US OPEN 2012
US Open Diary: Roddick Calls It A Career
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at the US Open on the second Wednesday.
Roddick Calls It A Career
During his 13 years on tour, Andy Roddick had nearly as many notable moments in the press room as he did on the court. His final press conference was no exception as the 30-year-old American received an ovation from the US Open press corps before sharing his thoughts on the final few points of his fourth-round loss to Juan Martin del Potro.
"It was tough," admitted Roddick. "Once he kind of got up there in that match it was a different set of circumstances than my previous matches. Then you start thinking about how real it is and a lot of thoughts go through your head.
"You're thinking about matches you're playing when you're 12 or I was thinking about my mom driving me to practices all over the place. You just think about a million things. Then all of a sudden you have to play a point against one of the best players in the world. It certainly was a mixed bag there at the end."
One of tennis’ strongest personalities, Roddick also joked about the significance of his final press conference and reminisced on his colourful relationship with the journalists throughout his career.
"I made a joke when [the media staff] came and got me," he said. "I was walking out of the locker room, and I said, 'Man, I think I have more expectation of this press conference than I did the match today.'
"So I think it's at the point now where I look back on rough moments fondly in these rooms. I hope you all do, too. There have certainly been some good ones; there have been some fun ones. There have been some horrible ones both ways, but it wasn't boring."
Tributes Pour In
Since he announced his retirement a week ago, on his 30th birthday, tributes have poured in for Roddick from throughout the sports and entertainment world. When he finally hung up his racquet on Wednesday afternoon, more of his peers took to Twitter to express their gratitude and memories of Roddick.
@jojomelzer (Jürgen Melzer): “true champion, longtime friend but most importantly one of the greatest people I have ever get to know leaves our sport! thanks @andyroddick”
@mattebden (Matt Ebden): “What a great champion of this great game, here's to you @andyroddick !!!”
Del Potro Making A Habit Of It
Andy Roddick is not the first player whom 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has sent into retirement. The Argentine was also responsible for ending Marat Safin’s career in 2009 when he defeated the two-time major champion in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters.
"Well, Safin was one of my idols, and when you play these kind of matches, it's completely different," said del Potro. "My last time playing in Arthur Ashe was when I beat Federer and, I came today to play once again against Andy Roddick.
"It was of course an amazing moment for me also winning in the match. But I think the words are enough for this moment. He has to enjoy the life, and I would like to congratulate him because he made an unbelievable career."
What I’ve Learned
Thirteen years on tour, one Davis Cup triumph, five Grand Slam finals, including one major title, and 32 tour-level trophies in total. Andy Roddick gave himself completely to tennis and also to his philanthropic work through his Foundation. He has received many words of wisdom throughout his time in tennis, and when asked in his press conference if he could recall any particular standout advice, it was little surprise to see the values Roddick treasured most.
"I learned a lot of things," said the Texan. "I was lucky because I got to be around all of our best champions. I knew them all well. All my idols became friends and people that I could talk to.
"I remember doing exhibitions with Andre, and he'd teach me things like, you leave a room and it's someone you're going to see again, write some names down. Remember names. That's something you should do. That's a sign of respect.
"He would show me kind of when you're 18 you fumble along and mumble your name, and he wasn't okay with that. So little things like that he helped a lot with."
Berdych Acknowledges Federer Genius
He may have toppled the five-time US Open champion, but Tomas Berdych admitted afterward there were times when he was left dumbfounded by the Roger Federer’s brilliance on a tennis court, acknowledging there was little to do except tip your hat.
"You cannot be anything else," said the Czech. "When you play really great shots, really great rally, and then he comes up with a shot like that, then I just give him my credit for that.
"It was not only this point. I mean, he did many others like this. But that's Roger. With him it's not luck. He really knows how to hit those shots and actually how to read the situation to make the shot happen. I have to laugh. There is nothing else to do."