Andy Roddick has normally always had a puncher’s chance in an individual match against anyone on surfaces other than clay. The odds may not have been great for him to beat Federer or Nadal, but he was good to hold serve 3-6 times per set. This would give him a shot to win sets and matches. It was the cumulative game where Roddick was particularly off the trail of the top players as he would need to win 3 matches as an underdog to take a major title.
One Sided Losses
Since Queen’s Club this year Roddick has absorbed 4 losses against Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The losses coming at Queen’s Club, the US Open, Basel and the Paris Indoor all featured matches in which Roddick seemed to have little or no chance of victory.
Andy Roddick is far more of a factor on tour today than his contemporaries Lleyton Hewitt and Juan-Carlos Ferrero. He finished an impressive 8 consecutive seasons inside of the top 8 in the world. Roddick also finished 10 consecutive seasons inside of the top 10. Those streaks ending do not preclude Roddick from having moments like the one he had in Memphis earlier this year to capture his 30th career title. Also, the 2012 Olympics and Davis Cup are motivating factors for Roddick’s upcoming year. I think and hope Roddick will continue to plug away and win meaningful matches over the next 2-3 years.
Deserving of Credit
Whatever Roddick does in the remainder of his career, and it is his business, winning 30 titles, a US Open title, and a Davis Cup title mean that he deserves a lot of credit for maintain US tennis on the ATP Tour. His 8 consecutive years of qualifying for the Year End Championships as well as his number 1 ranking to end 2003 all add up to Roddick being a better overall US player than Michael Chang. Roddick, unlike Chang, lacked a generation of top 10 and top 5 talent to accompany him during his career. Roddick’s lonely road makes his accomplishments all the more impressive in my eyes.