Roddick Thinks Young Champions Are A Thing Of The Past
epa03372708 Andy Roddick of the US serves to Rhyne Williams of the US during their match on the second day of the 2012 US Open Tennis Championship at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 28 August 2012. The US Open runs through Sunday 09 September 2012. EPA/JASON SZENES |
Andy Roddick may be out of tennis through retirement, but the 30-year-old still has his opinions about the state of the game. One of his tips: don’t look for any teenaged men to rule the ATP as Lleyton Hewitt and Boris Becker did in the tennis past.
The former No. 1 is still keep his profile relatively high through his personal charity and an exhibition date in Miami later in the month with Andy Murray and Juan Carlos Ferrero – another recent tennis retiree – joining in.
Roddick and Ferrero chose to end their careers while contemporary Roger Federer, aged 31, goes from strength to strength, standing second in the world and still going toe-to-toe with younger rivals including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Murray, all in their mid-20s.
Roddick believes that the era of teenaged Grand Slam champions is now past history due to changes in the physicality of the sport.
“Boris Becker won when he was 17, Rafa (Nadal) won when he was 19, I won when I was 21 and now there is not a teenager in the top 100 at the moment because you aren’t strong enough at that point in your career,” Roddick told Reuters.
“The game has got more physical and the schedule has got longer. It’s a really difficult sport physically and mentally,” said the last American winner of a Grand Slam (US Open) in 2003.
Venus Williams was taking a deserved day off at the Qatar Total Open, having a routine practice with hitting partners on a court adjacent to where little kids were playing mini-tennis with coaches dressed up as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Donald Duck.