Andy Roddick's Recent Resurgence and What It Means for the Olympics

Michael Ann McKinlayContributor IIIJuly 23, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 18: Andy Roddick celebrates breaking Nicolas Mahut of France in the first set during the BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station on July 18, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Hard to believe that Andy Roddick has completely turned around his 2012 season after a rough start.

He has won two of his last three tournaments and compiled an 11-1 record in the process. Granted, both titles were 250 ATP events—no Wimbledon—but the achievement still means a lot to Roddick, who has successfully won a tournament or more every year since he turned pro in 2000.

With 32 titles, Roddick is third only to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in most career titles among active players. His resurgence also puts a temporary hold on the retirement questions that Roddick can't seem to get away from.  

He told ESPN after his tough three-set win in Atlanta Sunday that he still works hard for his results. 

"I've won 32 times and in every one of them I've never assumed I was going to win again. I just kind of go about the process of playing, work hard and hope I can put myself in position enough times where you kind of create some success for yourself."

His first signs of life came at Eastbourne in June, just a week before Wimbledon. Roddick was on a six-match skid, posting some of the worst results he has had throughout his career. And while the losing streak continued, so did his ranking, falling outside the Top 20.

Playing Eastbourne as a wild card after an early exit from Queens was not what the American had in mind, but he combated the windy conditions and won his 31st career title.

Roddick did face reality at Wimbledon, seeded 30 and meeting a top seed in the third round. Although he showed signs of his old grass-court game against David Ferrer early on, Roddick struggled to keep pace with the feisty Spaniard, and later cited fatigue in his four-set loss.  

In Atlanta, Roddick's tough three-setter against John Isner was really telling of the desire Roddick still has to win matches.

Angered by a foot-fault call on Isner while Roddick hit a solid return, followed by a missed opportunity to break serve and serve for the match, Roddick disgustedly chucked his racquet at the net. Surprisingly, no warning was given, but with Roddick's tantrum history, it was safe to think Roddick would let his anger give the match away.

However, after his brief lapse, he let go. He held serve, immediately threatened to break Isner in the ninth game and converted his 30-40 break point for the match. Roddick gave out a loud primal scream towards his camp, and showed how much that win meant for him.

Although he would have his struggles against Gilles Muller in the final, Roddick found his game in the second set and knocked off the man that had previously stole his "mojo" in New York.  

At next week's London Games, Roddick will be unseeded, meaning he could face Roger Federer in the first round. Look for Roddick to play the spoiler.

He has the talent to knock off Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray, and has done so at previous Grand Slams and other big events. Now, I'm not saying that Roddick will win the gold medal next week, but I would put him ahead of Isner to get the U.S. a medal in men's singles.

Roddick has been solid on grass throughout his career, and his massive serve and forehand are imposing on the All England Club lawns. His experience, firepower and confidence could be enough for Roddick to get back on track not only in London but during the U.S. Open Series.  

Despite what happens in London, I think we can all agree that Roddick's resurgence could not have come at a better time.  


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