Andy Roddick is returning to tennis this summer, joining good friend Mardy Fish in the doubles event in Atlanta next month. Fish, who has been battling an anxiety disorder from a heart condition since 2012, will also play in the singles with the goal of also appearing at the US Open, though not in the doubles with Roddick who has a baby coming.
“Unfortunately I can only look to Atlanta, just with how things have gone in the past few years, how things went in Indian Wells,” said Fish when asked about a full comeback to singles. “I wanted to play Miami. Still sort of fighting the battle of the anxiety disorder, trying to get a firm grip on how I feel after matches.
“I’d love to go back to the US Open where sort of it all came crashing down for me in 2012, sort of conquer that place. By ‘conquer’ I mean just get back out on the court there. I have a lot of demons from that place. But there’s obviously other events, Washington, Cincinnati, that I really love playing as well, that I hope to try to play. But it all starts in Atlanta for me.”
With Roddick made available for a teleconference, the question was posed to the former No. 1 about the future of American tennis.
“I think probably for the first time in a while, we can say we’re cumulatively as a tennis community in the States, there seems to be some really legitimate, authentic excitement,” Roddick said. “Not just around one or two guys, but around a handful, five or six. That’s the recipe.
“I love the way that Jack (Sock) has taken ownership over his ability. It seems like there’s a sense of belief,” he said.
“I just learned at the beginning of this phone call the Monday night exhibition I’m playing against Frances Tiafoe, which literally scares the shit out of me.
“These guys are good. I’m pumped about it. I think there is some sense of optimism. Let’s not compare them to the long shadow of American tennis; let’s let them make their own way.”
Added Fish, “We got a lot of young players coming up. By ‘young’ I mean obviously Jack Sock, who is 22 years old, but some of these guys are 17. No. 1 junior in the world right now, Taylor Fritz, has a big future. There’s quite a lot of young guys that really can play.”
Roddick retired from the game in 2012. He added that even with Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Tommy Haas still on the tour, he’s content with his decision.
“I’m very comfortable with my choice,” Roddick said. “But I have a lot of admiration for guys like Tommy, guys like Hewitt that are still out there, Mardy wanting to get back into the mix. I certainly couldn’t respect it more.”
Before Atlanta, Roddick will be back in tennis calling matches for the BBC at Wimbledon.
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