NEW YORK - The Associated Press
Andy Roddick has been the United States’ most successful tenis player in the last decade. Roddick says he will quit the sport after the current US Open campaign.
Andy Roddick announced his retirement on Aug. 30, saying his tennis career will close at the US
Open, the site of his biggest triumph.
The 2003 champion at Flushing Meadows and former No. 1-ranked player decided to walk away from the sport whenever his US
Open ends, making the surprise announcement at a news conference on his 30th birthday.
“I just feel like it’s time,” said Roddick. “I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year. I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event. I have a lot of family and friends here. I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament. When I was playing my first round, I knew.”
He is scheduled to play 19-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Roddick’s departure will leave US
tennis without a single Grand Slam winner on the men’s circuit, but Thursday did bring a spate of victories by American
men, two who are Roddick’s contemporaries and good pals (32-year-old James Blake and 30-year-old Mardy Fish), and two who have been viewed as possible successors as the best in the country (19-year-old Jack Sock and 24-year-old Sam Querrey).
“I had a feeling, thought it might be, because he’s someone who puts heart and soul into every match. It gets tougher as you get older, and I don’t think he could keep doing it the same way,” said Blake.
Roger Federer, who beat Roddick in all four Grand Slam finals they played against each other: one at the US
Open and three at Wimbledon.
“I’ve had some great battles with him,” he said. “He’s a great, great competitor and a great champion.”
Buoyed by a booming serve and big forehand, Roddick is on a 610-212 winning record (a .742 winning percentage) with 32 titles, including two this year at Atlanta and Eastbourne. He also helped the United States win the 2007 Davis Cup title.
He has been dealing with a series of injuries over the past few seasons, and in February dropped out of the top 20, then slid to No. 34 in March, his lowest ranking since 2001.