What Does the Future Hold for Andy Roddick?

by Ben Pronin | March 26th, 2011, 1:17 am

Andy Roddick has been in the top 10 for nine consecutive years. He has also won at least one title in each of those years. The only other active player who can boast those numbers is Roger Federer. Roddick has five Masters titles with four runner-ups, a lone US Open to go with four other major finals. And he helped lead the USA to its first Davis Cup title in 12 years back in 2007 and is currently in second place with most singles wins in Davis Cup play.

A few days ago I wrote about how tennis today is being played at the highest level we have ever seen. By that logic, since Roddick has been a top player for all this time, it is fair to assume he’s a better player now than he was back in 2003, when he was number one, or in 2006, when he reached his second US Open final. But I don’t know if he’s better now than he was in during Wimbledon in 2009. Not just the final, but throughout the entire second week of the event he was playing arguably the best tennis he has ever played, and maybe will ever play. His best tennis since then came exactly a year ago when he reached back-to-back finals in Indian Wells and Miami, walking away with the title in the latter.

We always hear about Federer’s decline because he reached a grand slam semifinal instead of a final. Or because he lost to the number three player in the world for a third straight time even though he had beaten him three straight times before that. But what about Roddick? Does everyone assume that it’s common knowledge that he’s declining so it’s not even mentioned?

I’m not really sure. I don’t have an actual answer for Roddick’s future. Since 2003, he’s gone through countless phases in terms of his game. Sometimes he falls by the wayside only to storm his way back into the conversation. He’ll fall short at a slam where everyone is expecting him to do well and then suddenly reach a final where no one even thinks he’ll make it past the third round.

The problem, however, is that he is also getting on the older side of tennis. He’s produced poor results in the last four majors, by his standards. And he is in serious danger of dropping out of the top 10 should he fall short in Miami this week. The big question is if he’ll be able to get back into it this time around.

Based on time, maybe not, but based on history, I’m going to say yes. Roddick will end this year in the top 10 by producing some shocking results in the next few months. After his bout with mono last year, he lost a lot of confidence and has been slowly getting back into form in the last few months. At some point, I believe things will start to click again and he’ll find his top groove. It’ll be tough to do this with the impeding clay season but I think that playing on clay for a few months will help him sort out a few kinks and produce some big results during the grass court super-mini-season.

He’s been America’s top player for the better part of a decade now, and he’s done it almost alone for a good portion of the time. And while we’re all looking for the next big American thing, Roddick shouldn’t be overlooked considering he is still America’s best player. And the upcoming generation will look up to Roddick for guidance, rightfully so. He may not have been the greatest player, but he’s done a ton for the sport and he is unquestionably a Hall-of-Famer.

One thing I’m sure of is that whatever the future holds in store for Roddick, he will face it with his usual gusto and charm and I, for one, am hoping that Roddick will be able around to entertain us for at least a few more years. And I especially hope he wins Wimbledon one day.

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21 Comments for What Does the Future Hold for Andy Roddick?

blah Says:

Agree with most things mentioned in the article, but as sad as it is, I don’t think Roddick will get back to a major final again. That loss at wimbledon finals has to be one of the most heartbreaking losses for a player on tour, especially considering the opponent, the hunger for that major, the circumstance. I’ll still root for him to win it one day though.

And I still have a problem with the grass court season being a super mini season. At least add a 1000 tournament in there before Wimbledon, makes no sense whatsoever.

madmax Says:

We always hear about Federer’s decline because he reached a grand slam semifinal instead of a final. …

Ben, because you keep reminding us Ben, that’s why.

…Or because he lost to the number three player in the world for a third straight time even though he had beaten him three straight times before that…

was actually 4 times before that (roger) beat novak, not three as you reported. ATP WTF (2010), swiss indoors (2010), 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, cinny masters 6-1, 7-5, and the fourth one in between (as per PBodo’s reckoning), but have just gone back to the source and it has gone, may be you can check that one Ben?

As for roddick, this is what fed thinks of roddick, he is a great player. I dont know why roddick gets so much bashing just because he is over 19, it’s ridiculous, it’s almost as if people just dont want him around any more after what he has achieved for American tennis. He is already giving advice to Harrison and fully respects the younger players on tour.

A few weeks ago Andre Agassi said of Andy Roddick, if it weren’t for you, that he would have had a tremendous career. Do you take a little bit of joy in knowing you’ve knocked Andy out of sort of that major block? What do you see in him down the road?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I’m not happy at all. I think he’s done actually really well. I mean, he achieved all his dreams basically you know, except maybe winning Wimbledon but he was in many great matches in finals there, which he can always look back on.
I think that was very nice, as well. Clearly he’d like to win those, but not everybody can say they’ve been in multiple Wimbledon finals, you know. He’s won the US Open, was world No. 1, won Davis Cup.
How much more do you really need to be happy as a tennis player? So I think he’s actually considering that everybody always is so negative around him, you know, especially in terms of the press, I think he knows what he achieved. The players know it, too, and that’s why he’s so respected.
His career is not over yet. There are still things to achieve out there. I’ve always enjoyed my matches with him.
And, no, I don’t feel happy that I did any I had a part in maybe making his career worse or better or whatever, you know. Who knows, if I wasn’t around maybe somebody else would have been around, you know. So you never know.

I think Roddick is pretty happy with the way he is playing right now. He doesn’t always get the attitude right on court, but in terms of his tennis. Who else can say they have been in the top ten for almost a decade?

Huh Says:

I’d also keep hopin d best 4 Rod til his retirment. D guy’s classy at heart n at game as wel. He’s don it onc, may n sud do it again. I’ve n wud always hav ful faith on Rod-d man n Rod-d tennis playr.

jane Says:

Good luck to Arod, whatever happens. It would be nice to see things fall his way at Wimbledon. He has had his best results there, in a way, with 3 finals. And that was a truly heart-breaking loss in 2009’s final. So close!

(p.s. Aside- madmax, it was 3 in a row for Fed over Nole, not 4 – shanghai, basel and wtf. Nole won the US Open match which came after canada. And i think their match there went 3 sets? Can’t remember for sure though. they didn’t play each other at cincy in 10. Your point, that nole is going thru a good patch but that fed just did the same thing is clear and valid. Fed could have another purple patch, winning stretch over nole any day – their matches are usually close)

Polo Says:

The older Roddick gets, the less classy he becomes. His boorish behavior continues to grow as his skills die down. No more majors for this guy. For sure. He is very lucky to have gotten one. From the looks of it, he feels very dejected about his inability to win a second major.

madmax Says:

thanks jane. I went back a bit further than you, so I think it was 4 – cinny masters 2009.

In any event, past is past. What matters is novak is the man to beat and he deserves it.

Just get fed up when ben keeps going on about decline. It’s just boring now. Fed is still motivated, and I want him to lose his temper a bit more if I’m honest. He’s a tad relaxed in those crucial moments. I know he is really motivated when he says ‘Come on!’. You just know at this point that fed is hungry. very hungry.

Andrew Miller Says:

Ben Pronin’s analysis is great – Roddick may have a few chances left. He does exactly what Ben says: wins when he’s expected to lose, and lose to the likes of Gasquet when expected to win. I hope he’s around for a few more years.

Wheeler Says:

LOL Roddick. Sorry to say but I have no respect him neither for his game. His serve has kept him in the top 10 but that’s just about it. Recently he learned to volley well but that was only a very short period of time. Roddick is a one-slam wonder and his claim to fame is his American-ness probably more than his lone Slam.

skeezerweezer Says:

@ Wheeler

You slam him but he has Decker, you don’t :)> If she respects him I do :-). As far as his game, he is ( or was ) better for the game than not. There is a lot of other players who have never got 1 Slam, at least he got one. I don’t disagree his serve has carried him a long way, and sometimes his FH. He just never had the transition skills to back it up. If he did, he would have dominated imho…

Hypnos Says:

What if Mardy Fish had Roddick’s grit, or Roddick had Fish’s backhand and volleying talent …

But, I guess as Safin allegedly said, “If my aunt had a d*** she’d be my uncle.”

Fred Says:

When you have a serve like Roddick’s his FIRST coach should have taught him how to approach and volley to go alongside his former GREAT forehand.

His FIRST coach should have taught him how to stand ON the baseline and take the ball early.

Taught him how to use a 1 handed slice and help his backhand down the line.

He should have worked on FOOTWORK
speed and work into becoming an ALL surface player but since he is American with an American coach;he has suffered what ALL of his current countrymen suffer from:No variety and hard court specialists!

Roddick at the age of 28 wants to turn into a serve/volley player.The problem for him is that he runs down straight to the middle of the court towards the net post and he gets passed on off both wings.

When he :volleys”;we’ve seen players like Federer;Nadal;Djokovic;Monfils and Gasquet and other players with BETTER footwork and speed run those volleys down and hit winners off them!

Roddick now uses a “slice” that floats right in the middle of the court.

Roddick’s tactics are predictable as well;he might slice a backhand to his opponents forehand trying to move in and he gets passed.

He slices a backhand against 1 handed backhands and loses the backhand battle.

Roddick for some reason thought he could win a baseline rally with Richard Gasquet last week and he got OUTPLAYED.
Roddick even tried to “drop shot” and he only watched those “drop shots” being run down for winners by Gasquet last week.Gasquet is simply a BETTER returner off the baseline and especially moving foreword.
Roddick seems to have forgotten Wimbledon 2007 against Gasquet!

Roddick’s forehand is nothing but top spin nowadays and he doesn’t penetrate the court and he does it rarely.

His backhand has somewhat improved but let’s be honest;it’s too late for Roddick to turn into a s/v player and years ago he didn’t make an effort into translating his game on ALL surfaces that’s why AFTER Miami;he is NOT a contender in those few clay court tournaments he plays.

He should play Monte Carlo;Rome and Madrid and put his massive ego on the side to gain points this clay court season and make the 2nd week in Paris

The players are simply BETTER athletes
are faster
have better footwork
take the balls early
have variety:drop shots/1 handed slices/volleys
have better return of serve from the baseline
are ALL surface players!

Kimberly Says:

Saw both fed and andy live today. Fed looked smashing, we all know hes not my fav but i was pretty impressed. His backhand looked awesome, he played super fast and aggressive, and only a few shanks. If he can maintain the level i saw today he is a serious contender. Andy looked lackluster but was pounding 142mph serves. As I was in the front row you really got a sense of how fast that is.

Kimberly Says:

Uh oh, rafa looks frustrated with his game,

Hypnos Says:

Kimberly: front row for Roddick and Federer? I am jealous, very jealous.

Did you have baseline or sideline seats?

Dan Martin Says:

I think that until Roddick gets healthy we cannot say for sure where he is going to end up rankings-wise this season. I think he has been under appreciated in the US for two reasons. First, everyone wanted him to be another Sampras. When he and Hewitt were playing in 2002 fans and media speculated that this was the Sampras-Agassi rivalry for the next generation. Sure Roddick is behind Courier, Agassi and Sampras in career accomplishments, but he’s ahead of a lot of good to great US players from that previous generation including Chang, Martin, Washington, & Wheaton. Roddick has had a lot more longevity than Courier had even if he lacks Jim’s 4 slam titles. He just had the bad luck of being the top player after the best US generation ever. Roddick would have been loved if he had been a contemporary of Tim Mayotte and Brad Gilbert. Second, I think Federer’s fluency in English and willingness to talk to the press (Fed does a lot more interviews w/ US media than Sampras or Agassi did) have led to the US sort of adopting Roger.

skeezerweezer Says:


Well you might be right but the interviews I have seen with Roddick made be a bigger fan than admiration of his game. Fed, Rafa, Novak, Murray are tolerant. Well Novak, I trake that back, sometimes he hasn’t thought things out before he speaks. I like the way AR has handled the media, taken no BS, candid, and has no problem making them feel when a question is dumb. I thought it was awesome the control he had over his interviews, with prolific dry humor. Just wish he had that attitude and executed it on court. He did try though, but he did not have the skills as in his interviews, and came across bratty on the court to most. But in an interview, he could outwit anyone in the room…

Kimberly Says:

Hypnos, sideline, it was outrageous! Facingnthe side wherre the players sit. Not my box unfortunately, a client has this box and was not feeling up to the crowd and the heat. Texted me at 1030 and we ran. We had tix but gave ours to someone else at the gate. We watched fed and rod dick. My son wanted to get autographs after that so missed sharapova. The owner came for the night session so we couldn’t stay for rafa. Couldn’t get into Novak and Murray doubles, it was on court two and the line was ridiculous.

Kimberly Says:

Because there are so many south Americans in Miami it seemed like the majoritybwere current for cuevas. I cheered for Andy as did many others in my section. Maybe the cuevas supporters were just louder.

steve-o Says:

@Kimberly: hope you get to see your favorite Spaniard.

margot Says:

kimberlie: Lovely to get your first hand accounts :)

Diego Says:

Please, someone can explain to me what is a mini season?

Thanks a lot

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