December 1, 2015

Andy Roddick Announces Retirement after US Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Andy Roddick held a news conference at the US Open Thursday evening to announce that he is retiring from playing tennis after the US Open.

“I have decided that this is going to be my last tournament,” Roddick said. “I don’t know if I’m healthy enough or committed enough to continue another year. I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event. I have a lot of family and friends here. I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament. When I was playing my first round, I knew.”


When asked about what he will miss most he answered, “All you guys,” referring to the media

During his career Roddick won 32 career ATP World Tour titles. He became No. 1 in the world in November 2003 and ended the year as the youngest American to do so at 21 years and three months.

Roddick won the 2003 US Open and was a Wimbledon finalist 2004-05 and 2009.

Roddick was always a Davis Cup stalwart, helping to lead the US to the 2007 title.

 In his own words: exerpts from Andy Roddick’s news conference


I just feel like it’s time.  I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year.  I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event.  I have a lot of family and friends here.  I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament.

When I was playing my first round, I knew.

You know, certain parts throughout the year, I’ve thought about it.  You know, just with the way my body feels, with the way that I’m able to feel like I’m able to compete now, I don’t know that it’s good enough.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who’s interested in existing on tour.  I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me.  I’m looking forward to those.

Q.  You’ve been talking about this for a couple years.  We’ve talked about 30 is not that old in tennis.  Obviously Federer is 30.  You’ve been a good athlete, very competitive.  In a sense, you’re sort of retiring early, no?

ANDY RODDICK:  Now you’re saying that (smiling)?

Q.  Yes.

ANDY RODDICK:  Well, it’s good.  I didn’t want to make it through this press conference without a direct comparison to Roger, so thank you for that.

I don’t know, necessarily.  A number is a number.  But I think wear and tear and miles is something that’s not really an age thing.  You know, if you look at my contemporaries that started with me, Roger is the only one that’s still going and still going strong.

It’s a matter of how I feel.  I feel like I’m able to compete at the highest level.  Frankly, these guys have gotten really, really, really good.  I’m not sure that with compromised health that I can do what I want to do right now.

Well, immediately we announced yesterday or the day before we’re building, with my foundation, a youth tennis and learning center in Austin.  I’d like to be hands on with that and not see it periodically.  I’d like to be kind of on‑site every day.  There’s some other projects, kind of side projects, that I’ve been doing.

Those excite me a lot right now.  So I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve always, for whatever my faults have been, felt like I’ve never done anything halfway.  Probably the first time in my career that I can sit here and say I’m not sure that I can put everything into it physically and emotionally.  I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home.  I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year.  But the more I thought about it, I think you either got to be all in or not.  You know, that’s more kind of the way I’ve chosen to do things.

I’ve had some hard conversations with Brooke this year, with Doug and Larry.  You know, it was Brooke and I’s little secret over the last couple days.  I talked to Larry and Doug today.

We had talked about it throughout the year, obviously.  Talked to a bunch of my friends that are here.  It’s time.

You know, I’m lucky enough, there are a lot of players where I live.  I don’t think I’m one of the guys who won’t pick up a racquet for three years.  You know, I still love the innocent parts of the game.  I love hitting tennis balls.  I love seeing the young guys do well.

I’ll still have a lot of friends to watch.  I’ll miss the relationships probably the most.  As time passes, I’ll probably miss the tennis more.  But immediately that’s probably the thing that is toughest for me.

I think I wanted an opportunity to say good‑bye to people, as well.  I don’t know how tomorrow’s going to go.  I hope it goes well and I hope I’m sticking around.  I just imagine being off the court tomorrow in an empty locker room.

I think I wanted a chance to say good‑bye.  Also, if I do run into some emotions tomorrow or in four days or however long, I don’t want people to think I’m a little unstable, or more unstable (smiling).  That’s why I came to this decision.

There are a lot of different personalities.  Some people just want to play until they can’t play anymore, until they’re pushed out just by ranking, or they can’t get into tournaments.

I don’t think it’s fair to maybe generalize this moment for people.  Different people tick in different ways.  I don’t know that I looked at anybody else’s scenario when thinking about this ’cause I don’t know that I could pretend to relate to whatever they were thinking at a given moment.

I think so.  At the end of the day, I know that people view it as a career, last little while, of some hard knocks.  But I got to play.  I got to play in a crowd, play in Wimbledon finals, be the guy on a Davis Cup team for a while.  Those are opportunities not a lot of people get.

As much as I was disappointed and frustrated at times, I’m not sure that I ever felt sorry for myself or begrudged anybody any of their success.

For the moments where it’s been hard, I’ve had 25 positive things that have come from it.  Again, anything that people may view as tough, I’ve been very lucky and very fortunate.  I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities.

I wouldn’t trade away a day of it.  I’ve loved every minute.

A lot of stuff with my foundation will probably be my primary focus from here for a little bit.  Obviously I’ve gone over to the dark side with you guys with the radio show a little bit.  So that’s fun.  It’s something I enjoy doing.  I’ll probably build on that a little bit.

There are some other things also.  I’m looking forward to it.

I feel clear.  If I’m being honest, I would have bet against myself on getting through this without tears today.  I must have already gotten them all out earlier.

I feel pretty good today.  This has been a huge part of my life always.  But I don’t know that it’s always been my entire life.  So I do feel very confident in the things and the people that I have to fall back on.

My first time?  I was here in ’98, I played Fernando González in the juniors first round.

I came here in I think it was 1990 with my parents as a birthday present.  I snuck into the players lounge without a credential.

I saw Pete.  He was playing video games.  I’m pretty sure I beat him at like Mortal Kombat or something.  That was fun.

I was here in ’91 when Jimmy was making his run.  We only had grounds passes, but I got into the stadium every day somehow.

Then playing here, I think I played professional in ’99 doubles for the first time.  There have been a lot of memories here.

It’s meant a lot.  It’s the highest of highs and probably the lowest of lows also.  It’s certainly never been boring.  I’ve always enjoyed the energy.  I feel like each Grand Slam is almost a microcosm of the place it’s played in.

This is a show.  It’s New York City in every way.  I’m glad that I’ve been a very, very small part of it.

I mean, it’s the most electric atmosphere in our sport.  There’s something about it.  There’s a lot of eyeballs on TV sets from people who don’t even normally watch tennis during night matches of the US Open.  I think I’ve played as many as anyone.

Again, it’s just something I’ll look back on with really fond memories.  Hopefully won’t be my last one.

You know, I don’t think I’m foolish enough to think that it’s all going to be easy for me.  I don’t know that I would be that presumptuous.

I love my home life, my friends, my wife.  My dog is going to be excited.  I’m not going to be a dead‑beat dad anymore (smiling).  It will be an adjustment, but hopefully if I ever want to come say hi to you all, they’ll give me a credential.


A New “Sunshine” – Victoria Duval

Victoria Duval photo by Steve Pratt


(August 28, 2012) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Tennis may already have a player with the nickname “sunshine” in Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, but in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday night a 16-year-old wild card entrant from Florida may be taking that “sunshine” nick name away from the Dane. Meet the US National 18 and under champion and Florida native Victoria Duval. She was a hit with both the public and media at the US Open despite losing to 25th seed Kim Clijsters 6-3, 6-1.

The charming, high-pitched teenager ranked 562 in the world welcomed the fact that she drew Clijsters, one of her idols in the first round. I felt like one of the luckiest 16-year-olds ever,” said Duval. To play Clijsters in her last tournament, it was exciting.”

It was like history repeating, when Clijsters was 16, she played Steffi Graf in the German’s last tournament. “She told me that walking out to the court,”Duval noted.

“I had moments when I was younger when I played Steffi (Graf) at Wimbledon and she was my big idol,” Clijsters said. “So it kind of takes you back through a lot of emotions and memories.

“It was nice in a way to get a feeling of the atmosphere from her side. I just told her that we’ve all been there, and it’s great to have these opportunities. We spoke a bit after the match. She was really sweet. I think she has a good game to be out there.”

“I was saying that I couldn’t even sleep I was so excited, so she (Clijsters) said ˜I know how you feel.”

From the moment she stepped on court, the New York crowd was supporting the teenager and loudly cheered her on, for every point and game she won. It was the Floridian of Haitian descent’s first-ever tour-level main draw match.

“Indescribable feeling,” was Duval’s reaction in regard to 23,000 fans supporting her, “it was much more than I expected. The whole atmosphere was just incredible.”

“I was really nervous. But I thought I did a good job of not showing it.”

“What surprised me was the crowd, it was a different experience when you are hearing it on TV than when you are actually there. Having all those people behind me since the first game, it was incredible,” said the teenager with almost the sense of disbelief.

Duval actually had a 3-2 lead in the first set against Clijsters, “Walking to the chair, I was like, `I am actually up 3-2 right now!'” Duval said. “She definitely picked up her level a lot¦.she played like Kim Clijsters from that point on.”

Duvall”s engaging personality dismissed the struggles her family has had while living in Haiti. Although she was born in Florida, she grew up in Haiti where her parents are from. As a child, Duval and some of her cousins were taken hostage by robbers.

Her father also survived a 2010 earthquake in Haiti, in which he survived being buried under rubble and his legs were broken.

Her hardships have made her and her tennis stronger.

“It helped my tennis in the sense that in those circumstances, we were just saying, no matter how tough things get, you’re always going to get out of it.’ So in my tennis, that’s basically what I’ve been living by,”

“We were in the locker room and Kim asked to take a picture, just for her memory. I thought that was so nice cuz I was he one that should be begging her her for her picture.”

“She is definitely, you know, my idol, and that”s why it shows again why she”s a nice person.”

Duval”s other tennis idols include Venus and Serena Williams.

“I got a chance to see Venus,” Duval commented. “I didn’t get a chance to interact with her.. but hopefully I”ll get a chance because I love her too.”

“I get compared to Venus with my game, because of our physicality, “ Duval said. “So I always watch her tapes to see what I can improve in my game.”

Answering a question on whether or not she’ll reach Venus’s height, Duval quipped: “I was told my growth plates are still open, so it looks goooood!!! Six feet, C’mon!”

With a large Haitian community in the New York City area I asked her about their support. I’m sure a lot of them were watching,” Duval said. “Maybe all of Haiti but I don’t know.”

Duvall may be out of the women’s singles but she’ll play the Junior tournament. “Downgrading,” she said jokingly. Last year she played three junior slams – the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

She’s planning on playing more professional tournaments, while playing some of the junior Grand Slam events. She’s hoping to get her ranking high enough to play in the professional ranks. “My dream is playing pro tennis,” Duval said.

Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.