Daily Dispatch: Remembering Favorite Roddick Moments
In a surprising turn of events, former World No. 1 Andy Roddick announced his retirement from tennis today at the US Open. It comes as no surprise, as Roddick has struggled with injuries that rendered his trademark shots, including the famous serve, less potent. But it still comes as a surprise just the day after Kim Clijsters played her final singles match on Arthur Ashe. Expect more retirements to come this year and next, since the 2012 Olympic Games are over.
Aside from the obvious things that Roddick brought to the court, including underrated consistency and one of the best serves on the ATP Tour for many years, Roddick brought an element of fun to every tournament he played. He may have taken out his anger on chair umpires too many times, but his sarcastic humor was unique and irreplaceable. It wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he had his moments over the years.
A personal favorite, Roddick talking about Novak Djokovic’s ailments at the 2008 US Open (“bird flu … anthrax … SARS”):
But let’s not forget Roddick’s decent side. When the United Arab Emirates denied a visa for Shahar Pe’er to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships (closely affiliated with the U.A.E. government), Roddick, the defending champion, pulled out, citing his disagreement with the decision.
The press room will be a lot less interesting without him.
Some of the best quotes from today:
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, on his four set loss to Martin Klizan: “I don’t know, today I was not in a good shape. I didn’t play good tennis. It seemed like I couldn’t hit the ball enough hard to put my opponents out of position. I don’t really know why it was like this today, but sometimes it’s happen with me. I don’t know, I guess.”
Andy Roddick: “I’ve always, for whatever my faults have been, felt like I’ve never done anything halfway. Probably the first time in my career that I can sit here and say I’m not sure that I can put everything into it physically and emotionally. I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home. I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year. But the more I thought about it, I think you either got to be all in or not. You know, that’s more kind of the way I’ve chosen to do things.”
Plea to ESPN: add Andy Roddick to your tennis commentary team as soon as possible. He is sorely needed. John McEnroe spent 30% of tonight’s match between Roger Federer and Bjorn Phau speculating over whether Federer was cranky on-court because of Roddick’s retirement.
I would be remiss not to mention one of the worst professional tennis matches I’ve ever seen. Sloane Stephens’ three set win over Tatjana Malek was close to unwatchable. Stephens hit a whopping 62 unforced errors, and 47 winners. Malek hit 38 errors, 23 unforced errors, and her moonballing, pace-less spinfest was torturous to watch. Being a great tennis player means winning when you’re not at your best. Stephens’ win exemplified winning ugly.
Tweet of the day:
A handful? Paging Dr. House RT
@curtos07: Ana: “I still have a handful of pills every morning.” Referring to pain killers for her foot.
— Mariya Konovalova (@MariyaKTennis) August 30, 2012