Roddick Start to Finish

I first heard of Andy Roddick during the 2000 US Open final when the announcers mentioned the winners of the junior US Open events.  I saw Andy Roddick’s final match as he lost to Juan Martin del Potro.  I will miss seeing Roddick in major draws.  It became apparent after some health issues scuttled a promising start to 2010 that Andy Roddick was no longer an outside threat to win majors.   Roddick kept plugging away and won in Memphis in 2011 and at Eastbourne and Atlanta in 2012.  Roddick winning at least one title per year for 12 years and finishing 9 consecutive years in the top 10 are among his best marks on the tour.  His US Open title and year end finish at #1 in 2003 are his other great accomplishments.

Roddick Reached His Goals

Andy Roddick set out four goals when he became a tennis pro.  He wanted to win the US Open and Wimbledon titles, he wanted to reach #1 in the world rankings and he wanted to win a Davis Cup title for the United States.  Roddick won the US Open and reached the #1 ranking during the 2003 season.  In 2007, Roddick helped the US win the Davis Cup title.  Wimbledon was not to be, but Roddick was a runner-up in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

Roddick was an Australian Open semifinalist in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009.  He reached two other Australian Open quarterfinal rounds in 2004 and 2010.  His Australian Open results alone outstrip the Grand Slam results of James Blake, John Isner and Mardy Fish combined.  His 3 Wimbledon runner-up finishes were joined by a semifinal finish in 2003 and a quarterfinal finish in 2007.  At the US Open Roddick added a runner-up finish in 2006 as well as quarterfinal finishes in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011 to his 2003 title.  US tennis had a consistent second week performer in Andy Roddick.  A replacement is not on the horizon.

Did Not Become a National Sports Figure

After Andy Roddick won the 2003 US Open and was soon on the Best Damn Sports Show Period laughing it up with retired professional athletes.  Roddick may yet become a national sports figure by pursuing his career in Sports Radio.  He has been a regular guest of Dan Patrick and already has a radio show.  Roddick never got to be a national sports figure for casual tennis fans because Roger Federer frankly blunted his drives for success from 2004-2007 when Roddick had chances to increase his Grand Slam haul.  Roddick had the personality to engage the average US sports fan’s psyche, but he needed more elite results to cross-over.  It just did not happen.  He may have a last laugh in that he beat Roger Federer in their final head-to-head match earlier this year, but Federer will always be linked to Roddick’s career.

My Memories

  • I first remember how heavy Roddick’s second serve seemed when he played some clay court events in the US in 2001.
  • I thought Roddick looked positively awesome in the early rounds of the 2004 US Open (including a shellacking of a young Rafa Nadal) only to lose in the quarters.
  • He had a lot of high profile coaching changes, but Larry Stefanki seemed to be the right man for his late career.
  • I am a Federer fan, but I was gutted to see his composure and pain after the 2009 Wimbledon final.
  • His 2010 win in Miami beating Nadal in the semifinal round and Berdych in the championship match was his last super high point.
  • He won his final head-to-head match with Roger Federer and lost his last Australian Open match to Lleyton Hewitt.

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