Andy Roddick turned
31 30 today, and how'd he celebrate? He announced that he will retire immediately after the U.S. Open. People may have been calling for it, but no one was expecting it. Roddick's performance dropped rapidly this year, and he had his worst Grand Slam season ever. He lost in the second round of the Australian; in the first at the French; in the third at Wimbledon.
Roddick was always prickly—and sometimes refreshingly honest—but the American's career will always be looked at as something of a disappointment. And it wasn't enitrely his fault. He's finished each of the last 11 years ranked in the Top 15, including a year-end ranking of No. 1 in 2003. He has a U.S. Open win from the same year and three Wimbledon final appearances (all of which were lost to Roger Federer). Just bad timing. He was peaking just as Roger Federer finally quit throwing temper tantrums and grew into the best player in tennis; he hit his prime just as Rafael Nadal turned pro.
Roddick always had to walk around with insane pressure on his shoulders since he was America's best tennis player since the Sampras/Agassi era. And even when he was losing to a guy from Switzerland or Spain or Siberia, as he often was, at least he had an American sense of humor about it: