Andy Roddick celebrated two milestones Thursday. The first was his 30th birthday. The second was his impending retirement.
Roddick, scheduled to play Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium in a second-round match at the US Open, called a mysterious news conference for Thursday night. He wore a black T-shirt and a black cap slung low over his eyes. He walked in, smiled and sat down.
Then, in the manner of someone who calls Texas home, he got right to the point. All about Andy
"With the way my body feels, with the way that I'm able to compete right now, I don't know that it's good enough," Roddick said. "I don't know that I've ever been someone who is interesting in 'existing' on tour. I couldn't imagine myself being there in another year."
Roddick said he could sense the end when he walked off the court at Wimbledon after a third-round loss. As the summer wore on, Roddick said he felt more certain. He did not feel healthy enough, or motivated enough, to continue.
He came of age in the era of Roger Federe. Then came Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and the three have let few major tournament titles slip through their grasps. Federer alone toppled Roddick in four Grand Slam finals, including an epic contest at Wimbledon in 2009 that Federer won, 16-14, in the fifth set.
He did what Roddick does best in those settings. He made jokes.
On what Roddick would miss most, he cracked to reporters, "All of you." He said his dog would be excited because "I won't be a deadbeat dad anymore."
Ten years ago, Sampras won the Open at age 31, in the final match of his career.
Federer wished Roddick his best Open.
"We'll see," Roddick said when asked about the prospect of a dream run. "I wish it was a choice."