Before I imprinted (this term the Twihards will know the most) on Roger Federer, I was madly in love with Andy Roddick. I was bowled over by his boyish charms and his witty answers to each and everyone.
I was distraught for Roddick when he lost the first Semi final in Wimbledon (first of the many matches that came later) to his nemesis Roger in 2003. I was heartbroken for him. I even though who is this Federer guy. How dare he beat Andy (Can u believe it?). But the final of 2003 turned it totally around. I am digressing here. Though I still cant think about anyone who can rule my heart from tennis fraternity the way Federer does, I still cant forget my first love. They say that first love is always the most cherished memory and I agree.
Why I was drawn to Andy Roddick is a mystery to me. His original game was centred mostly around his Booming Serve and intimidating opponents. His initial play was centred on being stayed at Baseline and sometimes serve and volleying to get quick points. This is not my type of play honestly. But something about Roddick always lingered on in mind even after the game. Over the period of the decade, he has continuously improved his game to suite the new emerging style of play. Along with Federer, he is the only player to have stayed in top 10 for 9 consecutive years. That's a big big achievement.
A-Rod as he is affectionately called many times, is known for his On-Court tantrums as well. He has to his name some famous melt downs and verbal abuses to the umpires. This is the only thing that's like a dark mark on his tennis career. Sometimes his body language is so childlike when he is losing a match as if he gives a Da*mn about the outcome. because of this he can come across as giving up on the matches. But that's one of the big misconception about him. Of the court he is always witty, sometimes taking the press off guard with outrageous answers. He is famous for doing imitations of Djokovic, Hewitt, Sharapova and Serena Williams.
They say he is unlucky as he is born in the era where Federer is playing and they have an ounce of truth in it. Except the 2003 US Open final which he won(Not Against Roger), all the other 4 GS finals he played 2004,2005,2009 Wimbledon and 2006 US Open, his path was blocked by Roger. I wont even go to the 2009 Wimbledon final. I think that was the only final I would have been OK with If Roger would have lost.
You would have imagined that this would turn him into Roger's biggest hater in the world but on the other hand these two share a rare camaraderie. Roddick defended Roger vehemently in 2008 which was the most disappointing season for Roger according to many people. He said "You guys are brutal. Absolutely brutal. The guy has only made two Grand Slam finals this year. I would love his bad year. I would love it."
I had a privilege to take see him twice in 2009. Once when we were roaming around in Paris, he came across the road walking. Unfortunately we were resting that time and by the time I got up and ran he was already gone. I tried to shout "Andy" but I was too speechless to make any sound.
|This is the most I could Capture Andy In Paris|
Second time I was more lucky. In 2009 Barclay's ATP Masters in London, Roddick had to withdrew due to the knee injury but he came to watch a match in the O2 Arena. When people recognised him in the stands many of us queued up for his autograph. and I got it :)
|Finally Got an Autograph|
So you must have got the point from all my blabbering that Andy Roddick holds a special place in my heart. When he declared he will be retiring after this year's US open, I was sad and teary eyed like him and his numerous fans. He has carried the burden of being America's top Tennis Men's player for too long. He is the most under appreciated player in tennis I believe.
Andy Wishing you all the best for your future and I am going to really miss you..Though I did not love you as you deserved nonetheless you have always been part of my love for Tennis. After you are gone, that part will remain unoccupied and that void will always remain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!