Andy Roddick Gracefully Exits Competitive Tennis

The Austin resident announced at a surprise press conference that this year's U.S. Open would be his last tournament.
Fri August 31, 2012 7:02 pm
Anthony Behar | Sipa USA via AP Images

Andy Roddick decided to end his career on his own terms, announcing at a surprise press conference on his thirtieth birthday Thursday night that this U.S. Open would be his last tournament.

“I’ll make this short and sweet. I’ve decided that this is going to be my last tournament,” Roddick said at the start of his press conference, his voice free of emotion. “I don’t know if I’m healthy enough or committed enough to continue another year.” (Roddick has been beset by various injuries in recent years.)

“If I’m being honest, I would have bet against myself on getting through this without tears today. I must have already gotten them out earlier. This has been a huge part of my life always. But I don’t know that it’s always been my entire life. I do feel very confident in the things and the people that I have to fall back on,” he continued.

At Sports Illustrated, Bruce Jenkins praised Roddick for his graceful goodbye, which has him leaving in “a swirl of universal admiration.” Roddick “isn’t leaving the game too soon, nor does anyone feel he stuck around too long. Rare is the world-class athlete who makes such a clean, flawless exit,” he wrote. 

And what, according to Jenkins, will Roddick be remembered for?

He’ll go down as the leading American player of his generation, a distinction reserved strictly for the greats. It won’t be any particular shot or stylistic impression that

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