The news of Andy Roddick’s retirement sent some shockwaves through the tennis world and many of his contemporaries gave their thoughts on what the 2003 US Open Champion meant to them.
James Blake was getting ready to play when the press conference happened. He wasn’t told by Roddick but did see the presser before his second round win.
“I had an inclination from the beginning of the year,” he said. “But I really thought his success at Eastbourne, success at Atlanta, the fact he was playing well again could have possibly changed that.
“To be honest, I thought it would have changed his mind when he beat Federer in Miami. To me that showed he could still beat the top guys.”
Serena Williams, said she knew about the announcement, so it didn’t come as a surprise.
“He told me a while ago, last year, this would be it,” Williams said. “I was at his house at Austin and we were talking about it.
“He’s been great for American men’s tennis, great for the US Open, doing so much and playing so well, just being a great player. A great attitude, incredibly fun to watch. You know, I know a lot of people look up to Andy Roddick. That’s who I want to be like.”
Sam Querrey also described him as his idol and a great help.
“He’s been my biggest role model the last 10 years playing tennis,” Querrey said. “He’s been a great guy, great leader to us all. Nice and kind. Real generous to the up-and-comers.
“For me, for [Ryan] Harrison, for the 18 year-olds now, he’s just been an unbelievable champion, a Hall of Famer, just a great guy, great person for the sport of tennis.”
Then there is Roger Federer, the man he just never could beat.
“Look you are always going to have someone around,” he said. “I had many guys who denied me many things. That was the last thing that came to my mind when he told me he was going to retire.
“He was happy to go into retirement. He had an amazing career. Some expected better; some expected worse. But I am sure he is happy with what he achieved because he achieved everything he wanted.
“Maybe to lose that Wimbledon title potentially, but let’s forget about that. He was in those Wimbledon titles. He could have gotten that title. That’s what I said when I beat him in ’09. He deserves this title as well. In my mind, he is a Wimbledon Champion as well, a wonderful ambassador for the game.
“I’m thankful for everything he’s done for the game, especially here for tennis in America. It’s not been easy after Agassi and Sampras, Currier, Chang, Connors, McEnroe, you name it.”