Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt: Players Who Just Make the Numbers

SubbaramanContributor IIIJanuary 22, 2012

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01:  Lleyton Hewitt of Australia (R) shakes hands with Andy Roddick of USA after the men's singles quarter final match Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 1, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Sadly, such is the nature of sport that players who once used to top the rankings are now merely making the numbers.

When skill levels decline rapidly with age and bodies deteriorate, players don't know when their next win comes. Roddick, Hewitt and the like fall into this category. Both men played each other in the Australian Open this year, when Roddick had to retire midway due to injury.

Roger Federer probably more than anyone else has been their nemesis for at least some part of their careers—more in Roddick's case than Hewitt's.

There's no question that these two sportsmen, who wear their hearts on their sleeves, are at the end of their careers. Winning a grand slam is out of the question. One hopes that defeat, while it happens more frequently, will not embarrass them much.

Both Hewitt and Roddick have played many a memorable match, not least against each other, and also when they turned up for their countries in the Davis Cup.

It is hard to imagine either of these players playing past 2013.  Let us hope that they can bow with grace and dignity.