Found September 01, 2012 on
Twenty minutes before he was due to play what might have been his last match - but wasn't - Andy Roddick got all emotional in the locker room.
After coming off court with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 victory over the young Australian Bernard Tomic, Roddick tried to explain what he had been going through - playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium in front of 24,600 people the day after announcing that he would retire at the end of the tournament.
"Felt weird before the match," he said. "Twenty minutes before it was kind of getting the best of me. You think different things today. I walk out for the warm-up, and is this going to be the last warm-up? Kind of everything. It got to me a little bit. Larry (Stefanki, his coach) had to come over and kind of tell me to knock it off."
Roddick then proceeded to knock off Tomic with as good a match as he has played all year. No longer worried about what he might be doing to his shoulder, he served up a storm and found himself trying all sorts of shots that he would never have dared try before. While he was in the process of strolling through the final set, he came up with an outrageous undercut drop volley and turned away with a cheeky smile on his face.
"I just realized it was probably a shot I had never played before. I kind of went after it a little bit. It kind of had a little of the fun stuff you see other guys do. I was excited about that."
Roddick acknowledged he had no idea what was going to happen before he went on court. "I've played a lot matches, but this was a different kind of nerves than I've had before. That was surprising for me."
He also allowed his concentration to wander sufficiently from its usual lockdown mode to take a look around and absorb the atmosphere. "I had a good time. You know when they're doing the dancing and stuff on the switch-overs, I was just watching. That was fun."
It offered an insight into just how much top players keep themselves in a bubble out there on court, rarely allowing themselves to react to anything extraneous that might happen or interact with the crowd. Novak Djokovic, who cruised through a straight-set victory over Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva earlier in the day, allows the odd smile to cross his face, but nobody gets much charge out of Roger Federer or Andy Murray on court.
It has always been that way. How many people realized Chris Evert had a pretty outrageous sense of humor or that Ivan Lendl has an endless stream of macho jokes in his repertoire? "I never dared let my sense of humor show on court," Evert told me. "I was so afraid of losing my concentration."
Roddick is past that now. "Normally, you're so consumed by what's going to happen in the next five minutes that you don't really notice stuff. But this time it worked. I played well. I don't know why. I don't know how to explain it. It was a little surreal."
Roddick even found time to make his peace with the media who, if truth be told, have always enjoyed his press conferences because, one way or the other, they are rarely dull.
"I've always felt OK with it," he said. "I think, even in my worst moments, I come in here knowing it's a vital part of our game, growing it. I certainly am not always in the mood for it after a bad loss, but I don't think I've ever been the guy who hasn't come in. I certainly get the process. I realize how vital this part is. It's a reason why I have been as fortunate as I have. As much as I've been pissed off at you or you guys have been pissed off at me, I'll certainly look back fondly and smile about it at the end."
There will be at least one more Andy Roddick show. On Sunday, he will play the tricky, 59th-ranked Italian Fabio Fognini, who may not be tricky enough to send this relaxed and contented Roddick off into retirement.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Andy Roddick is hanging it up. The 30-year-old tennis player called an impromptu news conference on Thursday to announce that he will be retiring from tennis after the U.S. Open. "I just feel like it's time," he told assembled reporters. "When I was playing in the first round, I knew [this would be my last tournament]." Roddick, who was also celebrating his...
Andy Roddick is ready to walk away from tennis whenever his U.S. Open ends.
The 2003 U.S. Open champion and former No. 1-ranked player surprisingly announced his plans to retire at a news conference at Flushing Meadows on Thursday, his 30th birthday.
''I'll make this short and sweet: I've decided that this is going to be my last tournament,'' said Roddick...
Andy Roddick's extended retirement plans are still on a flexible time line.
After beating Italy's Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 in a physically and emotionally exhausting battle that lasted exactly three hours in front of a vast, adoring crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Roddick has to prepare himself for another possible farewell.
It could come on Tuesday evening -- presuming...
GAME. SET. MATCH
At age 30, Andy Roddick is an old man in the tennis world, and on Thursday, he announced that he will be stepping away from the game for good following the US Open.
Tennis won’t have too many contemporary nominations to enter the men’s side of the Hall Of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island over the next several years because of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic’s domination.
Since Roger Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, only four other players besides the ‘Big 3′ have won a Grand Slam event , Andy Roddick being one...
Q. Could you talk about Andy Roddick retiring now? You’re kind of the veteran American player now.
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, I mean, I always tried to feel like I’m available for any young guys if they want advice. I’ve probably been guilty of giving a little too much advice if they don’t want it.
I definitely want to help the guys. I feel like I’ve done my best trying...
Andy Roddick is healthy, rich, smart, 30 years old and married to Brooklyn Decker. He spent his career traveling the world and doing what he wanted to do. He never got into much trouble.
When a guy creates a life that you would love for your son, it's hard to see failure.
But in the end, Roddick was more name than game. He announced Thursday that he'll retire after the...
It seems like everyone at ESPN has a column, so I thought I’d add my own to the world of sports. Anything stated is an opinion of my own. You can agree with more, or you can think I’m a complete idiot. Please wait to throw tomatoes after I’m done. You can comment, too.
Roddick classless in announcement
Anybody who has watched Andy Roddick knows that the thirty-year old American...
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The 20th seed Andy Roddick postponed his retirement by advancing to the fourth round of the US Open with a 7-5, 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini on Sunday.
“I am trying to keep all of my emotions together. All the support I have received over the past few days has been truly humbling,” said Roddick.
“It was a pretty physical match...
Welcome to RideThePine.com
Tennis star Andy Roddick Announced that he will retire after the US Open. That’s odd, I thought he retired right after the 2003 US Open because he hasn’t done diddly squat since then. Too soon? No because I would rather be Roddick and go home with that trophy of a wife he has in Brooklyn Decker than some metal server dish.
Fighting in the upper...
In the most recent episode of the Ride The Pine podcast [WATCH NOW Goodbye Andy Roddick] we highlighted a little kid throwing some punches in a fan fight that took place during the August 18th preseason game between the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. Our good friends at BustedCoverage found the video [and screen grab below] and made the amazing discovery of the little...
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – While Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters retire, Serena Williams is driven even more to continue playing.
Fourth seed Williams defeated Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-2, 6-4, coming back from being down a break in the second set.
Williams committed 24 errors and six-double faults in the match, despite the 32 winners.
“I wasn’t really happy with the way I...
More and more, the US Open is becoming a tournament of hello and goodbye. As fast as the young ones spring forward, the older ones take their final bows.
Andy Roddick is not quite there yet; he will play the young Australian Bernard Tomic on Arthur Ashe Stadium at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. But on his 30th birthday Thursday, the stalwart of American tennis decided to announce his retirement...
Every match that Andy Roddick plays at the 2012 US Open could be his last, since announcing his upcoming retirement at the end of this year’s tournament.
Good news for us because that means we will see Roddick’s smoking hot wife and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker sitting in the stands rooting for her man at almost every match.
This is Decker looking very...