WTA Waves Goodbye To A-Rod
Published September 24, 2012 04:04
A few weeks ago the WTA waved a final farewell to Kim Clijsters at the US Open. However, the Belgian was not the only modern day great to hang up the racquets for good at the end of the tournament.
Like Clijsters, Andy Roddick made his Grand Slam breakthrough in New York, and, like her, he also saw it as a fitting place to bring down the curtain on a trophy-laden career.
With 32 career titles, including that 2003 US Open crown, three Wimbledon runner-up trophies, 13 weeks at World No.1 and goodness knows how many aces, Roddick brought plenty of excitement to tennis fans the world over. And among their number were a few of the WTA's own.
Having shared the tennis circuit for the last decade, Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova's careers have all been intertwined with Roddick's. In this time, all three got to know the big-serving American, who was regarded by fans, press and players alike as one of the game's most intelligent, quick-witted and likeable characters.
Here's what they had to say about him:
Serena: He told me a while ago that this would be it. I was at his house in Austin at the end of the year.You know, we were talking about it. At the time, I was just thinking, 'change your mind, Andy, change your mind.' But I guess he didn't!
Maria: It's difficult when you've tasted such great success and you expect yourself to be in later stages of tournaments, to kind of see yourself fall down a little bit and just think that, 'oh, it's okay if I'm in the third or fourth round.' Then it all starts to come together and you perhaps start thinking there are things in life other than tennis.
Venus: You know, when you're ready, you're ready. He's had a wonderful career but I think he realized maybe now was the right time.
Serena: Andy's been great. He's been great for American men's tennis, great for the US Open, doing so much, playing so well so often, just being such a great player. He started the trend of big servers - when you think of big servers, you think of Andy Roddick. I also think he accomplished a lot; he's been to the Wimbledon final three times and was so close in one of them, just points away.
Venus: I think winning the US Open was amazing for him. Particularly to do it when he was so young. I think he leaves a legacy as a great American champion. I'll miss him being around on tour and he definitely leaves big boots to fill for American men's tennis.
Serena: He just had a great, great attitude and was incredibly fun to watch. You know, I know a lot of people look up to Andy Roddick and say, 'that's who I want to be like.' It's very incredibly, incredibly, incredibly sad for me to lose a friend on tour that I look forward to seeing every Grand Slam and every shared tournament. It's going to be hard.