Boca loves Andy Roddick
Charity tennis event hosted by the number one men’s player raises estimated $300,000
Published Monday, November 24, 2003
by Ashley Harrell
Tennis star Andy Roddick said it’s been a “whirlwind” since he won the 2003 US open, boosting him to top ranked men’s tennis player in the world.
“Everything is on a much bigger scale,” said 21-year-old Roddick, who told reporters that the coolest thing about being a star is the ability to raise a quarter of a million dollars for a good cause.
Roddick’s third annual charity weekend, sponsored by Reebok, included a Saturday evening dinner and dance, a free kid’s zone, and a tennis exhibition at FAU Sunday.
Celebrities that graced the neon blue court in the FAU gymnasium were Jim Courier, Chris Evert, Aaron Krickstein, Brian Vahaly, Brenda Schultz McCarthy, Patrick McEnroe, and surprise guest Jeff Conine of the Florida Marlins. Roddick’s girlfriend, Mandy Moore was rumored to be making an appearance, but she had MTV business in the Phillipeans according to Roddick’s mom.
The injured Courier commentated for Sunday’s matches, making witty remarks and questionable line calls to the enjoyment of the hundreds in attendance.
Roddick played three lighthearted sets with various combinations of the players, and claimed victories in all three.
The first match pitted Roddick against his best friend on the tour, Brian Vahaly, a top 50 tennis player from Atlanta who was recently named one of People Magazine’s 25 most eligible bachelors. But their friendship was put in jeopardy when Vahaly nailed Roddick in the arm with a deadly forehand.
“I’ve always wanted a tattoo,” joked Roddick. “It says Penn 4.”
After Roddick had his way with Vahaly, defeating him 6-3, he partnered up with Chris Evert against Aaron Krickstein and Brenda Schultz McCarthy.
Evert and Roddick are the only two professional tennis players to host NBC’s popular show, “Saturday Night Live.”
When asked about his favorite skits, Roddick answered, “the ones I wasn’t in.”
“I’m glad I’m better at tennis,” he said.
Prevailing over Krickstein and McCarthy, Roddick then teamed up with his coach Brad Gilbert to defeat Patrick Mackenroe and Krickstein in a tiebreaker, but the highlight of that match was when Gilbert pulled his pants down, mimicking Roddick, and Roddick answered by pulling them down even farther.
Proud mother, Blanche Roddick, said she doesn’t think of her son as a super star tennis player, but just as Andy.
“When he comes home, he’s just our son,” she said.
But kids in attendance have a different viewpoint. They said they look up to Roddick because he’s a great tennis player, and displays good sportsmanship.
“I like him because he serves so fast,” said 8-year-old Joey Brandler. “He’s going to sign my t-shirt.”
For sale at the event were “Andy” Bears signed by Roddick himself, raffle tickets for a 2004 Hummer H-2 Luxury Series, and a chance to return Roddick’s 149 mile per hour serve, which of course no one could.
At the end of the day, Charity Coordinator Doris Potter estimated that the events raised $300,000 that will go to the Kids in Distress Foundation, the Back to Basics Fund for Migrant Children, and Margaux’s Miracle Foundation.
When asked what he sees himself doing after tennis, Roddick replied, “I don’t know, but I think this charitable stuff has a lot to do with it.”