Bittersweet Day for American Tennis

by Julian Atienza
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Americans roll amidst Roddick's retirement announcement on Day 4

 Andy Roddick turned 30 yesterday, the same day he decided to hold a surprise press conference to announce that this U.S. Open will be his last professional tennis tournament. While more players are having success later in their careers, 30 is a milestone year for a tennis player. Tennis is a sport which has a brutal schedule, a very short offseason, and demands intense physical conditioning. Roddick said, “I think that wear and tear in miles is something that’s not really an age thing. You know, if you look at my contemporaries that started with me, Roger is the only one that’s still going strong.”

When asked about his emotions Roddick stated, “Probably for the first time in my career that I can sit here and say I’m not sure that I can put everything into it physically and emotionally. I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home.” Roddick finished in the top 10 for 11 consecutive years, ending in 2011, only Roger Federer has more.
 
He is the last American man to win a grand slam final, winning the U.S. Open in 2003, the same year he achieved his world number 1 ranking. His resume also includes 32 singles titles, a second place finish at the 2006 U.S. Open, 3 time runner up at Wimbledon and a 2007 Davis Cup Championship. “I can never repay him for winning me a Davis Cup, for being the anchor on that team, clinching every match that year, just about,” said Davis Cup teammate James Blake. Blake went on to say, “… He was a leader in the locker room, leader hanging out at Davis Cup…He’s definitely a great leader.”
Roddick will be in action against 43rd ranked Bernard Tomic tonight in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
 
American men continued to have a strong showing in early rounds. James Blake defeated a seeded player for the first time since 2006. He dominated #24 Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Blake never faced a break point and hit 39 winners. #23 Mardy Fish survived a 5 set scare from former 2-time U.S. Open semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, 4-6,6-7(4), 6-2,6-1,6-2. Fish struggled with his first serve early, hitting only 57% in the first set. However, Fish got stronger as the match wore on, breaking Davydenko 8 times. #27 Sam Querrey rolled over Ruben Hidalgo of Spain in straight sets. Querrey was strong on the ground and on his serve. Up-and -comer Jack Sock had an easy victory over Flavio Cipolla of Italy. Sock controlled the ground game, hitting 41 winners and had no trouble with the Italian's serve, returning at 80%. Sock also paired up with Melanie Oudin (USA) to defend their U.S. Open Mixed Doubles title. They defeated the 5th ranked team of Katarina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonijc in a deciding tiebreak 15-13.
 
Meanwhile, #1 Roger Federer rolled into the 3rd round over Bjorn Phau of Germany 6-3, 6-2,6-2. #6 Thomas Berdych advanced in straight sets as well. 5th seed Jo-Wilfred Tsonga was the first top men's seed to be upset. He was defeated in 4 sets by Martin Klizan of the Slovak Republic, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3. This was the first victory for Klizan over a top 10 player.
 
On the Women's side #4 Serena Williams handled Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain, 6-2, 6-4. Serena was pushed a bit in the second set but only allowed 5 winners total to Sanchez. Fellow American Sloane Stephens recovered from a first set deficit to beat Germany's Tatjana Malek, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Venus Williams did not fare as well as her sister, losing a tough 3-setter to 6th seed Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5. Venus played poorly in the first set but was energized by the crowd which was completely behind her. Venus went for her shots hitting 43 winners but producing 60 errors in the process.
 
#2 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and #12 Ana Ivanovic are through to the next round.

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Andy Roddick Opening Statement Roddick on his decision to retire Andy Roddick on being the face of American Tennis for the last 10 years Federer on Roddick Sam Querrey on his play Querrey on Roddick Mardy Fish on coming back from 2 sets down Tsonga on why he lost Serena unhappy with her play Serena on Roddick Venus Williams on her performance and fight