After three years of showing up for nothing more than an appearance fee and an opportunity to show off his Lacoste polo shirts, Andy Roddick finally gets his chance.
In his 8th Wimbledon, America’s current best hope for a men’s title can envision the championship plate engraved for him on Sunday afternoon in London. Then again, he probably thought he’d win two of these by now.
While the Williams sisters seem to bring home trophies that could fill many tennis arenas, Roddick’s career continues to disappoint. Sure, he’s won a Grand Slam (2003 U.S. Open) and reached three other Grand Slam finals. Still, shouldn’t he have a better resume’? Why does it always seem that he’s ranked 6th or 7th in the field and the phrase “Don’t forgot about Andy Roddick” always seems to be on the lips of the tennis commentators?
Quite simply, he played like he didn’t give a damn if he won or lost – as long as he was still marketable. Call it the “Anna Kournikova corollary.” Both stars successfully cashed in on their good looks and spent more time in fashion shoots instead of practice courts. The only difference between tennis’ A-Rod and Anna K. can be seen when the match starts. Roddick can win matches. Kournikova couldn’t. That explains why Roddick outlasted the blonde at her own game.
The native from Omaha, Nebraska looked like the next Pete Sampras or Jim Courier when he smashed onto the tennis scene in the year 2000. Here’s a fun quiz question: name another American men’s tennis player that competes deep into the most important tournaments on a consistent basis. And no, John McEnroe’s analysis doesn’t count. The perpetually disappointing James Blake sits as the only other American in the top 20.
With only four men left in the 2009 draw at The Championships in Wimbledon, Andy Roddick once again finds himself with another chance. Going deeper than any other major in the last three years, Roddick must take advantage of this precious opportunity. He faces Great Britain’s Andy Murray on Center Court on the 4th of July weekend.
Making more than 15 million dollars in his career, Roddick must put away all of the distractions for the final weekend at Wimbledon. One guy named Andy will make the Gentleman’s Final on Sunday at Wimbledon. Can Roddick finally find his way?