Wimbledon, the third Major of the season is now under our belts. With three Major Tournaments down, all eyes turn to the looming U.S. Open and for the next several weeks players will be sharpening their skills in the U.S. Open Series. Starting this week in Stanford, cities such as Atlanta, Washington, Cincinnati, Toronto and New Haven will be hosting tournaments in preparation for the last Major of the Season. I will be focusing on the Winston-Salem Open which runs from August 19-25. It is the last stop before the U.S. Open starts in New York.
In Winston-Salem, the 39 players currently entered to play are all in the top 68 in the World. It features a solid contention of Americans which include Andy Roddick, John Isner, Sam Querrey, James Blake and Donald Young.
With speculation on the future of Andy Roddick, a lot of eyes will be on the former World Number 1 as he enters the United States Open. Clearly, Roddick would like to go out on his own terms and New York has been a location Roddick has embraced. The New York crowds have returned the affection and it will be interesting to see how deep the former Champion can proceed.
Roddick will enter the U.S. Open as the third highest ranked American behind Mardy Fish and John Isner. But Roddick has been to the top winning the 2003 U.S. Open Championship over Juan Carlos Ferrero. He came along in one of the most competitive periods of Men's Tennis which included a number of head to head battles against arguably the greatest of all time in Roger Federer.
The American's best year was clearly 2003 when he won the Open and earned number one player in the World. Roger Federer took that the following year and was stingy on giving that title up the next several years.
Roddick has worked with coach and former Champion, Jimmy Connors for a period. He has helped lead the United States in Davis Cup play. He is also noted for some outbursts on the court which include an altercation with an Umpire at the 2010 Australian Open, as well as a verbal altercation with an official at the U.S. Open in the same year.
Off the court, Roddick has been a humanitarian with the Andy Roddick Foundation and won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award of the Year because of his charitable efforts. He has hinted of a radio career when his playing days are over.
But Roddick has one thing on his mind now, and that is a strong performance in the 2012 U.S. Open and he will be in the field of the Winston-Salem Open, one week before the last Major.
(photo courtesy of Boss Tweed)