By Diane Pucin, Los Angeles Times –
NEW YORK — It’s all about goodbyes at the U.S. Open this year.
A day after three-time Open winner Kim Clijsters lost and confirmed she would play no more singles tennis, Andy Roddick, who won his only Grand Slam-level tournament here in 2003, announced that his career would be finished as soon as he is done at the Open.
Roddick, who turned 30 on Thursday, is scheduled to play Australian teenager Bernard Tomic on Friday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Roddick, who is seeded 20th at the Open, hasn’t been beyond the quarterfinals of a major tournament since 2009.
He’s married, he’s fought through many injuries the last two years and he said that he made up his mind that his career is about over after he won his first-round match here Tuesday against qualifier Rhyne Williams.
As much as Roddick will be remembered for winning that U.S. Open title, he also gained admiration for a great battle he lost. It was the 2009 Wimbledon final against Roger Federer. The score was 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 in favor of Federer. It was Roddick’s fighting spirit, though, that earned him a standing ovation.
“I just feel like it’s time,” Roddick said. “I’ve always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event. I have a lot of family and friends here. I’ve thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament.
“When I was playing my first round, I knew.”
Roddick said it wasn’t in his makeup to hang around, winning a round or two or three but not being a true contender any more.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been someone who’s interested in existing on the tour,” he said. “I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me. I’m looking forward to those.”
Roddick said he decided to make this announcement before he plays Tomic on Friday because he wanted the chance to properly say goodbye to fans. And he said he has no idea how he’ll feel, or play, Friday night.
“I could come out and play great or it could be the worst thing you’ve ever seen. I don’t know. I’ve never done this before. I’m sure it will be very emotional. I’m sure I’ll be nervous.”