Every year, Andy Roddick celebrates his birthday with a few thousand of his closest friends at the US Open, as fans have sung “Happy Birthday” to him year after year on court. This year, the Austin, Texas native celebrates his “golden birthday,” as he turns 30 on Aug. 30. In honor of his third decade, we highlight 30 achievements, milestones and fun facts about the young tennis player who, over the past 12 years, has grown up before our eyes to become one of America’s best.
The fastest serve Roddick has officially clocked (155 mph) came in a Davis Cup match against Vladimir Voltchkov on Sept. 24, 2004, in Charleston, N.C.
As a junior player, Roddick won both the Australian Open and US Open singles titles in 2000.
Roddick was ranked the No. 1 junior when he decided to turn pro at age 17 in 2000.
Roddick burst onto the scene at the start of 2003, when he defeated Moroccan player Younes El Aynaoui in a five-hour battle at the Australian Open quarterfinals, 4–6, 7–6, 4–6, 6–4, 21–19.
When Roddick first began working with coach Brad Gilbert in the summer of 2003, he was 21 years old and sporting visors during his matches – until Gilbert came along. He convinced Roddick to "get rid of the Fred Couples visor” in an effort to present a tougher look to his opponents.
Shortly after Gilbert joined his camp, Roddick had a breakthrough year in 2003, when he finished the year as the No. 1 player in the world.
At the 2003 US Open, he won his first (and to this date, his only) Grand Slam title when he beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final 6–3, 7–6(2), 6–3.
Roddick’s US Open title almost didn’t happen, as he was two sets down and facing match point against David Nalbandian in the semifinals before coming back to win it 6–7, 3–6, 7–6, 6–1, 6–3.
In the past, Roddick has dated singer/actress Mandy Moore, who was with him when he won the 2003 US Open.
As a baseball fan, Roddick has had the chance to throw the first pitch at several Major League Baseball games, including Game 2 of the 2003 playoffs between the Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox.
In 2005, American Express, one of the US Open sponsors, pitched a multi-million dollar campaign leading up to the US Open centered around the question, “Have you seen Andy's mojo?” The campaign hinted at the idea that Roddick’s “mojo” had left him and he couldn’t play well until he found it. Commercials showed a personification of “Andy’s mojo” leaving Roddick’s body while he slept and partied while using Roddick’s American Express card.
Following the American Express ad campaign, Roddick lost his first-round match at the Open, falling to Gilles Muller in straight sets. This commercial aired following the loss.
The summer of 2007 saw a 24-year-old Roddick featured on the cover of Men's Fitness magazine, in which he appeared incredibly buff. After seeing the doctored photo for the first time, Roddick joked, “I saw the cover, and it was pretty funny. Little did I know I have 22-inch guns. Maybe Rafael Nadal wants his arms back?" See the cover for yourself here.
Roddick was selected as one of People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2006 as the Sexiest Athlete.
In May 2006, then-President George W. Bush named Roddick to the President’s Council of Sports and Fitness.
Throughout the summer of 2006, the media had suspected a romantic link between Roddick and Maria Sharapova, earning them the nickname “Rodapova.” The two denied any relationship, saying they were just friends.
After seeing a photo of Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker in a magazine, Roddick asked his agent to contact Decker's agent so he could meet her. They began dating in 2007, and were married April 17, 2009, in Austin, Texas, where Elton John sang at their wedding reception.
Off the court, Roddick has tested the waters in the acting business, having guest-starred as himself in the television show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” in 2002. Check out the clip here (Sabrina’s comment about Kournikova: zinger!).
He also made a cameo at the very end of the 2011 movie Just Go With It, as the new boyfriend of the character played by Brooklyn Decker, his actual wife.
A-Rod even tried his hand at comedy skits, hosting Saturday Night Live on Nov. 8, 2003 (Season 29, Episode 5) along with his favorite band, Dave Matthews Band. It appeared to be a natural fit for his jokester personality. The episode has since been considered a classic among SNL shows hosted by pro athletes.
Since establishing the Andy Roddick Foundation, the charity organization has raised more than $10 million to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for children.
Thanks to his charitable efforts through ARF, Roddick earned The Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2005.
In the summer of 2009, Roddick faced Federer for the third time in a Wimbledon final, a match that was without a doubt one of the best performances of his career, and the closest he ever came to winning the Wimbledon title. His 7–5, 6–7, 6–7, 6–3, 14–16 loss set records for the longest men's Grand Slam final in history at 77 games and the longest fifth set in a men's Grand Slam final.
Roddick teamed up with good friend Bobby Bones, host of Austin’s KISS-FM morning show, in 2011 for a day on Fox Sports Radio. The show’s ensuing success prompted the duo to start their own nationally syndicated weekly sports radio show, which debuted Jan. 7, 2012.
As Roddick’s wife mentioned in an interview, a career in the radio show business could be the next move for Roddick after he retires.
Roddick was born in Omaha, Neb., in 1982 and is a huge fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.
Coincidentally, Roddick’s favorite character in the movie American Pie is Stifler, who is played by Sean William Scott, the actor who bears a striking resemblance to Roddick.
Roddick was honored with the 2004 ESPY Award for Best Male Tennis Player. He was nominated again in 2005.
Roddick has a pet bulldog named Billie Jean.
In his 12-year career, Roddick has appeared on more than a dozen talk shows, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Show with David Letterman, Live with Regis and Kelly, and others.