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Andy Roddick should bow out with no regrets

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Jonathan Overend | 11:15 UK time, Saturday, 1 September 2012

Until my dying day I will remember that game. One game, five shots, 46 seconds. That 46 second game which saw Andy Roddick serve out the US Open of 2003.

There are so many Roddick moments to recall from a distinguished career - I loved the quality and sportsmanship of his epic quarter-final with Younes El Aynouai in Australia earlier that year - but nothing tops that sprint finish to the line at Flushing Meadows.

On a totally green hard court in 2003, before the blue was introduced, Juan Carlos Ferrero managed to get his racket on just one of Roddick's four serves. It was the freedom of an all-American sport-mad kid, just doing his thing.

Roddick, 21, had become a Grand Slam champion and a new American idol, who would end that year as the world number one, had arrived on the international scene.

Fast forward almost nine years and Roddick, on his 30th birthday, found himself announcing his retirement, very calmly and very definitely, to a packed Flushing Meadows press conference.

Friends and family were seated alongside the journalists: Brooklyn Decker, his wife, Larry Stefanki, his coach, Stephen Little, the London taxi driver who drove him randomly one night and became a close friend.

They knew what was coming, the reporters weren't so sure.

Was he pulling out of the tournament? Was it a birthday celebration? Roddick did well to keep the news under wraps and, through the microphones of the media, announced it to the world on his own terms. He deserved that.

Andy Roddick has won 32 career titles in a 12 year professional tennis career. Photo: Getty

It was a sudden development, and the twittersphere reacted with shock, but, if we're honest, it had been coming. For a while, Roddick has struggled to live with the intense pace and quality at the top of the men's game. He's not interested in simply "existing", to use his phrase.

Feeling uncompetitive against the best, Roddick put it simply: "It is time," he said.

And, on Thursday, it was impossible to argue with that.

Then we had Friday night.

Roddick thrashed one of the better prospects in the game (supposedly) Bernard Tomic and there were plenty of fans wondering if he'd made a premature call.

The Arthur Ashe night session is Roddick's stage in America. Nobody has played more times under the New York lights. As he whacked, wheeled, bounced and smiled his way to victory, he put the feeble Tomic firmly in his place. (The Aussie was "pathetic" according to US commentator Patrick McEnroe). Does Roddick have one more glorious run left in him?

Whatever happens here, Andy Roddick has been great for tennis. Like Kim Clijsters, also retiring after this year's tournament (she won in mixed doubles last night to prolong her career another day), he will be missed by colleagues, fans and media alike.

We will miss his huge serve, sharp wit, perennial perseverance, even the funny fidgets.

Not a point went by without the right shoulder of his shirt being adjusted. I hope in his next life - in TV studio, office, garden, wherever - he keeps adjusting that shoulder of the shirt and requests a nearby towel.

His press conferences were often legendary. Silly questions would be dispatched to the boundary with tongue-in-cheek disdain. Half-volleys would be snaffled with quick-witted enthusiasm. And he always gave an honest answer.

"How do you rate Gonzalez's chances?" [in the 07 Australian Open Final v Federer].

"Slim."

"What was your favourite press conference?" he was asked last night.

"I don't really rate press conferences. It's not as though I leave the room fist-pumping my way down the corridor after a good one."

Classic, straight-faced, A-Rod.

Earlier, he was on good form on the court. He revealed he got a bit emotional as he walked past a TV studio and a saw a montage of his career. "The sound was down but I'm guessing it was set to an 80s ballad" he quipped.

He loved a bit of chat with an under performing umpire and would try to outwit them at change of ends. Once in Australia, he left the chair advising the crowd: "Stay in college, kids. Otherwise you may become an umpire."

When he needed to be serious, he had no trouble switching gears.

In the past 12 months he has been the most articulate voice of the locker room in the ongoing campaign for a better share of Grand Slam tournament revenues. The players should persuade him to stay as their spokesman and lead negotiations from the sidelines. He has also raised a huge amount of money for charity through his foundation.

Being such a popular player in the UK, it was a disappointment to many that he never won Wimbledon. How he tried.

He came close, especially in 2009, but never managed to avoid Roger Federer, who beat him in three finals. His effort in that marathon All England Club final three years ago was immense and one couldn't help but feel for him as he sat in the runners up chair as Federer paraded yet another trophy. Roddick just wanted to hold it the once.

No regrets though. It was a mighty fine career. Now a new life beckons and he's bound to be a success in whatever field he turns to, which will surely involve talking, a lot of jesting and quite a bit of fidgeting. Good luck Andy.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Will badly miss watching Andy play, he was a great competitor and played the game in the right spirit loved by fans on both sides of the atlantic

    He also leaves a big hole in US men's tennis as the likes of Isner and Querry are unlikely to be able to match his record anytime soon

  • Comment number 2.

    Andy Roddick - overrated, rude and arrogant tennis player.

  • Comment number 3.

    Sad to see a legend like him retire. Contrary to what other idiots try to say, he's not an 'over-acheiver', nor is he a 'limited player'. The guy reached 3 wimbledon finals and another us open final, as well as semi-finals in wimbledon and the australian open, only to be stopped by Federer on each other those occasions. He still has one grand slam though from the us open in 2003. You might even say he under-achieved, but then again that was not his fault, it was all because of the pure luck of being born to play in prime years of Federer. Under any other era, he would've almost certainly won at last 4 grand slams.

    I don't really know what happened to him over the last couple of years, but back in the day (roughly before 2007), he actually huge forehand, he wasn't just a big server, he was a great attacking player, they were saying Federer has a 'Roddick-like forehand'. Its sad to see that disappear and the courts being slowed down so much to suit the tedious 'who can run the fastest side-to-side and last the longest' style of tennis.

    Above all, Roddick has been underrated, I think he's a better grass and hard courts player than Djokovic, Murray and Nadal, certainly if we go back to the courts pre-2007, but still, prime Roddick was a immensely powerful player.

  • Comment number 4.

    Roddick has always been one of my favourite players. I was always happy to watch him play, and his serve was simply phenomenal. Going to miss him.

    @#2: keep your bile to yourself. If you don't rate him, that's your opinion, but this isn't the place for unsubstantiated dislike.

  • Comment number 5.

    Well put, Jonathan.

    "Classic, straight-faced, A-Rod", what more is there to say .. Fantastic player and absolutely intriguing personality. Thanks for some great tennis matches.

  • Comment number 6.

    2. At 14:00 1st Sep 2012, bounce bounce bounce wrote:
    Andy Roddick - overrated, rude and arrogant tennis player.

    UTTER RUBBISH... take a look around...

  • Comment number 7.

    Good read. I love Roddick's comment about celebrating by pumping his fists in the corridors after a good press conference, haha. Reminds me of all the stupid, empty questions I've mustered as an English Language teacher - that one got what it deserved! People rant about Nadal Federer '08 and rightly so, but Roddick Federer '09 was for me of the same standard and an even closer, epic match. Roddick was unbelievable that day and had 15-40 twice late in that ridiculous final set. He was incredible. Possibly the best tennis match I've ever watched and I don't think Roddick gets the adulation that performance deserved.

  • Comment number 8.

    bounce bounce bounce....overrated, rude and arrogant poster......

  • Comment number 9.

    Like Jonathan says, he will have so many moments, in victory, to take from his career because of how fine a sportsman and athlete he has been, but I was left awestruck by him after he lost the 2009 final at Wimbledon.

    Shattered, he goes to Sue Barker, has a joke about himself and Roger, smiles the whole way through and doesn't falter once. Not just a fantastic athlete, but a super ambassador for the game.

    Don't really know how ANYONE can say his ego is oversized or he is rude. I won't argue with that opinion but I've not seen too much evidence of those qualities in the years I've seen him play.

    Thanks Andy.

  • Comment number 10.

    Good blog Mr Overend. Roddick is/was certainly one of the characters on the tour. He's never been my favourite player, with his game and his on court rantings, but I can fully appreciate what he's achieved in the game.

    I happened to be in New York during the last days of Wimbledon and I remember before the final thinking "I'll watch the first couple of games before I go out." I never moved for the next 4 hours such was the quality of the match and I was genuinely gutted for Roddick at the end when he was so near to the trophy he wanted above all others, yet so far.

    In years to come when someone mentions "Andy Roddick", the one thing I will think of is the serve. He has/had the most bizarre service motion yet, when it was working perfectly, it was the best in the game; even better than Karlovic's. Alas, I don't think he's truely recovered from that Wimbledon final. Injuries and poor form have taken their toll on Roddick and, this tournament aside, he's nowhere near the player he was.

    Good luck in the future Mr Roddick, I hope to see you in the studio sometime.

  • Comment number 11.

    He could have won more championships if there weren't Federer, Nadal or Djokovic.

  • Comment number 12.

    Certainly will always be the Stiffler of the tennis world in my eyes

  • Comment number 13.

    Roddick washed up at 30? A little like Connors,never quite got the praise and the success he deserved. In the early days a great Boom,Boom player,but there were too many stars around with a complete game and when they figured out how to play him,he became a bit player.Always wanted to run around his forehand which is OK if you put the shot away.But too many times he didn't and left himself exposed.

  • Comment number 14.

    Never really felt Nadal or Djokovic influenced the amount of titles he could have won that much Jupiter, that is something which has become Murray's problem. It has always been about Federer; 8-0 record against him in Grand Slams, including 4 Finals.

    The loss to David Ferrer at Wimbledon this year was the real eye opener in my opinion. Ferrer, predominantly a player who favours clay relatively easily defeated Roddick who favours the grass. Speaking further of Ferrer, he is 30 as well and is one of the few players who you could say has done extremely well to keep up with the top players.

    Really disappointed Roddick didn't manage to win Wimbledon. I remember his reaction at the end of the 2009 Final. Heartbreaking.

  • Comment number 15.

    To the idiot calling himself "bounce bounce bounce" (at #2): may I refer you to the following piece by Frank Deford, on the CNN website, from May 11th 2005?

    "Last Wednesday, in the round of sixteen at the Rome Masters, Fernando Verdasco of Spain was serving to America's top player, Andy Roddick. Verdasco had lost the first set and was down 5-3, love-40: triple match point.
    After he hit deep on the second serve, the line judge called the ball out and Roddick had the match. Only, Roddick refused to accept the point. Verdasco's serve had nicked the line, he said. Stunned, the umpire let Roddick overrule him. Verdasco then fought back, held serve, won the set and then the match.
    Roddick risked, and lost, tens of thousands of dollars in a tournament where he was seeded first, simply because he felt obliged to be honest.
    He didn't even milk his integrity. If the umpire had come down and looked at the mark in the clay, the American explained, he'd have seen that the ball was in. But the umpire hadn't been disposed to move. The ball looked out to him. If Roddick keeps his mouth shut, he wins.
    I don't know about you, but to my mind, if there's still a small place in heaven reserved for athletes, Andy Roddick just got his wings."

    Like many, I was also hugely impressed in 2009 by Roddick's generosity of spirit after losing 16-14 in the 5th set of the Wimbledon final - his third defeat there, each time by Federer - and the report above shows he's always been a decent guy. "Over-rated, rude and arrogant?" You cannot be serious!!!

  • Comment number 16.

    I have a confession to make.

    I pretty much cried when he lost Wimbledon 2009.

    That is all.

  • Comment number 17.

    Yeah lots make out that Fed's rival is Nadal or Djokovic, but Roddick made Fed the player he is. Roddick deserves credit for being the guy Federer couldn't shake. Every Wimbledon final between them was an epic struggle, like TJLM said I cried when he lost in 2009.

    Maybe Bounce Bounce Bounce thought of Murray... he is over rated by the annoying Brit commentators at Wimbledon, he is very rude with his swearing and constant negative attitude when he's losing (even losing a single point) and perhaps just a bit arrogant fuelled by the expectations and grandiose attitude that follows him. Murray is more of a Premiership footballer when it comes to his sportsmanship. Roddick is more of a statesman when it comes to his sportsmanship.

  • Comment number 18.

    sorry kids meant no offence from my post (#2), just stating my opinion.

  • Comment number 19.

    18. At 21:35 1st Sep 2012, bounce bounce bounce wrote:
    sorry kids meant no offence from my post (#2), just stating my opinion.

    I hate it when people say this. If your opinion is offensive, then saying that is meaningless.

    Roddick may have got frustrated on the court on occasion, but given the pressure players are under in big games that can be forgiven. In every interview I've seen him in, he was polite, articulate and engaging. Not having him on the tour and around at the slams will be a big loss.

  • Comment number 20.

    There are not many tennis players who can give an interesting interview. Most of them are either boring or giving the same polite conversations over and over again. Roddick is one of the top guys who gives life to an interview. TBH, I more enjoy listening to his talk than watching him play tennis.

  • Comment number 21.

    He will be a better commentator than a tennis player- just like Martin Brundle or David Coulthard in F1. I didn't particularly like his game, but he was definitely one of the most admirable personalities.

  • Comment number 22.

    Brilliant character, so engaging, and I'm sure he did as much for audience numbers in tennis as any other recent player.

    I suppose another reason he is loved in the UK is he is a 'plucky loser'. He has an awesome serve, but I always worried for him with his groundstrokes. But he was/is always entertaining to watch, and I hope the new career he chooses is viewable to the public.

    Still can't believe first coach apparently told him his serve action wouldn't work! Were the serves too fast for him to see?!

  • Comment number 23.

    Always entertaining to watch when in his prime, probably a little too one-dimensional if I'm being honest.

    In regards to Bounce Bounce Bounce's comment, is he not allowed an opinion? Surely that's the idea of adding a comments section, for us to share our thoughts. Therefore, we must accept that not everyone's will be the same. I just find it strange that people become irritated when their opinion isn't shared by others.

  • Comment number 24.

    I remember meeting him years ago at Queens in London before he was a big name. I must have been 11 or 12 years old. Got my picture taken with him, he signed my autograph and was really friendly. Always liked him since then. Very sad that he's retiring and that he never won Wimbledon but I don't think he's got anything to be disappointed about. Of course if he wins the US open... that would be a special way to bow out.

  • Comment number 25.

    Sad day indeed, but a brave decision.

    He has been joy to watch in the sense that he gives it his all, never says die; you can’t ask for any more than that in a sportsman/athlete. THAT Wimbledon final of 2009 showed what a great performer he is and so eloquent and humble in defeat. Huge respect.

    I don’t think anyone can emulate his style of play, for all its good and bad. It was/is uniquely A-Rod’s.

    He has always come across as genuine and honest, which cannot be said for many of his contemporaries. In hid day on his surface, he would beat all of days top 5, save for Federer. Nadal had a taste of what raw power can be like at Wimbledon and how helpless one feels, I suspect the result would have been the same with A-Rod in his day too.

    I just wished he served and volleyed more, he had the game for it.

  • Comment number 26.

    The first two things that come to my mind with Roddick's name are his serve and the hand-shake at the end of a match. I have always seen him congratulating his opponent in the best of the sportsman like way even after losing a very important match. His press conferences were always fun, though bordering on arrogance sometime. He was more of a one-dimensional player relying mainly on his serve and once players like Nadal, Djokovic and others found him out by engaging him in long rallies he was no more a big threat in the Majors.

    He could have done even better in the era of Rafter, Becker, Ivanisevic and maybe Sampras but I am not sure he would have won more than 2-3 grand slams. His best chance of winning in the slams was in Wimbledon but there has always been someone who was better than him. I am following tennis since Becker won his first wimbledon and believe that among the champions since 1985 Roddick probably could have won at least one wimbledon final had he got someone like Cash, Krajicek, Aggasi, Stich or Hewitt in the final... that doesn't necessarily mean he was better than these players.

  • Comment number 27.

    I wonder if bounce bounce bounce goes to someones retirement bash and says 'well he was over rated etc etc'.

    Roddick's strengths were obviously the ability to get to the forehand and return the ball well. He can still hit those big forehands but more often than not he can't actually get there. In the last year, it seems Roddick's speed has just dipped slightly. Probably not by too much but just enough to prevent him competing with the best.
    $20m in prize money, 74% win rate, 32 career titles, 1 slam and some epic battles with Federer. I think that is a record most players would love.

  • Comment number 28.

    "There are so many Roddick moments to recall from a distinguished career"

    no there really isnt unless you include the outbursts. he was a good player but not one of the greats he was made out to be in the article.

    and great work putting in two paragraphs where you bash a young player with amazing potential and talent. didnt know a 19 year old wasn't allowed to have a bad game. or is it because he is australian that you saw it fit that harsh words were needed?

  • Comment number 29.

    Not forgetting, he also has probably the best second serve ever too.

    Many would have given anything for a serve like that, for their first, let alone their second.

  • Comment number 30.

    Cracking player who i felt, never really achieved to his full potential... heartbroken for him at Wimbledon in 2009 but does at least end his career with a "Slam"... which most players don't manage. A little bit arrogant (aren't most tennis pros) but always with a glint in his eye, great sense of humour, honest and incredibly selfless. His charity work should also gain a mention and all i can say Andy ..... thanks for the memories...you just came along in an extraordinary time for men's tennis (Federer,Nadal et al) Enjoy your retirement fella

  • Comment number 31.

    Not a Roddick fan (bit of a smartypants and a rather agricultural player) but I'm sorry he's going. He had a certain charisma (on and off court) which rendered him eminently watchable. And he sooo deserved to win that 09 Wimbledon final: one of those occasions (which do happen from time to time in sport, indeed in life generally) where the outcome was the 'wrong' one. A sporting travesty to rank with Uruguay beating Ghana in the World Cup quarter final and Stewart Cink beating Tom Watson in the play-off for the Open Championship.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm glad Andy has decided to call it a day, even though he is only 30. Sadly his best years are behind him, but it would have been even sadder to have seen him struggle on, on unsuitably slow courts, and for his ranking to have declined out of the top 50(Lleyton Hewitt please take note).However, he should be content in the knowledge that he had the best career he could have possibly had. Yes a Wimbledon win would have been the icing on the cake, but he was let down by his reluctance to come into the net and volley.

  • Comment number 33.

    Andy has been a fantastic player for Tennis on and off court and really produced some fantastic moments for me as a fan reading http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/19431708 it clear his time has come to and end but as they said here http://www.tennisbetting365.co.uk/ it could be an added incentive for him to do something amazing at Flushing Meadows

  • Comment number 34.

    I remember Roddick after another defeat to Fed at Wimbledon smiling through the post match interview saying, "I through the kitchen sink at Roger today but he just went upstairs and got his bath tub." An amazing player and one i will certainly miss watching.

  • Comment number 35.

    He was always one-dimensional, but he was still the worlds second-best player behind Federer for a while, no mean feat.

    He's definitely leaving at the right time. Most of the players from his era except Federer are now retired or washed-up has-beens like Hewitt, Nalbandian and Ferrero. Those guys are living proof how much the game has changed in recent years.

  • Comment number 36.

    Seems ironic that a sports career is over at 30.I believe he understood that he was not going to win or maybe figure in anymore majors.The big hitting game is hard to keep up. He is no longer able to overpower the opposition and blast them off the court.His tendency to run around his forehand eventually became a weakness as he could not reliably put the shot away as he once did and then he could be outflanked. In any event he was good for the game and would have won a lot more if there were not so many stellar players on the circuit at the same time.10 out of 10 for effort but in my opinion he did not have a complete game.

  • Comment number 37.

    34.At 12:55 2nd Sep 2012, mike_ginn wrote:
    I remember Roddick after another defeat to Fed at Wimbledon smiling through the post match interview saying, "I through the kitchen sink at Roger today but he just went upstairs and got his bath tub." An amazing player and one i will certainly miss watching.

    ________________________________________

    Roddick has always been ready with self-deprecating gems like this one. I saw a clip once of a press conference he did after being brushed aside by Federer in one particular encounter, and he was asked "how did your game plan work out for you?"

    His response was along the lines of "I forgot to plan for Federer going a set and 5-0 up inside of 50 minutes. Bummer, huh?"

    Such a great character, sad to see him retire but like others have said, he has been on the decline for the last couple of years and it wouldnt be nice to watch him scrape and struggle, after the great matches he has given us all.

  • Comment number 38.

    @32, off topic, but if Lleyton Hewitt still enjoys playing and competing, why criticise him if he can't get to the same level as ten years ago? Roddick retires at 30 because he can't compete at the top level, presumably Hewitt knows he can't either, but nobody has the right to end his enjoyment of trying to win as many matches as he can and just being a tennis professional, which must be one of the best careers you can have.

  • Comment number 39.

    The stadard of play has changed dramatically,I can still remember the days when the womens game was unwatchable.Not any more.A lot of the modern players are only as good as their serves. As go the serve,as goes the game and this applies to Roddick and the Williams Sisters. If their first serve percentage is on the money you have no chance.This is the weakness for Murray,his first serve is not good enough on a regular basis.There are too many easy points if your first serve is working and when he gets this right he wins.He also needs to leave Judy at home.

  • Comment number 40.

    I remember after the 2009 Wimbledon final, when Federer gave his speech. Federer, as usual, was very gracious, and said "You were great, Andy, etc. etc. I know how you feel, because I lost to Rafa last year in a similar match." The microphones then pick up Andy's muffled reply, rather irritated, "Yeah, but you've already won this thing FIVE TIMES!" I have loved him ever since.

  • Comment number 41.

    As in tennis as other sports,you can't play against yourself,so you need others to make up the numbers. So you can still be a millionaire without winning anything.
    This happens in golf too. There are so many living big who have never done anything big.

  • Comment number 42.

    @40

    I hear you totally... have watched roddick's entire career... he deserved full respect for keeping himself top ten relevant for so long... one of tennis true stayers...

    but i never was a fan of his until the Wimbledon 2009 final... that was the day federer lost me and roddick won me over... like you comment, roddick called a spade a spade...

    and something else happened that day only minutes before the moment you mention Marcello Mongardi... federer donned a pre-embroided jacket with the characters '15' to highlight his 15th slam win...

    now, i don't care whether nike gave federer the jacket to wear or whatever federer apologists scream in his defence, federer should have had better sense not to dishonour a vanquished but valiant opponent in of the wimbledon's most worthy finals of all time - 16/14 in the 5th set - i mean, history will say federer is perhaps the greatest, but that day in 2009, roddick was as good as his equal and he dishonoured a fellow warrior after the battle was done... i am sure mum has stopped dressing rogie-boy for some time, so there's no excuse for the disgrace that happened that day...

    if federer fancies himself as one of the great, gentlemanly throwbacks to another era, then i'm sorry, you wouldn't catch any of the great aussies like laver and rosewall discrediting an opponent like that post match... dishonour amongst the worthy...

    from that day on i was a roddick fan... i already knew he was loud, brash and quick witted... but, after that final i always appreciated how he called a spade a spade...

    tennis loses one of it's more honest comptetitors...

  • Comment number 43.

    Oh well, I suppose it was bound to be sooner or later. But tennis will for ever be poorer without Andy playing, at least I hope he stays in the game. A great player, a great sportsman, I watched two of his Wimbledon finals and so much wanted to see him win at least one of them.

  • Comment number 44.

    .At 22:57 1st Sep 2012, jamin7 wrote
    sorry kids meant no offence from my post (#2), just stating my opinion.

    "I hate it when people say this. If your opinion is offensive, then saying that is meaningless."

    jamin7, I hate it when people take offence (yes take offence, not that it is given) when people offer an opinion, however disagreeable or inaccurate one feels it to be. Even worse, to feel offended on behalf of others. Maybe Roddick would be offended - though I doubt he cares. Please don't be offended for him.

  • Comment number 45.

    Patma2003 @42

    history will say federer is perhaps the greatest, but that day in 2009, roddick was as good as his equal and he dishonoured a fellow warrior after the battle was done...

    if federer fancies himself as one of the great, gentlemanly throwbacks to another era, then i'm sorry, you wouldn't catch any of the great aussies like laver and rosewall discrediting an opponent like that post match...

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    More than a hint of the dramatics there.

    Yep, warriors in battle. The jacket the biggest insult known to mankind. Laver would never do it.

    Tennis is not a war, no one dies, the jacket, just who really cares when something like that happens, Roddick's never mentioned it.

    As for Roddick being near Federer's equal, the old saying an being beaten an inch is as good as being beaten a mile. Or think of it this way, Roddick got close that day but he had a couple of thousand other days to prove he was 'near' as you put it.

    I was lucky enough to see the 'rocket' play but Laver wasn't one of the all time greats in an amateur era for nothing, he played and acted like a pro even before turning pro.

  • Comment number 46.

    "sorry kids meant no offence from my post (#2), just stating my opinion."

    An opinion not based upon any fact is not offensive, just stupid. Andy is a character and a good man who adds something fun to the game. He is much appreciated and will be greatly missed.

  • Comment number 47.

    Not a Roddick fan, he always came across as too much the stereotypical midwest-US college jock for my taste.
    Have to agree with others' comments - he was a good player and deserves his place in the history of the sport, but he wasn't a great one. He had a big serve, but never the all-round game of Federer or Borg, nor the sheer athleticism of Nadal.
    To say he could have won Wimbledon if Fed, Nadal and Djoko weren't playing is absurd - I could win Wimbledon if they and about a million others didn't turn up!

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm pretty sure bounce bounce bounce is just as entitled to say that he doesn't like Roddick as everyone else is to say they do like him. This isn't Roddick's "retirement bash", it's just a blog on a website, the comments would be pointless if everyone just rehashed what Overend has already said. I happen to rather like Roddick, but that doesn't mean I take "offense" when somebody else says that they don't....

    As for the blog, it is sad to see him go, I always enjoyed his matches, pity he never quite managed to get one over on fed!

  • Comment number 49.

    Can't agree with the blogger here.

    Roddick could have done more with his game. He used to hit big and always had a great volley. But he chose too often to stay back and try to outrally more consistent baseliners. In my opinion he was badly advised by coaches and didn't play to his strengths, which were so evident when he stormed his way to the 2003 US Open.

    Technically, a fantastic serve. Watch it in slow motion. He could really make it kick and zing in his prime.

  • Comment number 50.

    Andy has always been one of my favourite players and one of the great personalities of the sport, sad to see him retire.

    Although to put across an alternative view, I still can't help but think how things could've been much different for him in terms of Grand Slams. In this area it has to be said he under achieved and I honestly think he could've won at least a couple more (even over the last few years) if he adopted the right changes to his game later in his career:

    A huge point for me is the forehand, only Andy could tell you but I've no idea what’s happened with it, used to be powerful and effective, now (apart from the odd burst) is just a defensive shot that seems to lack conviction. We see every now and then he can still hit them well so the only thing I can think of is that it's some kind of mental block. Another example is Fernando Verdasco, I remember when he had a wonderful aggressive forehand, at the time I thought it was the second best lefty forehand in the game after Nadal. Now, like Roddick, it's gone completely missing!

    It might be a bit obvious to say as well, but I think he needed to adopt a more aggressive mindset over the last 3-4 years of his career. Larry Stefanki for me was the wrong choice of coach, got him playing too defensive and sometimes with a complete lack of tactics. I was at the US Open last year and take for example the 4th round against Nadal on Ashe, having just beat Ferrer in the previous round I thought he would give Rafa a real go but it was 6-2 6-1 6-3 and probably one of the most one sided matches I’ve seen, there was no aggression, no game plan, I even asked some American fans sitting next to me “what is Roddick trying to do out here?”. Fair enough losing by that type of margin to Nadal on clay, that’s happened to everyone but on US Open hard courts?

    In terms of his general playing style, Roddick has never been as good a mover or defender as say, Djokovic or Murray so to me it makes no sense for him to play with a counter punching style. What’s the point blasting in 140 MPH+ serves, then following up with a slice backhand or a tame forehand from 3 feet behind the baseline? These are problems he should have sorted out and hired a coach who could give him a more all-rounded aggressive edge. Taylor Dent summed it up well from the commentary box the other day “what’s he gonna do just hit aces all day long?”

    In his best slam run rece

  • Comment number 51.

    I remember Roddick vs Federer in Wimbledon 2003 I think, and Roddick blitzed him in the 1st set, and then became very inconsistent.

    He definitely had the game to beat Federer and others, but unfortunately he did not have the brain.

  • Comment number 52.

    In regards to Bounce Bounce Bounce's comment, he is certainly allowed an opinion. However, an opinion without examples lacks credibility and deserves no respect - the contemporary expression for this I believe is 'trolling'.

  • Comment number 53.

    Yeah, he must still think about that Wimbledon final, if I remember right he was 6-2 up in the 2nd set tie-break and somehow never managed to close it out, and had a good few chances to break in the marathon 5th set as well.

 

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