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ATP Heritage: Andy Roddick, 2003

On 23 August, ATP celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings. We continue our countdown with a look at Andy Roddick, the 2003 year-end No. 1. #ATPHeritage

Andy Roddick was as brash and edgy as any player in tennis history, but sustained a fundamental humility and sense of his own good fortune throughout his career.

Roddick first became No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 3 November 2003, during the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. He spent 13 weeks at the summit of the sport.

"You can get hot and win a Grand Slam over a two-week period, but the year-end ranking is a 52-week process," said Roddick. "The year-end No. 1s, I think they are the ones remembered in our sport."

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Roddick learned that he had become the year-end No. 1 in 2003 while eating at a Mexican restaurant in Houston. He was watching Andre Agassi beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the Tennis Masters Cup [now named Barclays ATP World Tour Finals].

"The coolest thing about it for me was that my childhood idol won the match that made me No. 1," said Roddick. "It was just one of those ‘somebody pinch me so I know this is for real’ moments. It was surreal."

Roddick won his lone major at the 2003 US Open, beating Ferrero – the man he would replace at No. 1 eight weeks later. The Nebraskan lost to Roger Federer in his four other major championship final appearances (2004-05, '09 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open).

His serve was his outstanding weapon, but his baseline game featured a dangerous forehand and a backhand that evolved into a versatile tool. 

Roddick was ranked in the year-end Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for nine straight years (2002-2010); he reached 17 major quarter-finals and won five of his nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title matches. He won 32 singles titles and retired in September 2012. Visit Roddick Retirement Tribute Section

Read more about Roddick in "No. 1", our special commemorative coffee table book, celebrating all year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years. Buy Online Through Tennis Warehouse: Europe | Outside Europe

This year, the ATP pays special tribute to 25 former World No. 1s as part of the ATP Heritage programme, marking 40 years since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.

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