Still ranked in the top-25, Andy Roddick decided to end his tennis journey in front of the home fans at the US Open in September 2012, retiring from tennis just a couple of days after turning 30. Former world no. 1 and the last American men's Major champion has joined the Tennis Channel for a couple of weeks during the current coronavirus break, covering different topics and speaking about the current stars and anecdotes he enjoys the most from the past.
Praising Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Andy identified them as the competitors from another planet, honoring their longevity and remembering the clash against Novak from the London Olympics eight years ago.
Andy had won titles in Eastbourne and Atlanta recently, feeling like he has a shot at Wimbledon in the best-of-three format, at least in the opening rounds of the Olympic event. By the will of the draw, he faced Djokovic in the second round and suffer a tough 6-2, 6-1 loss in swift 54 minutes, describing the defeat as an eye-opening one as he assumed he couldn't compete at that level anymore.
Djokovic blasted 14 aces and lost ten points in eight service games, never facing a break point and keeping the pressure on the other side of the net. One of the best servers on the Tour in the previous decade was far from his usual numbers behind the initial shot, dropping half of the points in his games and getting broken four times from as many chances Novak created to propel the Serb into the next round, finishing career just a couple of months later.
"At the London Olympics in 2012, I was unseeded, facing Novak Djokovic in the second round. I had won two of the previous three tournaments before the Olympics and I felt that Wimbledon is the place where I can still catch lightning in a bottle and make a bit of run, feeling great at practice that week.
At that point, I had a decent record against Novak but he beat me like a drum; I felt like a child on the court, winning just three games on grass! I served average, which is never smart against Novak, but I was walking off the court thinking that I didn't play bad, he was simply that better.
At that moment, I started to think this game is getting a little bit different from what I have been used to and the guys from the top are like from another planet; that was an eye-opening moment for me."