Andy Roddick announced on Thursday that the U.S. Open will be his last tournament. He will retire from the game after the tournament. Which begs the question, what will his legacy be?
I have heard some say that Roddick was an underachiever. I beg to differ.
Unfortunately, Roddick falls in a category of many players of his era. He was at his peak during the same time Roger Federer was at his. Federer is clearly one of the most dominating players the game has ever seen. His accomplishments have been well documented and stand on their own.
Andy Roddick is a Majors Champion having won the U.S. Open in 2003 and a former World Number One. He is the last American Man to win a Grand Slam event and again, a lot of that has to do with Federer. In fact, Roddick found himself in four other Majors Finals during his career but each time faced none other than Federer. And each time lost.
Clearly, Federer has been a better player than Roddick but there is no shame in that. Federer has been a better player than everyone during his era.
But the fact that Roddick failed in those matches against Federer should not tarnish his legacy of being one of the better players of his generation.
Roddick has carried the torch as best American Men's Player since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi retired from the game. He has held that title until recently when players such as John Isner and Mardy Fish have stepped into that role.
Following the likes of Sampras and Agassi were no easy shoes to fill as those two legends combined for 22 Grand Slam Titles. And the failures of American Men of late is a topic for another day, but Roddick trained hard, played hard and left it all on the court. And while some did not like some of his antics on the court, Roddick has been a fierce competitor.
Roddick hinted that part of the reason he is retiring now is that he did not want to disrespect the game watching his rankings fall. And he has now passed the torch to a group of younger Americans.
Much like players such as John McEnroe, Roddick stepped up big in the Davis Cup, playing for the United States. He holds a career 33-12 record in Davis Cup matches. And always made it clear as to the pride he took in playing for the United States.
He has been a player who has contributed off the court as well. Roddick was awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year due to his charity work after the tsunami following the Indian Ocean earthquake in 2004.
Roddick and his record serve, which has been recorded over 150 mph, will likely take his talents to radio where he is part of a national radio show in the past and says he will turn his attention to his foundation which is an organization geared to "Serving Children Today for Tomorrow".
But he still has some unfinished business at this years U.S. Open. He is in action under the lights tonight against Bernard Tomic.