Former world number one Andy Roddick earned huge amount of praise from the current top ranked and one of the best tennis players in the history Roger Federer.
Roddick announced on Thursday that he would retire from professional tennis whenever his ongoing US Open campaign ends. He delayed it to at least a couple of days by thrashing Australia’s Bernard Tomic in the second round.
However, Federer could not wait to thank Roddick for his commitment to the sport in USA. Federer shared that Roddick would always be a Wimbledon champion according to him.
Talking to the reporters at the US Open, the Swiss Maestro stated, "He could have gotten that title. That's what I said about him in 2009. He deserves this title as well. In my mind, he is a Wimbledon champion, a wonderful ambassador for the game.”
Federer defeated Roddick in all the three Wimbledon finals the American star reached. The Swiss legend outclassed Roddick in the 2004 and 05 title matches at the All England Club but the 2009 one went to 16-14 in the deciding set. Roddick could not hide his disappointment after losing that match, which is regarded as one of the all time bests in the history of the Championships.
The Swiss star added, "I am thankful for everything he has done in the sport here in America. It's not been easy after (Andre) Agassi, (Pete) Sampras, (Jim) Courier, (Michael) Chang, (Jimmy) Connors, (John) McEnroe, you name them.”
Roddick is the last American player to win a Grand Slam. He won his lone Major trophy at the US Open in 2003 by beating Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final. The former American number one also lost to Federer in the 2006 US Open title match.
Federer went on to say, "It's been hard for him at times but I thought he always did the best he could. That's all you can ask for from a guy like Andy."
Roddick’s performance dropped in the last couple of years, as he also suffered from injuries. Last year, the American went out of the top 10 for the first time in the previous eight seasons. He dropped to become third highest ranked tennis player from his country as Mardy Fish and John Isner overtook him.
Roddick is also running his own foundation. He is married to model and actress Brooklyn Decker.