Monday, September 29, 2008

Andy Roddick, the Generous Nice Guy

by Neil Harmon, Times Online - It is about time that Andy Roddick's contribution to men's tennis in the past nine years on the ATP Tour received full and unequivocal respect and the Net Post does not mean it should happen now just because of the gesture, when he lifted the China Open yesterday - the 26th title of his career - to donate $25,000 of his prize money to those still suffering after May's catastrophic earthquake in the country's Sichuan Province. He has deserved his panegyric for a long time.

"I would really like to contribute a part of my money to those families affected, to those who lost everything they had, suffered painful injuries or lost loved ones in the earthquake," said Roddick, who defeated Dudi Sela of Israel, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. "It is my great honour to be in Beijing to work with Chinese Tennis Association to assist those kids who are in need. It is an athlete's privilege and responsibility to give back."

One would expect nothing more from Roddick who is 26 now, has been a grand slam champion, the world No1, has inspired his country to win the Davis Cup, has withstood the slings and arrows of being, at various times, the "Next Big Thing", the "It Man" and the "When Is He Going To Win Another Major?" guy of American tennis, and done it all with a sense of duty and humour that often goes either ignored or misinterpreted.

He has ridden the good times and the not so good and maintained a view of the life he enjoys with more wise sense than people twice his age. No-one has had more reason to take at face value Kipling's words about triumph and disaster that look down upon him every time he enters Wimbledon's Centre Court. His record at the All England championships is played 36, won 28, he has lost in two finals (both to Roger Federer) and one semi final (also to Federer). He wants to win it very badly indeed.

This year, Roddick was beaten in the second round on Centre Court by an inspired Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, to which his response was profound. The Net Post quotes him verbatim: "I literally, you know, any chance I got I pretty much choked it. That's tough to deal with, and that's not something that you really want to do. It's not an easy thing to say, but it's pretty much what happened. I could sit here and try to dance around it all night but you guys watched it. It was what it was. It's like you want something so bad you almost squeeze too tight."

Continue to read...

[h/t to rabbit for the article.]


tangerine said...

Huh what? Andy getting some respect from the press? Get out.

Craig Hickman said...

Say it again.

tristann said...

Good article, Craig. Nice that it is written by a foreign journalist. Much like the British press has been toxic for British players, I think the American press at times has been Andy's worst enemy.

Craig Hickman said...

When Roddick is bratty and boisterous, I take note and report it.

But Neil Harmon wrote the article I wanted to write time and again but never bothered to because everybody knows he's my guy.

I got to hide behind Harmon by posting it, though.

It provides some much-needed perspective on his career and his character.