Andy Roddick Discusses His Retirement

Flushing Meadows, NY – Andy Roddick shocked tennis fans, players, and media alike with his announcement of his retirement after the 2012 US Open yesterday evening. Here are some comments he made last night at his press conference announcing his retirement.

When Roddick was asked, why now, he responded “I just feel like it’s time. 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.”

Roddick also talked about his ability and desire to compete. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who’s interested in existing on tour. I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me. I’m looking forward to those.” He continued, “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.”

Some in the tennis world thought Roddick took extra time saying good bye at a Grand Slam tournament earlier this year. “On some big moments this year, I think I’ve known. You know, walking off at Wimbledon, I felt like I knew,” he said.

When asked if he made the decision on that day to give fans a chance to say good bye, Roddick responded “those are good reasons. I think I wanted an opportunity to say good bye to people, as well. I don’t know how tomorrow’s going to go. I hope it goes well and I hope I’m sticking around. I just imagine being off the court tomorrow in an empty locker room. I think I wanted a chance to say good bye.”

When asked what he is most proud of looking back on his career, Andy responded “you know, I was pretty good for a long time. The reason I gave earlier about not feeling like I could be committed to this thing a hundred percent, that’s one of the things I’m proud of. That for 13 or 14 years, I was invested fully, every day.”

When asked about being the face of American Men’s tennis for so long, Roddick said “it’s been a pleasure. It’s not something that’s easy every day, for sure, especially when you get kind of anointed at a young age, 17, 18.”

Finally, Roddick talked about playing at Arthur Ashe Stadium for night matches. “I mean, it’s the most electric atmosphere in our sport,” he said, referencing the 23,000-seat arena that is the biggest in the sport. “There’s something about it. There’s a lot of eyeballs on TV sets from people who don’t even normally watch tennis during night matches of the US Open. I think I’ve played as many as anyone. Again, it’s just something I’ll look back on with really fond memories. Hopefully won’t be my last one,” he said. Many in the tennis world hope that tonight isn’t his final match on the court as well when he takes on Bernard Tomic.

US Open Last For Roddick

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Note to the press covering the US Open: You won’t have Andy Roddick to kick around anymore.

Or maybe he kicked us around.

The smart, quick-witted face of American Tennis since Andre Agassi retired, announced that this US Open will be his last tournament.

“I just feel like it’s time,” he said. “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.”

It’s always good for an athlete to know when to get out. And if his heart isn’t into it, then there is no reason to play. He made his money and has a good life with wife Brooklyn Decker.

And he ends a champion winning the 2003 US Open, but also losing three Wimbledon Finals and the 2006 US Open Finals to Roger Federer.

In that way, he is more like the Patrick Ewing Knicks, who couldn’t beat Michael Jordan.

But still, it’s all special. And frankly it’s too early for Roddick to tell what his greatest achievement has been.

“I don’t view it in a scope of where you had your best win,” he said.  “I’ve had a lot of different memories.  I’ll certainly look back.  I feel like I’d be cheating the other memories if I said one was the highlight.

“You know, I feel like I’ve been very lucky.  That’s certainly not lost on me.”

Maybe the toughest was the 2009 Wimbledon Finals which went to five sets and Federer beat him 16-14 in the fifth set.

It was the one that got away for Roddick but it also shows the type of player he was.

On Tuesday, he discussed the game after his first round match and said he thought the reason why he lasted so long was his ability to make adjustments. When he started the game was less physical but became more of a power match over the last five years.

“The game completely changed,” Roddick said.  “I was able to kind of recognize it.  It’s funny, because the things I feel like I get criticized for have kept me around a lot more than my contemporaries.

“Let’s say I came up with Marat and Ferrero and a couple other guys.  Obviously everyone points to Roger, but we can all point to Roger all day.  If that’s the comparison we’re drawing, then we’re going to end up with the stories we have had.

“I saw the way the game was going.  You have to get stronger and quicker.  I don’t think there was much room for a plodder who could hit the ball pretty hard.”

“It was a conscious effort at times, and I feel like that’s added to longevity a little bit.”

Now at 30, it’s time to move on. Roddick will close out his career either tomorrow or sometime next week as he looks to put a capper on one of the more interesting eras in American tennis history.

And what’s next?

“Well, immediately we announced yesterday or the day before we’re building, with my foundation, a youth tennis and learning center in Austin,” he said  “I’d like to be hands on with that and not see it periodically.  I’d like to be kind of on‑site every day.  There’s some other projects, kind of side projects, that I’ve been doing.

“Those excite me a lot right now.  So I’m looking forward to it.”

Bell Challenge: Paszek Beats Sands

BELL CHALLENGE
Québec City-CAN
September 13-19, 2010
$220,000/International
Hard/Indoors

Results – Sunday, September 19, 2010
Singles – Final
(Q) Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 76(6) 26 75

Doubles – Final
Arvidsson/Larsson (SWE/SWE) d. (1) Mattek-Sands/Zahlavova Strycova (USA/CZE) 61 26 106 (Match TB)

Final Facts
– 19-year-old Paszek wins her second Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title, four years after she won the first, at Portoroz in 2006. She is now 2-1 in career finals, having been runner-up to Patty Schnyder at Bali in 2008.
– After an injury-marred 2009, Paszek, a former No.35, had to make it through qualifying on account of her ranking of No.151. Thanks to her Canadian win she jumps to No.92 on the September 20 rankings.
– Paszek didn’t drop a set en route to the final. Against Mattek-Sands she saved two set points in the first set and recovered a 3-1 deficit in the decider.
– Mattek-Sands was contesting her second Tour singles final; the first was at this event in 2008, when she was runner-up to Nadia Petrova, also in three sets.
– Swedes Sofia Arvidsson and Johanna Larsson win their first Tour title together. It’s a first doubles title for Arvidsson and first Tour title of any kind for Larsson.

Final Quotes
Tamira Paszek, 2010 Bell Challenge singles champion:
“It’s overwhelming. I’m extremely happy. Anytime you win a tournament for the first time it’s very special. This is something I’ll remember the rest of my life. I want to thank my family and friends for supporting me during tough times last year. I always believed I could come back.”

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 2010 Bell Challenge singles runner-up:
“This is my best tournament. When I made the final here again I really wanted to get my picture up on the champion’s wall. Tamira is a tough player. She was injured for a little bit but obviously playing qualifying here and making it all the way to the final, she has been playing really well.”