What impressed me wasn’t so much the U.S. Open Trophy in a niche in a side hallway., his intense workouts at a threadbare high school track or his no-nonsense practice sessions on a humble court carved out of a hillside. Rather, what touched me was how he cared, how he sweated the make-or-break details of his grassroots foundation and how he listened and lent support to his young wife who was then struggling in Hollywood.
The kid who was once half-boy and half-wizard was now caring, thoughtful, giving. Ultimately, Roddick was America’s warrior, a ferocious battler whose intensity sucked up all the oxygen in the room. You felt it in row Z.
Now it is hard to imagine the American game without our leader. But there is no choice. Like one of his 144 mph servers down the T. Austin Andy announced his retirement with speed and certainty – and all of a sudden, the American men’s game seems a bit of a blur.
Our wizard has vanished.
– Bill Simons, The Man Who Chased Geniuses, Inside Tennis, Nov/Dec 2012