With his fourth round loss at the U.S. Open, Andy Roddick’s career came to an end, on his own terms, at the age of 30.
Roddick announced on the eve of the U.S. Open that his tour through Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadow would be his final stop of his career on the ATP circuit. After a pair of straight set victories in the first two rounds of the tournament, Roddick was extended to four sets by Italian Fabio Fognini, setting up a fourth round matchup with Juan Martin del Potro. He was leading 1-0 in the first set tiebreaker when rain suspended the match, extending Roddick’s career at least one more day.
In the end, that would be where it would come to an end. After winning the tiebreak 7-1 to take the first set 7-6, Roddick dropped the final three sets of the match by scores of 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 and 6-4. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and commentator Bud Collins.
What kind of legacy does Roddick leave?
Roddick was the best American men’s tennis player in the last decade. After the departure of stars like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, the cupboard for American men in the tennis elite became rather barren. Roddick is the most recent American male to win a Grand Slam event, capturing the U.S. Open in 2003. He finished that year ranked number one in the world, making him the first American with that ranking at the end of a year since Agassi in 1999.
Roddick claimed 32 ATP singles championships and four doubles titles during his tennis career. He won over $20.5 million in prize money, appeared in five Grand Slam finals, winning one, and married “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue cover girl Brooklyn Decker in 2009.
Roddick said that a major reason for his early retirement was because of the physical strain his body took earlier in his career. The wear and tear of constantly playing in tournaments and being on the road left him unable to play at the high standard he set for himself earlier in his younger days; four of his five Grand Slam finals appearances happened before 2006.
In January, Roddick teamed up with his Bobby Bones on a nationally syndicated radio show for Fox Sports Radio. The show can be heard from noon to 3 p.m. EST on radio stations across the country. In addition to that, Roddick has his own charity, the Andy Roddick Foundation, which strives to “improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all children based on the principles of respect for family, education and morality.” Over $10 million has been raised since its start.
What do you think Roddick will do next? Any predictions for who will be the next big thing in tennis?