Tennis News Wire -
Andy Roddick, the 29 year-old former world no.1, is insistent that tennis in the United Shapes is in good shape, both on the top-flight professional circuit where he is suddenly feeling a new lease of life, and at grass roots level.
Roddick is back in his home country for a brief spell in between Wimbledon and its’ build-up, where he won his first ATP World Tour title in 15 months at Eastbourne before losing in the third round of the Championships, and returning to London for the Olympic Games. Despite his world ranking slipping two places this week to 27th place, he can be found in a more optimistic frame of mind than for some time.
“I had a very simple goal going into Eastbourne after the French Open,” said Roddick who beat Andreas Seppi in the AEGON International final before suffering defeat against seventh seeded Spaniard David Ferrer. “I wanted to get to 600 wins, which was a nice milestone. I wanted to win the tournament. Was able to handle that there.
“Also I just wanted to feel good on the tennis court again. I wanted to feel like I was playing well. I did that. Now I'm excited about continuing that momentum into the summer and see if we can't make something happen.”
Roddick will contest next week’s Atlanta Tennis Championship, part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series that he has won twice before. His schedule then sees him contest his second Olympics at the All England Club before again crossing the Atlantic to play Toronto, Cincinnati and finally Winston-Salem in the lead-up to the US Open.
He admitted to weighing up the benefits of taking a rest following the English grass court swing and decided otherwise. “If I play great in Atlanta, that can only help me going into the Olympics,” insisted Roddick. “l will be there 100%. I felt like it was beneficial for me to come home after Wimbledon, to get into some of the heat in Atlanta, match conditions, to kind of have that preparation going in I thought was the best-case scenario for me.”
Roddick, the long-time lynch pin of the U.S. Davis Cup team is equally positive about the way American tennis is moving. “I think it's healthy,” he said. “We had two in the top ten last year. Certainly was good with Brian Baker and John Isner playing well earlier this year.
The question is always a tough one for me to answer because we deal in the context of a worldwide talent pool, which isn't the case with a lot of sports that the U.S. focuses on.
It's going to take some great tennis to crack those top three of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal They're three of the best we've ever seen, and they're certainly playing to it right now.
“As far as viewership, USTA memberships, sales of products, tennis is very, very healthy. It's as healthy as it's been for a long time. But I think success at any pro tournament will obviously garner more attention.”