Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 8/30/12
Andy_roddick_of_cac7

American tennis is losing one of its stars. Andy Roddick announced on his birthday Thursday that he plans to retire from tennis after the US Open.

Roddick says he and his wife, Brooklyn Decker, have known for the past few days that he would retire after the tournament. He says he decided to make the decision public so that everyone would know his plans. Roddick is 30 years old which is pretty old in tennis terms, and his announcement comes as no surprise.

Roddick has failed to make it past the third round in any of the majors this year. He impressively won the AEGON International, but his season has been full of early tournament exits. Retirement talks have been on the horizon for Roddick since he began hosting a radio show, which indicated a forthcoming transition into the media.

Roddick’s peak as a tennis player came in 2003 when he won the US Open, reached the finals at Wimbledon, and the semifinals at the Australian Open. He also became the No. 1-ranked player in the world that year, holding the spot for 13 weeks. Roddick never won another major, but he did reach four more finals and lost to Roger Federer every time. He won 32 singles titles during his career, and he helped the US win a Davis Cup.

While Roddick’s career can be viewed as somewhat disappointing because he never won another major after the US Open in ’03, his achievements must be placed into proper context. He had the misfortune of playing at the same time as Roger Federer, who is considered by many to be the best player ever. Federer began dominating in 2004, the year after Roddick had won his major. Federer thoroughly dominated from 2004-2007 before being challenged by another legend, Rafael Nadal, and more recently, Novak Djokovic.

Roddick says his most proud achievement is that he maintained longevity in a grueling sport.

“I was pretty good for a long time,” he said. “For 13 or 14 years, I was invested fully everyday. I’ve seen a lot of poeple be invested for a year, kind of tap out for a year, and then come back. I’ve been pretty good about keeping my nose to the grindstone. I’ve won a lot of matches from hard work and persistence, even maybe when they had better options as far as shot-making.”

Roddick says he planned to play a light schedule next year, but then he decided retiring was the proper thing to do if he was not going to be 100% committed to giving the game everything he had.

Roddick did have some down years and fell out of shape at points in his career, but he was pretty good for a long time, like he said. He’ll be rememered for his high intensity and frequent outbursts, his funny impressions, and for being the best American tennis player since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

He says he plans to be active working with his foundation and building on his radio career.

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