"I don't know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home," Roddick says
Andy Roddick turned 30 years old on Thursday
He will compete in the U.S. Open and then retire, an official says
He was the last American man to win the U.S. Open in 2003
Tennis pro Andy Roddick will retire after the U.S. Open tournament, a spokesman for the International Tennis Federation said Thursday.
Roddick, who turned 30 years old on Thursday, is the last American man to win the New York grand slam, in 2003.
“I just feel like it’s time,” the former world No. 1 told reporters after making his announcement.
“I don’t know that I’m healthy enough or committed enough to go another year. I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event – I have a lot of family and friends here,” Roddick said, according to a recording of his news conference posted on the U.S. Open’s website.
“I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament. When I was playing my first round, I knew.”
Roddick, now ranked 22nd, won his opening match at Flushing Meadows and was to play Australia’s Bernard Tomic in the second round on Friday. The hard-court event, the last of the tennis season’s four majors, conclude September 9.
“Andy has been an outstanding ambassador for our sport and our country, always carrying himself with the character and class that define a champion,” said U.S. Tennis Association board chairman Jon Vegosen. “In addition to representing the U.S. on the world stage, he was a Davis Cup stalwart and standout.”
The 2003 U.S. Open victory was his only grand slam win, while he lost in the final in 2006. Roddick was also a three-time runner-up on the grass courts of Wimbledon, but his main attacking weapons have been less potent in recent years due to a series of injuries and changes in tennis that have taken the emphasis off power serving.
In 2003, Roddick was the youngest American and the second youngest overall to finish No. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings since 1973.
In 2004, he won four titles and led the U.S. to the first Davis Cup final since 1997 by going 6-2 in singles, and he recorded the world’s fastest serve at 155 mph in the Davis Cup on September 24, the ATP said.
Last year he captured his 30th career title on the ATP World Tour in Memphis to increase his title streak to 11 consecutive years, the ATP said.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Roddick explained his decision.
“I’ve always, for whatever my faults have been, felt like I’ve never done anything halfway,” he said. “It’s probably the first time in my career that I can sit here and say I’m not sure that I can put everything into it physically and emotionally.
“I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home.”
CNN’s Heidi Berger contributed to this report.