Andy Roddick Desperately Needs Strong U.S. Open After Ugly Wimbledon Loss

Thad Novak@@ThadNovakCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30:  Andy Roddick of the USA reaches for a shot during his Gentlemen's Singles third round match against David Ferrer of Spain  on day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 30, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Andy Roddick’s latest trip to the All England Club turned out far less successfully than he might have hoped. Roddick’s No. 25 world ranking won’t be getting much help after a third-round trouncing from seventh-seeded David Ferrer in which he won the first set before collapsing for a 6-2, 6-7, 4-6, 3-6 defeat.

The loss means that Roddick has now gone 11 straight Grand Slam appearances without making even one semifinal. He’s turning 30 in August, and he’s running out of chances to turn his career around.

None of this is to say that Roddick isn’t still a solid tennis player in the big picture. He posted his 31st career tournament victory just last week at Eastbourne, and he’s still (at his best) able to compete with all but the most overpowering players in the world.

Roddick’s early success, though, means that he’s competing against his own very high standards. The 2003 U.S. Open champ made a Grand Slam final in each of the next four seasons, but he’s only been back once since the start of 2007 and he’s rarely looked like a player capable of winning a major championship in that time.

Two tournaments have always brought out the best in Roddick: Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. With such a lousy end to the former this year, Roddick may never play at an elite level again if he doesn’t turn in a strong U.S. Open.

That’s not an unreasonable goal, as Roddick reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows just last year. If he’s in top form again by August, he could resurrect his career and have another few years of battling for the top spots in major tournaments.

If Roddick falters as badly in New York as he did against Ferrer on Saturday, though, it will be time to lower the curtain on his time as a factor in Grand Slam-level tennis.