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Roddick To Retire Following US Open

New York, U.S.A.

Roddick © Getty ImagesAndy Roddick announced that he will retire following the US Open.

On his 30th birthday, American Andy Roddick announced that he will be retiring following the US Open. “I'll make this short and sweet,” Roddick said to begin his press conference Thursday in New York. “I've decided that this is going to be my last tournament.”

“It's been a process,” the former champion said of his decision. “Certain parts throughout the year, I've thought about it, just with the way my body feels, with the way that I'm able to feel like I'm able to compete now, I don't know that it's good enough. 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.”

Roddick shared that he will turn his focus to the sports and learning centre he will be opening next year in Austin, Texas, through his foundation.

“I'd like to be hands on with that and not see it periodically,” he said. “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.”

ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett paid tribute to Roddick following his announcement Thursday. “I would like to congratulate Andy on an outstanding career and thank him for 13 years of fantastic memories," he said. “A former ATP World Tour No. 1, Andy is one of the greatest competitors this game has ever seen, and his presence at the top of the men's game for more than a decade is a testament to his talent and determination.

“Perhaps even more important than his accomplishments on the court, Andy has dedicated himself to raising millions of dollars to help children in need through the Andy Roddick Foundation.

“Andy will be sorely missed by his fellow players, tournaments and not least his millions of fans around the world. Everyone at the ATP wishes Andy and his family all the very best in the future.”

The Nebraska native won his lone Grand Slam title in 2003 at the US Open and went on to become the youngest American to finish the season at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.

He said of being the face of American tennis for much of the past decade: “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.  It's something you roll with. For the moments where it's been hard, I've had 25 positive things that have come from it. Again, anything that people may view as tough, I've been very lucky and very fortunate. I've gotten a lot of opportunities. I wouldn't trade away a day of it.  I've loved every minute.”

Since turning pro in 2000, Roddick has won 610 matches and 32 titles - respectively the second and third most among active players on the ATP World Tour. He became the 19th player in the Open Era to reach the 600 match wins plateau this past June en route to the grass-court title at the AEGON International at Eastbourne. The following month, he won the hard-court title at the BB&T Atlanta Open.

In addition to his triumph nine years ago at Flushing Meadows, Roddick also reached four other major finals - three times at Wimbledon (2004, ’05 and ’09) and at the 2006 US Open - losing to Roger Federer on each occasion. The 2009 Wimbledon final was decided in a 16-14 fifth set; Roddick did not drop serve until the final game, holding 37 straight service games.

“For 13 or 14 years, I was invested fully, every day,” he said, explaining what he was most proud of. “I've seen a lot of people throughout that time be invested for a year, kind of tap out for a year, come back.  I've been pretty good about keeping my nose to the grindstone. I feel like I won a lot of matches from hard work and persistence.”

Roddick, who opened with a straight-sets win over countryman Rhyne Williams, will play 19-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic in the second round Friday evening on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I think I wanted an opportunity to say good bye to people,” he said. “I don't know how tomorrow's going to go.  I hope it goes well and I hope I'm sticking around.” 

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