I ♥ Andy Roddick

Written By: achangeofends - Feb• 04•11
ghai Tennis Masters in Shanghai, China, 12 October 2010. EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL fotoglif768959

How often do you get the chance to interview one of your favorite tennis stars? This morning, the lovely people at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships gave me (and several other journalists) the chance to list the dream. The Regions Morgan Keegan Championships have done the unthinkable and granted me a press pass, so I will be driving down to Memphis in about two weeks to catch some quarterfinals action and I’ll stick around straight through the finals. The top seed on the men’s side of the tournament is Andy Roddick and today he was nice enough to hold a Q&A with the press over the phone. Andy is apparently en route to Dallas/Fort Worth for the Super Bowl. He’ll be rooting for the Packers in case some of you follow that football nonsense. Just kidding, but for real, I don’t understand football at all, the American kind that is. Anyway, back to the interview. I’ll be doing a full write up tomorrow for TennisGrandstand (I’ll add the link once it’s up) but I’d like to share a few teasers. Here are two of my questions from this afternoon’s discussion.

Q. You participated in the Rally forRelief at the Australian Open as well as donated quite a bit of your own money in Brisbane. How important is it to you to give back to the community?

A. Well, I think it’s huge.That’s the one thing that’s great about the global nature of tennis. We kind of get to see differentareas. The Queensland floods down in Australia were tragic. I think they covered a space biggerthan Germany and France combined. The onething I’ve always been proud of as far as this tennis family, we come from a long line of guysand girls who have been willing to give back, starting with Billie Jean, Arthur Ashe, Agassi. The group now are all on the same page as far as if we can help, we’ll try.

Q. Do you see yourself as a role model for younger players coming up through the juniors?

A. I don’t know. That would be a question for them. I’m certainly available for any of the up and coming kind of high level juniors, and I always have been. I’m certainly not going to force my opinions onanybody. But I’m willing to help. I certainly have always accepted the responsibility of kind of being I guess the figurehead of American tennis right now.

Those are only two of many questions Andy was kind enough to answer this afternoon. I’ll leave you with this gem. When asked about the decline of Roger Federer’s dominance, Andy gave one of my favorite quotes of the day, “Would it surprise me if he won three majors over the next two years? No, it wouldn’t. One thing I don’t spend much time doing is worrying for Roger.”

In general, Andy was exactly as I expected him to be. What really struck me, which is apparent in all of his interviews and press conferences, but I was paying more attention today, is how good Andy is on the spot. It’s not like most players get tripped up by questions, but sometimes they can come off as a bit boring or may not give the smartest reply. Roddick legitimately sounds like he knows what he’s talking about and manages to make it funny. He’s incredibly well spoken.

As always, remember to follow me on twitter for what will likely be constant updates from Memphis. You may have to endure a little bit of me whining about the 5 hour drive, but I promise the actual tennis tweets will make it worth your while. Be sure to check back for the link to TennisGrandstand and my review of the whole Roddick interview, since you know, there were other journalists there too.

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