Andy Roddick
United States

  • Full name Andrew Stephen Roddick
  • Nickname A-Rod
  • Birth date August 30, 1982
  • Birth place Omaha, Nebraska
  • Current age 38 years 185 days
  • Height 6 ft 2 in
  • Style Traditionally a baseline player with the most powerful serve in the game
Andy Roddick hugs his US Open trophy

Despite enjoying a top-ten status for the best part of a decade, Andy Roddick is tennis' nearly man, with just one Grand Slam title to his name. Nevertheless, Roddick is one of the most well-known and popular characters on the men's tour, and the man nicknamed A-Rod has also become one of the most marketable brands in sport.

Born in Texas, Roddick followed his older brother John into tennis. The Roddick family moved from their home in Texas to Florida for their son to train, but it was Andy who soon eclipsed his older brother, who retired young with back problems.

Unlike many current top-ten players, Roddick did not attend an academy, preferring to attend high school and play basketball for the school team, alongside Davis Cup team-mate Mardy Fish. At 14 he attended a tennis camp in Florida, but hated the intensely competitive atmosphere.

After coming through a purple patch when he seriously considered quitting the sport at the age of 17, Roddick won two junior titles in 1999, Roddick entered the 2000 Australian Open in the boys' draw, and became the first American to win the junior men's title since 1959. He then went on to win the boy's US Open, and by the end of 2000 was the top ranked junior in the world and was being compared to Pete Sampras.

In 2001 he really showed his potential, beating the man he was dubbed to emulate, world number four Sampras in two sets in the Miami Masters in March before taking back-to-back titles on clay in Atlanta and Houston. He took a set off eventual winner Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon. In August he beat world number one Gustavo Kuerten, made the quarter-finals at the US Open, losing to eventual winner Lleyton Hewitt, to become the youngest player in the top 20.

In 2002 he moved into the top ten, but it was 2003 that was the breakthrough year for Roddick. He started the year by beating Younes Aynaoui in five sets in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, eventually triumphing 21-19 in an epic final set which lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours. He missed out on a final against Andre Agassi, losing to Rainer Schuettler in the semi-finals. In the space of a year he jumped from number ten to number one in the world, winning six titles on three different surfaces, including his first Grand Slam victory at the US Open.

In February 2004 he relinquished his number one spot to Roger Federer, but helped the USA to their first Davis Cup final since 1997. He also recorded the world's fastest serve at 155mph in the Davis Cup semi-final against Russia's Voltchkov. The following year he dropped out of the top ten for the first time since 2002, after defeat to Andy Murray in the second round at Wimbledon but victory at Cincinnati ensured he returned a month later.

In 2007 he won the grass-court title at Queen's Club for the fourth time in five years, but lost to Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. He won the grass-court title at Queen's Club for the fourth time in five years in June 2007, but lost to Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

Three titles in 2008 saw him maintain his top ten status, and in 2009 he reached the final at Wimbledon for the first time since 2005. However, for the third time in his career he was thwarted by Federer in the final at SW19. In an historic men's singles final, which included the longest final set in the tournament's history, Roddick lost just one service game, but it was crucially the final break in the decisive set that saw Federer win his sixth title at the All England Club. Roddick also won more games than Federer in his 7-5 6-7(6) 6-7(5) 6-3 14-16 defeat.

A hip injury saw him sidelined for five weeks in the summer, and on his return he reached the final in Washington where he lost to Juan Martin del Potro, before falling to world No.55 John Isner in the third round at the US Open. He retired from a Masters event in Shanghai with a knee injury in October and he withdrew from the end of season championships in London.

Despite a season plagued with injuries and illness, including a mild bout of glandular fever, Roddick finished 2010 in the top ten for the ninth consecutive year.

Career high
Just as Pete Sampras announced his retirement from professional tennis in August 2003, deciding not to defend his US Open title, in what was seen as a iconic passing over of the baton, Andy Roddick won his first, and to date, only, grand slam title in front of his home crowd in New York. He battled back from match point down in the semi-finals against David Nalbandian, before beating Juan Carlos Ferrero in three sets in the final.

Career low
After a 2007 season marred by injury, Roddick failed to put the injuries behind him and was forced to miss the 2008 French Open with a shoulder injury. On his return, he was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon by the unseeded Janko Tipsarevic.

"My aggression out there is my weapon. I think it's more letting them know that I'm not going to let them get away with something, and I'm not just going to kind of poke it back and be content to stay in rallies."

"Andy is still highly motivated to get back in the top four or five in the world. That's among his goals and to win another slam. He believes he's going to win one, and I think he's going to win one myself, or I wouldn't be doing the job." Roddick's coach Larry Stefanki

Roddick was named the world's sexiest athlete by People Magazine in December 2003.


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