Venus Williams and Andy Roddick Become Part Owners of World TeamTennis



NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 6, 2013) –  World TeamTennis announced today that tennis champions and global sports icons Venus Williams and Andy Roddick have become part owners of the business and of the professional team tennis league co-founded by Billie Jean King.

Both longtime Mylan WTT players, Williams and Roddick will help lead the organization forward and have an active voice in shaping its direction and expansion roadmap in both U.S. and international markets in the coming years. As global ambassadors for sport, the pair will have an important role in broadening visibility for World TeamTennis internationally, while helping attract new business partners and players to become part of the league. In addition, they will continue to compete in Mylan WTT, with Roddick taking the court for the Springfield Lasers and Williams returning to the Washington Kastles.

Billie Jean King, the majority owner of World TeamTennis, said, “I’m thrilled to have Venus and Andy become part of our leadership. They have always been more than amazing athletes – they are champions in life who have inspired so many and who I’m sure will bring an exciting perspective and valuable ideas to how we expand WTT both domestically and internationally.”

Williams’ connection to Mylan WTT goes back more than 20 years when she and her sister Serena attended a World TeamTennis youth clinic in Long Beach, Calif., when they were young children and met King. It was a moment that Williams never forgot and has spurred her to consistently play Mylan WTT throughout the years for both the competition and the opportunity to give back. Williams also played a pivotal role in getting equal prize money at the four majors and has been active in a number of charitable efforts.

Commenting on her new commitment to WTT, Venus Williams said, “I am very excited to join the ownership group for the organization that Billie Jean co-founded almost 40 years ago and for which I have played for over a decade. It’s no secret that she has been a great mentor and inspiration to me and this new ownership role is an opportunity to give back while also having an active hand in shaping the future direction of the league in a much more substantial way. WTT is on a great path and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”

Roddick has been a longtime supporter of Mylan WTT, dating back to his start on the professional tour at age 17. He returns for his 7th season this July, his first with the Springfield Lasers. Roddick has also participated for most of the past decade in Mylan WTT Smash Hits, the annual charity event co-hosted by Sir Elton John and King. Roddick has raised millions through the Andy Roddick Foundation (ARF) to develop and inspire underserved youth through education and sports-based mentoring.

Andy Roddick said, “I’ve always been a big supporter of Billie Jean’s and of WTT over the years. In my time playing in the league, I’ve seen firsthand not only the way it engages fans, but also what I see is a big opportunity to bring this type of competition to a broader audience in innovative new ways. I’m excited to have a seat at the table in helping guide where we take the league next.”

King concluded, “Venus and Andy also understand the connection that Mylan WTT teams make with local communities and can inspire so many young children to take up the sport and dream of one day playing for their hometown team.”

This announcement follows on a number of important developments with WTT in recent months including a new multi-year title sponsorship with Mylan Pharmaceuticals and multi-year renewals with GEICO as presenting sponsor and Wilson as the official tennis brand of Mylan World TeamTennis, and the addition of a new sponsorship partner, Adecco. Earlier this year, WTT added a presence in another major U.S. market with the relocation of a franchise to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where the Texas Wild will make their Mylan WTT debut this July in Irving, Texas.

The 2013 season will start out with an opportunity to make sports history as the defending Mylan WTT champion Washington Kastles, led by Venus Williams, put their 32-match win streak on the line on July 8 in Washington, D.C. The Kastles are only one win away from tying the major U.S. pro sports team record of 33 wins by the NBA’s 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

The 2013 season of Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO runs July 7-28 in eight U.S. markets. The regular season is July 7-24 with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to the 2013 Mylan WTT Conference Championships on Thursday, July 25. The 2013 Mylan WTT Finals will be contested on Sunday, July 28, on the home court of the Eastern Conference Champions.


Raonic Looks To Make History At This Year’s Final SAP Open


Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

By Kevin Ware

(February 12, 2013) SAN JOSE, California -This is a bittersweet moment as I prepare my preview for this year’s SAP Open.  The SAP Open, the second-oldest tournament in the US, is ending its’ illustrious run with this final week at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.  Many great and legendary players have hoisted the trophy through its’ various names and incarnations.  But whether it was the Siebel Open, the Sybase Open, or whatever, it didn’t matter to those of us in the Bay Area who were grateful for a chance to see world-class tennis. This tournament will be greatly missed!

This year’s edition promises one final hurrah with a great field and the addition of a mixed doubles exhibition match on Saturday, featuring longtime SAP Open stalwart Andy Roddick, 3-time Slam champion Lindsay Davenport, and 22-time Slam champion Stephanie “Steffi” Graf.  Defending champion Milos Raonic is also back to try for an historic SAP Open hat trick.  So even though this is the final SAP Open, it definitely promises to go out on a high.

Main draw action started Monday night with Xavier Malisse and Jesse Levine winning first-round matches. With qualifying rounds completed, the action starts in earnest on Tuesday with main draw matches for both singles and doubles.

Here is my breakdown of the quarters as I look for Raonic to make history for the tournament with his third straight title.


Milos Raonic [1]

The top quarter features top seeded Milos Raonic, who has a chance to pull off a rare “hat trick” win at this year’s SAP Open after title runs in 2011 and 2012.  How rare is it? No player has won three straight SAP Open titles since Tony Trabert accomplished the feat with wins in ’53, ’54, and ’55.  This includes greats like Ashe, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, and Roddick. a win in this final SAP Open would certainly put Milos at par with this very select group of players.

Milos likes the conditions in San Jose, and has played some of his best tennis on this center court over the past couple of years.  His serve has been off the charts, both in terms of pace and placement, and his ground game has been damaging off both his forehand and backhand wings. There isn’t much that’s likely to stop his march to the semifinals; not even a potential quarterfinal rematch against his 2012 finalist, Denis Istomin.

Sam Querrey [3]

The second quarter features Davis Cup hero, Sam Querrey.  It would be easy to peg Querrey as the favorite to make his way through to the semifinals, but he will have his hands full with his most likely second-round challenger, former champion Lleyton Hewitt.  While Hewitt has a first-round encounter with Blaz Kavcic to help him settle into the tournament and get used to the conditions, Sam has a first-round bye.

Most players will tell you that there’s nothing trickier than playing an opponent who’s “into” the tournament when you’re still trying to get used to the conditions. And even if they haven’t played since 2009, Hewitt’s 2-0 head-to-head over Querrey doesn’t help matters much either.  But if Sam settles into the match quickly, he should be okay for the win. On the other hand, Hewitt’s success at this year’s Kooyong exhibition showed that he’s a legitimate contender in best two out of three matches with significant wins over Raonic, Tomas Berdych, and Juan Martin Del Potro.

After Hewitt, seventh seed Marinko Matosevic of AUS will likely be Querrey’s last hurdle for a spot in the semifinals.

Tommy Haas [4]

Speaking of best two out of three set matches, the combination of the format and the quicker indoor court gives the number four seed a decent shot at making the quarterfinals. Once he gets there, however, he’ll have a tough battle to get by Fernando Verdasco [5] for the third semifinal spot.

Tommy has a 2-1 head-to-head edge over Fernando on tour, but they haven’t played since 2009.  In many ways, it’s either player’s match to win or lose.  If Tommy’s body and game hold up, it could happen for him.  Fernando is no slouch, though.  He’s one of three former champions in the field (along with Raonic and Hewitt), and knows what it takes to win in San Jose.

Also, I’m sure Fernando would like a chance at redemption for the title he felt that he wrongly lost in the 2011 final after a fan’s yell on match point distracted him while returning Raonic’s serve.

John Isner [2]

In spite of recent knee issues that kept him from performing his best in Australia, Big John looks to be moving decently and serving at close to his best level.  He lost a five set heartbreaker to Thomaz Bellucci in Davis Cup, but should be okay in San Jose even though he hasn’t played there since 2009.

With a 2-2 head-to-head record, veteran player Xavier Malisse might cause Isner some issues in their probable quarterfinal match-up.  But I’d be hard-pressed to see him not make it through to Saturday’s semifinals.

Semifinal Picks

Milos Raonic [1] versus Sam Querrey [3]

Head-to-head: Querrey leads 2-0

Querrey might have the advantage in the head-to-head numbers, but Milos has owned this court for the past two years.  In a battle of evenly-matched big guys with big serves and big groundstrokes, I have to give the edge to the guy who has won back-to-back titles in the past two years.

Raonic in straight sets.

Tommy Haas [4] versus John Isner [2]

Head-to-head: Isner leads 3-1

Make that 4-1 after this semifinal battle.  Isner has way too much firepower for Haas.  He will make the big guy work for it with smart shot-making, but it won’t be enough to counter Isner’s untouchable serve unless Tommy has a great returning day.

Isner in straight sets.

Final Picks

Milos Raonic [1] versus John Isner [2]

Head-to-head: Isner leads 1-0

They’ve played only once before on a Canadian hard court in last year’s Rogers Cup, with Isner winning a close 7-6(9), 6-4 match.  Serve dominated the stats, as one would expect.  But while Raonic served more aces than Isner, Isner won 91% of his first serves as compared to 78% for Raonic.  In a close match that can make all the difference.

I expect this match to go the distance, with the winner being determined by the same factors i.e. winning serve percentages.  If John keeps his percentages high, he’s got a good shot at thwarting the Raonic three-peat.  If not, Raonic has a “slightly” better ground game on which to fall back than Isner.

For all practical purposes, it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top.  For history’s sake at this last SAP Open, I’ll go with Raonic for the three-peat.

Raonic in three sets.

Kevin Ware is in San Jose covering the SAP Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.


Oz and Ends – Day One at the 2013 Australian Open

Melbourne park grounds

Oz and ends  and bits of news from the Australian Open for January 14, 2013


Bagels and breadsticks

Maria Sharapova won her first match of the Australian Open 6-0, 6-0 in 55 minutes over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova. It was her third career “double bagel” in a major tournament. She only needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete a “double bagel slam.”

Three women have completed the “double bagel slam” – they are Hall of Famers Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Venus Williams added to the bagel set count with a 6-1, 6-0 demolishing of Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva.


Win streak continues

Agnieszka Radwanska has extended her 2013 win streak to 10 by defeating Australian wild card entry Bojana Bobusic of 7-5, 6-0 on Monday.
Twitter News

Maria Sharapova has officially joined twitterverse. Follow her at @MariaSharapova

[tweet https://twitter.com/MariaSharapova/status/290778598774829058]


Tweets of the day



Lucky Loser is a winner
Tim Smyczek is lucky loser was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic. The American it into the draw thanks to housemate John Isner who pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury.


Tough day for Aussies

Matthew Ebden, Ashleigh Barty, Olivia Rogowska, Sasha Jones,  John Millman, Lleyton, Hewitt and Casey Dellacqua all exited on day one of Australian Open. Sam Stosur was the only victorious Australian on Monday.


Two seeds falls

The 11th seed Juan Monaco was the only seeded played not to win on Monday. The Argentine who withdrew from last week’s Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament with a hand injury was clearly stuggling clearly struggling on the court in his straight set loss to Alex Kuznentsov, was applauded by spectators for not retiring from the match.

Monaco told Reuters: “My leg tightened up at the start of the second set and it was very tough for me,” pointing to his right leg.

On the women’s side Ksenia Pervak  stopped 32nd seed Mona Barthel 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

Federer out of Davis Cup

Roger Federer will not participate in Switzerland’s first round Davis Cup tie versus the reigning champions, the Czech Republic


Five set marathons

[22] Fernando Verdasco def. David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
[10] Nicolas Almagro def Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
Edouard Rogers-Vasselin def. Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 11-9
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Lukasz Kubot 6-7, 6-4, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
[23] Mikhail Youzhny def. Matt Ebden 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3
[28] Marcos Baghdatis def. Albert Ramos 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut def. Fabio Fognini 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
[31] Radek Stepanek def. Viktor Troicki 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5;
Brian Baker def. Alex Bogomolov 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2.


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News


Almagro Stops Roddick to Win Miami Tennis Cup Exhibition Tournament

(December 2, 2012) No. 11 Nicolas Almagro stopped the recently retired Andy Roddick 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday at the Miami Tennis Cup exhibition event held at Crandon Park, the home of the Sony Open.

The win marked the first time Almagro had never take a set off of Roddick. While Roddick was on the pro tour he was 2-0 versus the Spaniard going 4-0 in sets.

“I think it was a really good match, and he’s a very good player,” Almagro said. “I’m really happy with my game, although I think I can do better, but it’s the end of the season, and I’m a little bit tired. I’m happy to be the first champion of the Miami Tennis Cup and I think it’s a fun and enjoyable tournament. I hope to be back next year”

In between the hard-hitting rallies, the players mixed in some “hit and giggle” tennis which entertained the fans.

“I enjoy playing tennis still, and it was never about me not enjoying tennis,” Roddick said after the match. “It was about me not being able to commit to being a professional tennis player.”

“I enjoyed myself and it’s nice for me to come back in a competitive atmosphere. I’ve been happy with how I played and I’m glad they had me here. I think the crowd have enjoyed the tennis they’ve seen.”

So what’s next for the 30-year-old American? No training certainly for Roddick  but more golf. He’s back to full husband duties following his wife model-actress Brooklyn Decker around.

“The tables have turned.”


© MiamiTennisNews.com



Serena Williams, Roddick, Raonic and Radwanska Participate in Toronto Face-Off (Photo Gallery)

(November 16, 2012) TORONTO – A crowd of 6,558 came out to watch Milos Raonic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Agniezska Radwanska in the Sport Chek Face-Off exhibition match on Friday night at Air Canada Centre.

The recently retired American Roddick topped Canadian Raonic 6-4, 4-6, 10-7. Roddick entertained the crown with his impressions of Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

When asked about if Roddick should consider a comeback, Raonic said “I hope not.”

“What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape,” Roddick joked. “I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I’ve met every aspect of it – a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally – I’ve been completely.

No. 3 and 15-time major champion Serena Williams lost to No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 in a rematch of the most recent Wimbledon final.

The evening began with a “hit and giggle” mixed doubles match between Team Canada represented by Raonic and Radwanska versus Team USA’s Roddick and Williams.

The players were joined by various Canadian celebrities including CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos, Adrian Grenier of the HBO show “Entourage,” “Bachelor” star Brad Smith and CFL commissioner Mark Cohon.

All photos by Marc-André Gauthier

[nggallery id=68]


James Blake Joins Players In Raising Money To Benefit Those Affected By Hurricane Sandy

( November 12, 2012) James Blake, who currently resides (and grew up) in Connecticut, is helping raise money to benefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy. He’s auctioning off three of his match jerseys featuring his autograph along with those of top American tennis stars Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross.

“Seeing the devastation in areas I grew up around is difficult,” said Blake. “The people of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are surely resilient, but there’s still room for us all to help. I’ve selected the Red Cross because it does an amazing job on multiple levels; it provides everything from food and blankets to mental health support for those affected.”

The eBay Giving Works auctions last 7 days. Those who want to make a bid can go to:

EBay Jerseys

For more details visit www.JamesBlakeTennis.com

Blake wed long-time girlfriend Emily Snider on Friday, according to People Magazine. The couple have a five-month old daughter named Riley Elizabeth.


US Open Finals & Andy Roddick Tribute on ESPN Classic

ESPN Classic will air the US Open Finals as “Instant Classics” today, Tuesday, Sept. 11, starting at 5 p.m. ET  The Women’s Final – Serena Williams earning her 15th Major championship in a three-set thriller over top-ranked Victoria Azarenka – will be seen first, followed at 8 p.m. by a five-hour telecast of the Men’s Final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.  Murray captured his first Major victory by edging the defending champion in a five-set marathon.

In addition, ESPN Classic will pay tribute to the now-retired Andy Roddick with an 18-hour, five-match marathon of great matches starting Wed., Sept. 12, at noon.  The schedule includes his 2003 US Open semifinal and final and the epic 2009 Wimbledon Final against Roger Federer:


Date Time (ET) Match
Wed, Sept 12 Noon 2003 Australian Open: Roddick vs El Ayanoui
  5 p.m. 2009 Wimbledon Final: Roddick vs Federer
  10 p.m. 2003 US Open Semifinal: Roddick vs Nalbandian
Thur, Sept 13 1 a.m. 2003 US Open Final: Roddick vs Ferrero
  3 a.m. 2012 US Open: Roddick vs Del Potro



Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanksa, Raonic and Roddick to Participate in “Face-Off”

Toronto, September 10, 2012 – Tennis Canada and Lagardere Unlimited announced Monday that “The Face-Off” will return to Canada in November with a new roster of superstar tennis players. Joining Canada’s No. 1 singles player Milos Raonic, will be former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, who recently retired from tournament play at the US Open, 15-time Grand Slam champion and recent US Open titlist Serena Williams and current world No. 3 and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanksa. The “Face-Off” will be held in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on November 16 at 7 p.m.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play this unique event again this year,” said Raonic. “Other than at Rogers Cup once a year and the occasional Davis Cup tie in Canada, I don’t get to play in front of the home crowd very often. This event gives me the chance to play in front of my Toronto fans, friends and family while showcasing some of the all-time great players like Pete Sampras last year and now Andy and Serena. It’s going to be great to give Toronto fans another chance to see world-class tennis again this year.”

“Milos, in a very short period of time, is already one of the big names in tennis,” said Roddick. “This event is a great showcase for him and for tennis and I’m really looking forward to being part of it. I always loved coming to Toronto throughout my career and I missed the chance this summer due to injury before I retired. It will be great to get back there in November for the chance to thank all the fans who supported me over the years.”

In addition to the marquee match-up between two of tennis’ biggest hitters, Raonic and Roddick, the evening will feature a re-match of this year’s Wimbledon final between Williams and Radwanska. The foursome will also pair up for a mixed doubles match, as well as with some special celebrity guests who will join in on the action.

“Milos reminds me so much of Andy and what he did for American tennis when he burst onto the tennis scene with such a huge serve and powerful game,” said Williams. “I am really excited to play in this event with him, Andy and Aga and help support the huge growth of tennis in Canada.”

“It is really an honor for me to play with Andy, Milos and Serena in this event,” said Radwanska.  “It was a dream come true playing in the Wimbledon finals against Serena and I am so glad I get a chance to play her again in Toronto.”

Tickets will go on-sale to the public on Monday, September 17 at Noon ET. For all events and games at Air Canada Centre, tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office located in the west end of the Galleria near Gate 1. Fans may also purchase tickets for an event coming to Air Canada Centre by calling Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000, visiting any Ticketmaster outlet or online at the Ticketmaster Canada (www.ticketmaster.ca) website.  Ticket prices (incl. HST) range from $35-$150 (plus FMF and service charges) with a family 4-pack available for as low as $25 per ticket. For more event information please visit www.faceofftennis.com.


An interview with Andy Roddick

An interview with Andy Roddick – Wednesday, September 5, 2012

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.


Q.  What are the emotions?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  You know, playing the last five games was pretty hard.  Once I got down a break I could barely look at my box.  I don’t know what the emotions are.  I’m a little overwhelmed right now.  I normally feel like I can grasp things pretty quickly and clearly; I certainly don’t feel that way right now.


Q.  I think you ought to be clapped to.

ANDY RODDICK:  Thanks, man.



Q.  There is a tradition of the press that there is no applause in the press box, no applause at a press conference, there is no applause at anything like that, but you deserve it.

ANDY RODDICK:  Thanks, Bud.



Q.  You have had a lot of chances and opportunities to reflect on your career since you made the announcement and even leading up to it.  What do you consider the most rewarding aspect that you have experienced?

ANDY RODDICK:  It’s so hard.  I mean, I get asked these big questions and I’m not good at choosing.  You know, I’m not sure.  You know, I know the thing that is certain is I didn’t take any of it for granted.  You know, I think I went about things the right way.  The umpires might disagree with me.  (Laughter.)  You know, I was consistent, and I don’t feel like I left a lot on the table on a daily basis.  When I look back, that’s probably what I’m proud of.


Q.  You may not remember this.  You were 17 years old.  You’re playing in Delray Beach, it’s Saturday night, the fans are were all over you.  A woman said, Andy, would you sign my chest?  And you said, I wasn’t brought up that way.  How were you…

ANDY RODDICK:  I had just never seen a boob before, to be honest.  (Laughter.)  It was just ‑‑ that was overwhelming for me.  This is the second time I have been overwhelmed.  (Laughter.)


Q.  How many thoughts were going through your mind?  Can you just share one or two?  When you’re about to serve or receive, how do you keep things out of your mind?  What was running through your mind?

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, like I said, it was tough.  Once he kind of got up there in that match it was a different set of circumstances than my previous matches.  You know, then you start thinking about, you know, how real it is and, you know, a lot of thoughts go through your head.  You’re thinking about matches you’re playing when you’re 12 or you’re thinking about ‑‑ you know, I was thinking about my mom driving me to practices all over the place.  You just think about a million things.  Then all of a sudden you have to play a point against one of the best players in the world.  It certainly was a mixed bag there at the end.


Q.  I’m assuming you never served with tears in your eyes before; am I right?

ANDY RODDICK:  No.  I mean, you try to keep it as best you can.  I have done better over the last week or so than I thought I would.  Like I said, this was all new for me.  I had seen most things that this game had to offer, and this was entirely new.  It was emotional, but not emotional like we normally have it.  It’s normally a very selfish emotion for us.  It’s if we do badly then it costs us something; if we do well we get great things.  This was about something bigger.  It wasn’t about ranking points or paychecks or anything else, you know.  It was fun.  This week I felt like I was, you know, 12 years old playing in a park.  It was extremely innocent.  That was fun.  I enjoyed it.


Q.  Were you actually losing it during that last service game?

ANDY RODDICK:  Well, literally losing it.  I almost got broken.  (Laughter.)  No, I don’t remember.  I mean, I felt like I was on the verge for a little while, so I’m not sure what I actually got through.


Q.  Before the start of the tournament did you craft an ending for yourself and what would have been the perfect ending for you, do you think?

ANDY RODDICK:  No, I don’t really prepare things.  You know, I didn’t know before the tournament that that was that.  I knew in the middle of my match in the first round, and then I gave myself a day not to be, you know, kind of reactionary.  I woke up one of the days and Brooke was out running an errand and I kind of had an hour and a half to myself, and I was just walking back and forth.  Then, you know, kind of started texting her frantically and telling her I need to chat.  Saying it out loud was the hardest part for me.  Then started calling people so they wouldn’t hear it from you bunch first.  (Smiling.)  Yeah, I don’t know that I crafted any part of this besides coming in here and sharing it with you all.


Q.  You think, having said all that, the way it worked out in the end playing Del Potro on that court ‑ it wasn’t a night match but a day match ‑ but do you feel good about the setting in a sense?

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah.  I mean, I don’t know that I had a plan.  You know, I was just going to try to win.  It was perfect.  This whole week has been perfect, you know.  Rain‑delayed match, come back the next day.  It’s like typical US Open.  Played with me in the end, so I guess it was right.


Q.  You win the first set; you get broke in the first game of the second set.  Did that really turn any momentum there, or did it matter?

ANDY RODDICK:  Third set or…


Q.  I mean third, yeah.

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I mean, I think I played really well up until the second set breaker; I played two pretty bad points there.  You know, once he kind of gets his feet under him he likes to swing free.  I think he freed up a little bit and I gave him a couple of looks.  The third set was a bit of a wash.  The fourth set, 1‑All game, I had a pretty good look there.  I think that was the point for me to try to turn it.


Q.  A lot of players, all players come on the tour very young.  You were successful very young.  Honestly, how long did it take you to put winning and losing into perspective?

ANDY RODDICK:  When do you learn perspective?  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I think I’ve always had a pretty decent grasp of it.  You know, obviously you’re not happy.  No one is happy when they have a bad day at work.  Especially if your bad day of work occurred in front of a lot of people and then you had to go explain yourself, you know.  It’s not always easy.  I never wanted to be the guy who complained about something I had because I realize how lucky I have been.  I think I always realized that.  I don’t know that there was an age where I didn’t realize that.


Q.  You mentioned the day of work and having to explain yourself, good or bad.  That is part of the job, especially somebody who has played with your stature.  You get the big room.  You’re sitting here for the last time talking to us.  We have been through highs and lows together.  Just kind of final thoughts on your final press conference, your relationship with us.

ANDY RODDICK:  (Laughter.)  I made a joke when Austin and Tim came and got me.  I was walking out of the locker room, and I said, Man, I think I have more expectation of this press conference than I did the match today.  So, you know, like you said, I think it’s at the point now where I look back on rough moments fondly, you know, in these rooms.  I hope you all do, too.  There has certainly been some good ones; there have been some fun I ones.  There has been some horrible ones both ways, but it wasn’t boring.


Q.  You talked about sort of having recollections out there in the heat of the matches.  What were the matches when you were 12 and what did your mom have to go through in terms of traipsing around, early wakeups, long miles?

ANDY RODDICK:  Jeez, I mean, sunup to sundown.  My brother played, too.  She was running a shuttle service for a couple of years, basically, a pro bono shuttle service.  You know, I said the other day when you were asking about my parents, I said, They gave me every opportunity they didn’t have.  I was fortunate.  You know, after the fact, they have never really wanted anything.  I think they’ve just been happy that I tried to make the most of opportunities given.


Q.  You have been long enough around new American tennis players, the younger ones.  Who can you fill in your shoes and be the next American No. 1?

ANDY RODDICK:  Let’s not do the “next.”  Let’s let them have their own personality and let’s let them do their thing and let them grow.  I think I’d love to help any of them, you know.  I think they know that the door is open.  There is no filling shoes.  You know, I think we’ve got to be looking for individuals, not clones.


Q.  How do you want your career to be remembered?  What are you proudest of about your playing career?

ANDY RODDICK:  I want everyone to look back and think that I was awesome.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know.  That’s for you all to decide.  You know, again, it’s tough for me to be objective and kind of look outside in.  You guys will do a fair job of expressing it, I’m sure.


Q.  When you will talk to your kids…

ANDY RODDICK:  I was hoping you would jump in.  (Laughter.)


Q.  What will you tell them first?  Your father was…

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  We’re talking about a conversation that’s ten years away and you’re asking me to kind of articulate it.  Hopefully I’ll have some recent stuff that I can tell them about.


Q.  Before that last game the crowd starts chanting, Let’s go Andy.  You have had moments like that out on Ashe before, but it’s going to be tough to replace.  Do you think you’ll be longing for those moments as the years go by?

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m not ignorant to the fact that it’s a huge part of me and that I won’t miss it; of course I will.  I’m not pretending like there aren’t going to be hard days.  But, you know, I feel pretty settled in the decision and I feel content and happy with it.


Q.  Did you bottle that moment today, though?

ANDY RODDICK:  I was trying.  You know, like I said, you kind of have to wrestle your thoughts and the task at hand, because it’s not done until you’re actually done.  You know, so it was challenging.


Q.  Does one celebrate a retirement?

ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I’m probably not going to be opposed to a beer or ten.  We’ll see how that goes.  (Laughter.)


Q.  How hard was it to talk to the crowd after the match?  What were your thoughts when you were sitting there?  Just moments after the match your head was in the towel and everything.

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I mean, it’s hard talking in those moments.  You know, your voice gets a little scratchy.  You can stand there all day.  You know, the two moments I remember that it was kind of hard was Wimbledon, and kind of got through that one.  But today was ‑‑ I didn’t know where to start, what to say.  There are so many things I wanted to say, but I didn’t have confidence in talking for a long time without dribbling a little bit.  Hopefully I did a decent job.  You know, I had no confidence going into talking out loud after that one.


Q.  You have carried the torch for men’s tennis for this country for a long time.  Is it fitting that you end your career as the last American male standing?

ANDY RODDICK:  I would have rather not had it that way, especially with kind of the way Mardy went out.  You know, I didn’t like seeing that, that being the reason why.  I have never been against having company, you know.  I would have loved for a lot more of us to have still been in.


Q.  Is there anything you didn’t get to say out there a little while ago that you want to say now?

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m sure there are a lot of things that I’m going to want to say.  It’s tough at any given moment with a line or two.  You know, I don’t know that I can kind of encompass everything that I’m thankful for and everything that I would want to say, all the people I’d want to talk to in this short amount of time.


Q.  No doubt about it, you were given the role of the most popular tennis player out there.  You became the ambassador of tennis, Saturday Night Live, all the commercials.  How cool was that?  Was it always fun?  Was it ever something that was a heavy duty, also, that you carried that role.

ANDY RODDICK:  No, it was a great time.  I mean, there is no ‑‑ I hear people who have some sort of success, you know, and complain about it sometimes.  I don’t get it.  I don’t understand it all the time.  Like I have told you all forever, for every one negative there are ten positives.  I don’t think that’s ever not been the case.


Q.  Of all the tributes to you today, one of the most striking to me seemed to be the way Juan Martin handled it.  When they announced him as the winner, he pointed his racquet to you.  When they interviewed him on the court he basically said this is your day ‑ and then even how he was with you at the net.  I’m curious what your thoughts were about that and what he did say to you when you met and embraced?

ANDY RODDICK:  To tell you what kind of guy he is, I wasn’t surprised by any of it because I don’t think you’ll find someone that doesn’t like him or doesn’t think he’s a class act.  You know, I was happy that I got the opportunity to play him today.  You know, probably wasn’t an easy situation for him.  I thought he handled it great.  I’m thankful to him for that.


Q.  When Andre retired a few years ago it seemed he prepared some remarks when he got the microphone after his match.  Did you ever think about doing that, or is that just not your style?

ANDY RODDICK:  I didn’t think of it.  I probably should have.  (Laughter.)  Andre is always a little bit more prepared than I am.  I didn’t think much about it.  I kind of assumed that I would just be answering questions.  I’m better at answering questions than I am creating something on my own.  When that happened, I kind of took a second.  No, I didn’t have anything prepared.


Q.  What has been your approach to the burden of being the face of American tennis and always being asked those questions and having that pressure on you?

ANDY RODDICK:  It just is what it is.  You know, I wasn’t going to shy away from it, for sure.  I mean, you get knocked down.  You know the burden.  I understand it.  I understand the fact that we come from, you know, a place which probably had more success than any other tennis country where there are certain expectations.  I fell right on the back end of the golden generation, and so that was just the cards that were dealt.  But as tough a situation as it is, in the grand scheme of things it’s a dream.  It’s something you want.  That’s not hard.  Someone who’s got, you know, however many kids and is working two jobs to buy food, that’s hard.  What I had to deal with wasn’t hard.


Q.  You have talked about as a junior early days how you weren’t a very good player.  Were there a couple of I can’t believe…

ANDY RODDICK:  To be fair, I was really good when I was 11 and then I got terrible and then I got good again.


Q.  When you got to the pros, 2003 or Wimbledon or Davis Cup after winning a match where you just said, I just cannot believe it’s me holding this trophy or accomplishing this?

ANDY RODDICK:  Most things.  You know, I went from being about 40 in the world ‑‑ it was just fast.  Everything happened fast.  I think I was 40 or 50 in the world in juniors in ’99, and then all of a sudden I was 14 in the world after I lost to Lleyton here in 2001.  You know, just lost to him and I was feeling pretty good about the way I was playing, you know, at the time.  And then kind of everything else that came along with it after that.  I don’t know that I grasped what was happening while it was happening, but I certainly kind of get it now.  But it just happened really fast.  There were a lot of moments like that.


Q.  You’re a young kid playing in the garage beating Edberg and Lendl, and then you come out to the real world and you accomplished three of the four goals you always said you wanted with the Open, No. 1, and a great Davis Cup win.  Just talk about in your own mind your own feeling of achievement from a ridiculous kid who loved this sport to…

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, it’s funny, because if you tell a 12‑ or 13‑year‑old kid that he’s going to win 30‑some odd titles and become one of 20 for this and 20 for that and be No. 1 and have a slam, you’d take that in a heartbeat.  Going back, I would have taken that in a heartbeat.  There was a lot of tough moments but unbelievable moments.  I mean, who gets to play in Wimbledon finals and who gets to play in an Open and who gets to be part of a winning team?  Most people don’t get to experience that.  You know, like I said ‑ I’ve said it a million times and I’m probably boring you guys now ‑ but I realize the opportunities I had.


Q.  And being just a special friend and mentor for generation of players too, is that special right up there with the trophies?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  You’d have to ask them.  I always tried to be a dude around the guys.  You just try to be a human.  I don’t know.  That’s what you should do.


Q.  Do you envision a plaque in Newport, Rhode Island, with your name on it?

ANDY RODDICK:  That’s not for me to say.  That’s not my choice.  Obviously it’s the ultimate honor of any tennis player, and that’s something I’d be extremely humbled by.  But I’m certainly not going to be presumptuous about anything.  If it happens, I’ll be thrilled and amazed.  If it doesn’t, I’ll probably still be thrilled and amazed with what I was able to see.


Q.  Do you recall the first time you played in this stadium and your reaction to it all?

ANDY RODDICK:  Well, I hit in it when I was a junior, warmed Moya up.  But I think played Slava Dosedel in 2001, won 6‑4, 6‑2, 6‑1, so yes.  (Laughter.)  Hope I didn’t get that wrong.  (Laughter.)


Q.  We’ll check it.

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m sure.


Q.  You spoke earlier about ’91 and being here.  Have you heard from Jimmy week?

ANDY RODDICK:  It’s not really Jimmy’s style to get in the middle when it’s cool to get in the middle.  We’ll probably touch base in the next couple of weeks.


Q.  Worked with a lot of different people in your career.  Wonder if there was anything someone said to you, either a coach, a friend, a peer, who when you look back sort of helped you as you navigated the ups and downs of your career.

ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I learned a lot of things.  I was lucky because, you know, I got to be around all of our best champions.  I knew them all well.  You know, all my idols became friends and people that I could talk to.  You know, I remember doing XOs with Andre, and he’d teach me things like you leave a room and it’s someone you’re going to see again, write some names down.  Remember names.  That’s something you should do.  That’s a sign of respect.  He would show me, you know, kind of when you’re 18 you fumble along and mumble your name, and he wasn’t okay with that.  You know, so little things like that he helped a lot with.


Andy Roddick’s Career ends with US Open loss to Del Potro


FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY –  Andy Roddick’s career is over. The American lost in the fourth round of the US Open on Wednesday  to No. 7 seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 in a match spread over two days due to rain.

Roddick the 2003 US Open champion announced on Thursday, his 30th birthday, that he would retire after the US Open.

“Andy has been an outstanding ambassador for our sport and our country, always carrying himself with the character and class that define a champion. In addition to representing the U.S. on the world stage, he was a Davis Cup stalwart and standout. We could not be more proud of Andy and all that he has accomplished in his brilliant career, and we wish him every success and happiness in his retirement from the pro game.”

USTA Chairman of the Board Jon Vegosen

“It was really tough moment for me and for him, also, “ Del Potro said about having to play Roddick.  “Last point of his life.  The crowd was amazing for both players.  I really enjoyed in that way, but it wasn’t easy for me to play.  I had to close the match with my serve.  I was nervous, but he made some misses and was easier for me.  But anyway, was an unbelievable match.

“I played better than my last match.  I was really high intensity during all the match, and Andy played really well.  I don’t know if he are pretty sure to stop to play because, in this way he’s going to be dangerous in the next tournaments for us.  But also he retired in fantastic shape.  It’s amazing.”

Del Potro will play Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.