best Server. And the list continues.
Andy is all those names and more. He has been the face of American tennis for over ten years. Imagine for a moment what that face would have looked like if Andy hadn’t existed, what player would have – or could have – filled that role? I thank Andy for giving US tennis fans hope and allowing us to dream big. We knew that on any given Sunday he could be the last man standing with a trophy, as he did a total of 32 times in his career. Roddick is a proven winner.
I appreciate Andy’s contribution to the sport and to American tennis. I wish him more success in his next chapter.