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Not so average Joe: Other A-Rod deserves credit too

By Joe Hollenbeck
On April 5, 2012

 

Many of you reading this might not have any idea who I'm talking about when I say "the other A-Rod," so I will do my best to clarify. I am NOT talking about the New York Yankees third baseman, Alex Rodriguez. I'm referring to the former top-10 world-ranking tennis player, Andy Roddick.

Most of Roddick's success came early on in his career. He made a name for himself with his first major win during the US Open all the way back in 2001. For a short time he was ranked number one in the world and was a National sensation. 

Unfortunately, his major success was short-lived, as one of the best tennis players ever began to emerge on the court. Roger Federer began to win major after major and put too much pressure on Roddick, who began to fade from the top of the rankings.

Injury-plagued seasons continued to add up and soon Roddick found himself in a five- year drought without a major tournament victory. Soon his game became more and more reliant upon his strong serve (which earned him a tennis record and made him a fan favorite) until he began losing a lot of tournaments and almost called it quits in 2008.

The last major opportunity for Roddick to reclaim some glory in his career came back in 2009 during the Wimbledon tournament when he played some of the best all around tennis of his career, but unfortunately lost in the finals to Federer in one of the best matches of all time.

Now Roddick is fighting more nagging knee injuries and the new wave of younger players that seem to be hitting the international tennis scene. Do I think his chances of winning another major title are over? Not yet. He still has a chance to change his game and become a more well -rounded player. If he can do that, then he can play with any of the highly ranked players out there.

As far as his image goes, I think he is still one of the fan favorites in the sport right now. He has traded in his anger issues and mouthing off (which are fun too watch) for more humble play and genuine excitement. Also, now that he has dropped down in the rankings and under the radar, he has virtually become an underdog. And everybody loves to root for the underdog.


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