'Boomer & Gio': Andy Roddick Discusses State Of American Tennis, His Time On Top And More

Boomer and Gio
January 15, 2019 - 9:31 am
Andy Roddick poses with Boomer and Gio on Jan. 15, 2019.

WFAN

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By WFAN.com

Andy Roddick may have retired more than six years ago, but he's still trying to improve American tennis.

The former top-ranked player in the world and U.S. Open champ stopped by the "Boomer & Gio" show on Tuesday to promote the New York Open, which will be played Feb. 9-17 at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum. 

The event is among the keys in re-establishing the United States as a world power in tennis, Roddick said. 

"I think when I came on tour, I want to say there were 20-some-odd events in the States, and I think outside of the U.S. Open, we're down to 10," said Roddick, who will play Jim Courier in an exhibition at the New York Open on Feb. 9. "And so when I get a chance to promote something like the New York Open, I think these events are super important to the good of the game and trying to find that next American. So that's something I'm passionate about. I certainly don't wake up and watch tennis every day. I don't schedule my day around it. But I still feel like I can try to add value in some way, shape or form."

And where does America stand in finding some men who can soon join the sport's elite? 

"We do have 16-some-odd guys in the main draw of the Australian Open," Roddick said. "I would love to see one of those young guys kind of break and make a move toward the second week, quarters, semis, and then I feel like they almost take the rest of them with them. 

"If you look at the greatest generations of American tennis, Andre (Agassi) was the guy, and he was the guy that got all the attention. And then Pete (Sampras) won first, and then (Jim) Courier won, and then (Michael) Chang won, and then Andre was the last guy, and he was going 'I'm supposed to be better than all of these guys.' And so I do think healthy jealousy is good, and I hope while they're competing against the rest of the world, I hope they kind of start competing against each other also."

Roddick, 36, also reflected on his time at the top. 

"It feels like a bit of a lifetime ago," he said. "It felt like it kind of happened pretty fast, too. I was a senior in high school. I was playing on tour a little bit, and then three years later, I was (ranked) 1 in the world and winning something and hosting 'Saturday Night Live,' and it was just a bit of a whirlwind. I think I had the best of it because I had all the upside, but I also had all the protection -- Pete and Andre were the torch bearers. They're the ones who would carry the game. So I was probably dealing with a lot less pressure but knowing their end was in sight. 

"It was a great time. I certainly enjoyed myself, but I also took the game really seriously. I was never going to put a priority on having fun off of the court. I certainly enjoyed it, but when it was time to play, I enjoyed it. I wanted to kind of win bigger tournaments, and then along came Roger (Federer)."

To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.