As discussed in an earlier post, I really like Andy Roddick. He's been one of my favourite players for a long time now, since before he won his first and only major at the 2003 US Open. In fact, I've been a fan of Andy's for longer than I've been a fan of Federer's (crazy, I know). And through all of his ups and downs—his on-court temper tantrums, his rising and falling rankings, his final appearances along with early exits from Wimbledon—I've always rooted for Andy and wanted him to do well. So it hurts me a little inside to have to say this, but I think it must be said: "Andy Roddick, stop breaking my heart!"
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean that I'm disappointed in Andy because he hasn't won as many matches as he should have, or that he hasn't been able to get another slam title. I can't stand those people who act like their favourite athletes owe them something—like those people who watch the Olympics and are disgusted and disappointed by how poorly their country's athletes performed. They don't seem to take into account the fact that these athletes have trained their whole lives for this moment and chances are that they are probably a little more devastated than the random television viewer.
What I meant was that with Andy, you can see how much winning another slam means to him—and the heartbreak that you see on his face when he loses makes my heart break. And so I guess the better statement might be: "Andy Roddick, stop breaking your own heart, because it's breaking mine."
I'm not sure anyone could have watched last year's Wimbledon final without their heart breaking at least a little for Andy—and seeing him exit the tournament early this year only makes that 2009 loss to Federer seem even worse, as you probably can't quite convince yourself that he will ever get such a great chance to win the title again.
This year at Wimbledon you could feel the crowd really getting behind him—perhaps remembering what he went through after his loss the year before and hoping that maybe this year he could finally do it. It reminded me a little bit of the atmosphere at the 2009 French Open, after Rafa Nadal lost. You could feel that it was a now-or-never situation for Roger, and it seemed like everyone—the crowd, the commentators, and the other players—desperately wanted Roger to finally get the one trophy that he wanted so much. And while Federer was able to capitalize on his opportunity and win the title, Roddick couldn't quite find a way to stop Federer from winning his sixth Wimbledon crown.
So as each new major comes along, I hold on to the belief that Andy has got one more slam in him. That he'll be able to pull-off an upset of Federer or Nadal, and that all of the hard work he's put into this—new coaches, weight loss, new training programs—will finally pay off.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I really do think that one day he'll do it.