Roddick: We’re looking for individuals, not clones
Originally published on: 06/09/12 00:00
Roddick ended his long career with a loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round of the US Open, after which the 30-year-old was asked which American player might eventually fill his shoes.
Roddick replied: “Let’s not do ‘the next’. Let's let them have their own personality and let's let them do their thing and let them grow. I think I'd love to help any of them. I think they know that the door is open. There is no filling shoes. I think we've got to be looking for individuals, not clones.”
Following Mardy Fish’s withdrawal from the tournament for health reasons, Roddick was left as the last American man in singles competition. Did he feel it had been appropriate to end his career as the last American male standing?
“I would have rather not had it that way, especially with the way Mardy went out,” Roddick said. “I didn't like seeing that, that being the reason why. I have never been against having company. I would have loved for a lot more of us to have still been in.”
Roddick said he had happily accepted the responsibility of being the face of American tennis for so many years. “I wasn't going to shy away from it,” he said. “You get knocked down. You know the burden. I understand it. I understand the fact that we come from a place which probably had more success than any other tennis country where there are certain expectations.
“I fell right on the back end of the golden generation, and so that was just the cards that were dealt. But as tough a situation as it is, in the grand scheme of things it's a dream. It's something you want. That's not hard. Someone who's got however many kids and is working two jobs to buy food, that's hard. What I had to deal with wasn't hard.”