August 31, 2012

Goodnight, Andy

Andy Roddick just announced his retirement effective at the end of the US Open.

Only forty-seven men have won a grand slam title in the open era (since 1968).

Andy Roddick is one of the twenty of them who have won 'only' one title in that era.

Roger Federer is 343 days older than Andy Roddick and won his first grand slam title two months before Andy Roddick won his first and only.

Andy Roddick was unlucky to have had his career overlap with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. (By the time Djokovic became a major player, Andy Roddick no longer was.)

Roddick won his grand slam - the 2003 US Open - the year after Pete Sampras won his last - the 2002 US Open.

All twenty men who won 'only' one grand slam title in the open era:
  • Pat Cash
  • Michael Chang
  • Alberto Costa
  • Juan Martin del Potro
  • Mark Edmondson
  • Juan Carlos Ferrero
  • Gaston Gaudio
  • Andres Gimeno
  • Andres Gomez
  • Goran Ivanisevic
  • Thomas Johansson
  • Peter Korda
  • Richard Krajicek
  • Carlos Moya
  • Thomas Muster
  • Manuel Orantes
  • Yannick Noah
  • Andy Roddick
  • Michael Stich
  • Brian Teacher

I certainly won't say that I will miss Andy Roddick. He is far from my favorite player, and his petulance last summer in Cincinnati just about ruined my taste for him entirely. He played with his heart on his sleeve, letting us see his frustration as well as his successes and joys on the court at all times, and there were times that meant we got to see his negatives as well as his positives.

Today I'll think back to Roddick's three Wimbledon finals against Roger Federer (2004, 2005, 2009), particularly the spectacular 16-14 fifth set in 2009. He also lost to Federer in the 2006 US Open final. Thus went the career of the greatest post-Agassi/Sampras American men's tennis player we've seen so far.

Here's to hoping that Roddick can make a miraculous charge to the middle of the second week. He'll have a tough road with del Potro in the round of 16 then Djokovic in the quarters, but it would be nice to see Roddick's formerly booming serve unleashed for at least one last weekend at Flushing Meadows.


coachsullivan said...

Has their been a better "fifth wheel" in any stretch of tennis history? 32 tour titles and four Grand Slam finals appearances is nothing to sneeze at. However, in the era of Federer/Nadal/Djokovic/Murray he sort of got left by the wayside. Actually, I guess it's still kind of up-in-the-air whether Murray or Roddick gets treated kinder by history. To this point, you'd have to probably give Roddick the slight edge. High ranking of #1 (Murray's been as high as #2), 32-23 edge in tournament titles, both have been to four Grand Slam finals but Roddick has a title and Murray doesn't. Murray does, however, have an 8-3 record all-time in their head-to-head matchups.

PHSChemGuy said...

Gimme a bit to think about this...the whole 'fifth wheel' thing kinda bothers me. Have we ever had a big three (or four if you want t include Murray) be this consistently dominant in tennis history? I really have no idea.