The world’s former top-ranked player says he’s had enough and is calling it quits on his tennis career following the ongoing U.S. Open.
Andy Roddick, whose win at Flushing Meadows in 2003 ranks as the biggest in his career, made the stunning announcement Thursday, his 30th birthday.
“I’ll make this short and sweet: I’ve decided that this is going to be my last tournament,” he said. “I just feel like it’s time. I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event.”
Currently seeded 20th at the U.S. Open, Roddick, is scheduled to play 19-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I think I wanted an opportunity to say goodbye to people, as well. I don’t know how tomorrow’s going to go, and I hope it goes well, and I’m sticking around,” Roddick said.
Roddick’s win in New York nine years ago marked the last time an American man has won a Grand Slam singles title.
He said he’d “been thinking about (retirement) for a little bit,” and knew for sure after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 first-round victory over 21-year-old American Rhyne Williams on Tuesday.
“I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament,” he said, “and when I played the first round, I knew.”
In addition to winning his U.S. Open trophy, Roddick also played in four other Grand Slam finals – three at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open – but lost to 17-time major champion Roger Federer each time. That included a 16-14 defeat in the fifth set at the All England Club in 2009, when Roddick was saluted by spectators who chanted his name at the end of the match.
Buoyed by a booming serve – he used to hold the record of 155 mph – and big forehand, Roddick is 610-212 (a .742 winning percentage) with 32 titles, including two this year at Atlanta and Eastbourne, England. He also helped the United States end a 12-year Davis Cup drought by winning the 2007 title.
Roddick’s announcement came one day after four-time major champion Kim Clijsters played the last singles match of her career, a second-round loss to Laura Robson at Flushing Meadows.