Perhaps Andy Roddick should have announced his retirement 12 tournaments in advance. If he had, he may have been more successful in his last year of tennis.
As it stands, Roddick is set to call it quits after the 2012 U.S. Open, and he certainly doesn't want to go out without a fight. He defeated Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 in the third round Sunday.
The match featured Roddick playing to the crowd, pumping his fists, and actually showing some of the charisma and flair that was missing for most of his 12-year career.
If I didn't know any better, I would have thought I was watching one of the more popular and well-liked players in the sport.
He actually appears to be having fun.
Roddick has not been that fun guy for most of his career. He has always come off as surly and unapproachable to me.
It is possible that disposition is a reaction to the pressure he's felt since he burst on the tennis scene.
He was armed with a blazing-fast service game and an American heritage. That combination was enough to get him a good measure of attention and expectations early on.
Frankly, Roddick has never lived up to what many thought he could become. He won only one Grand Slam in his career, that was the 2003 U.S. Open, though he reached four finals between the Open and Wimbledon.
Inconsistent play, injuries and a lack of growth to his overall game is the reason Roddick never became great.
It's totally possible that with the end defined, he's finally able to relax and enjoy the game.
I'm not sure how long this run will last, but I wish we had an opportunity to see a little more of this version of Roddick, win or lose.
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