On August 30th, Andy Roddick announced that he would retire after the U.S. Open. “I just feel like it’s time. I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event.” Roddick then faced Bernard Tomic in his second round match and won 6-3, 6-4, 6-0. In the third round, Roddick faced Fabio Fognini and won 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. In his Round of 16 match today, Juan Martin Del Potro beat Roddick in the final match of his career 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Right before Roddick’s match against Tomic, he said, “I think I wanted an opportunity to say goodbye to people, as well. I don’t know how tomorrow’s going to go, and I hope it goes well, and I’m sticking around.” Roddick has been the best American tennis player in the past decade, so many fans must have appreciated his desire to say goodbye at the U.S. Open. After Roddick’s announcement of his retirement, he claimed that he also received so much support from fans all over the world. This support must have pushed him through the next couple rounds, because for the rest of his matches, Arthur Ashe Stadium was packed with fans wanting to witness Roddick play at this last tournament. With all this support, Roddick hadn’t shown too much emotion in his matches over his decision to retire. He appeared to remain focused, and, frankly, he was playing great tennis so he didn’t have to think about retirement yet.
Once Del Potro started to settle into the match today though, the crowd suddenly started to realize that this might actually be the end. After today’s loss, all the fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium and watching at home were extremely emotional. Roddick could barely even look over at his box, because he didn’t want to see how emotional his trainer, his coach, his parents, and his wife were. Del Potro showed such class after the match and truly let it be Roddick’s moment. Roddick was able to address the crowd after the loss and here is what he said:
Roddick said he’d been contemplating retirement for a while now. He’s faced more injuries in the past couple years than he has ever in his career, and he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play a whole other year. Roddick knew he wanted to retire at the U.S. Open though because of the immense fan support he always receives, and because this is where he won his only Grand Slam tournament in 2003. “I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament,” he said, “and when I played the first round, I knew.” Watch the press conference where he announced his retirement below:
Overall, Andy Roddick had an incredible career. He made U.S. tennis relevant again, he became a leader amongst the American tennis players, he provided humor in his matches and his press conferences, and he consistently displayed exceptional class and respect for the game. He will be missed immensely in the game of tennis for many years to come. Roddick might not have always been the best player in the world, but he was certainly one of the most fun to watch. Congratulations to Andy Roddick on a fantastic career!
Check out some of the top moments of Roddick’s career here.