Tuesday , November 28 2023
After this last match Roddick sort of told the press that he could be done.

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Roddick – The Greatest Tennis Player That Never Was

As a fan of tennis for a long time, I remember seeing the great American tennis players like Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, and John McEnroe always put on a wonderful show in the main events. They made it interesting and they rose to the challenges of the Grand Slam tournaments. Then there was Pete Sampras, the greatest American tennis player of all time, and it was just a joy to watch him on the court. At this time of year during Wimbledon, I wish there was an American player like this on the court. Sadly, there is not.

I am not sure what happened to Andy Roddick along the way, but for a guy who has made over $20 million in his career, he has left little impression in the moments that count over the last nine years. Take his last match at Wimbledon 2012. The 30th seed lost to Spaniard David Ferrer 6-2, 6-7 (8-10), 4-6, 3-6 in what was a classic case of a Roddick meltdown. After dominating in the first set, the turnaround came after he lost a hard fought second set. The third and fourth sets saw Roddick fade away and Ferrer won easily.

This is the same Andy Roddick who boasts the 150+ miles per hour serve, the one who won at the U.S. Open in 2003 and became ranked #1 shortly thereafter. He was one of People’s sexiest men alive (there seems to be too many guys formerly in this category these days) and he is, of course, married to Brooklyn Decker, certainly one of the most beautiful women on the planet. His life would seem to be charmed in many ways, but success in the matches that count has been elusive.

He can win (and win decisively) as recently displayed last month at the AEGON International in England. It does seem though that when he gets on the big stage (meaning one of the Grand Slams) he falters and does so precipitously, as seen in the match against Ferrer. It is obvious that he is a well-conditioned and talented athlete, so what is happening to him?

After this last match Roddick sort of told the press that he could be done. “I don’t have a definitive answer, I can’t give you much else,” he said. In a symbolic gesture that only confirmed that this was his last Wimbledon in the minds of many, he blew a kiss to the fans and the stadium, looking more than anything like a final farewell. We tennis fans can only scratch our heads and wonder why.

My father is a bigger tennis fan than I am, and he jokingly blames the beautiful women in tennis players lives. He will note what Brooke Shields did to Andre Agassi’s game and that Bridgette Wilson did the same thing to Sampras, and now Brooklyn is having the negative effect on Andy. Dad even claims that Agassi became a better player once he and Shields parted ways, but I wonder if that had more to do with him having a love match with Steffi Graf (arguably the greatest female tennis player ever) who understood the nature of the game better than Shields and could provide the support he needed.

Whatever the case, it seems to me that Andy Roddick is the greatest tennis player that never was. He had shown such amazing potential, but as he is turning 30 this August, the chances are that he will never ascend to the level that once seemed to be within his grasp. If his comments and actions after the loss to Ferrer are any indication, Roddick may have come to terms with the end being near. Now it is time for the rest of us to do so as well.

Photo Credits: roddick-getty images; decker-imbd.com

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. His newest books 'The Stranger from the Sea' and 'Love in the Time of the Coronavirus' are available as e-books and in print. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

Check Also

Angelina Jolie Reveals Double Mastectomy – Will Her Bravery Help Redefine What Is Beautiful?

Not one to seem to be held down by standards, Ms. Jolie is now setting new ones.