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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-14-2016 01:21 AM
Andy at South by Southwest

SXSW 2016: Andy Roddick talks up his foundation

By Suzanne Halliburton / Austin American-Statesman

Tennis star Andy Roddick talks up his foundation
Posted March 13th, 2016

Retired tennis star and philanthropist Andy Roddick and sports journalist and executive Bonnie Bernstein discuss philanthropy after sports at The Four Seasons Hotel during SXSW Interactive on March 13, 2016, in Austin.

Andy Roddick got the idea to start his own charitable foundation when he was only 17, back when he was the top-ranked junior tennis player in the world.

Roddick was on the same airplane flight with Andre Agassi, one of his childhood idols. A gracious Agassi granted the youngster 30 minutes of his time. That’s when Agassi passed along one of his chief regrets — not starting his own foundation earlier in his career.

“When he’s your hero,” Roddick said, “and you can actually beat him to the punch at something, you take that opportunity.”

Roddick, the 33-year-old philanthropist, was a featured panelist Sunday at SXSports, when he talked with journalist Bonnie Bernstein about enhancing a charitable brand long after the competitive days are over.

The Andy Roddick Foundation was created in Boca Raton, Fla., but when Roddick moved back to Austin, his non-profit transitioned with him. It’s evolved from a foundation that donated money to other charities into one where Roddick is more hands-on.

The foundation’s office is located in far east Austin and it sponsors after-school and summer programs with Pecan Springs Elementary School. By 2020, Roddick wants his foundation to partner with 10 schools in the city, mainly helping children from lower-income areas.

Roddick layered his talk with anecdotes from his career, which included winning the U.S. Open and making four Grand Slam finals, before announcing his retirement on his 30th birthday. And he chatted about his future plans for the foundation.

To date, Roddick has raised $20 million. He says he’s received the most help raising money from pop superstar Elton John, who has donated his talents to entertain at five foundation fundraisers.

His advice for pro athletes wanting to give back?

Establish a foundation and curry sponsors while you’re still competing and attractive to deep-pocketed corporations.

And he has a regret, as well. When he first moved back to Austin, he acknowledged that the city was Lance Armstrong’s town. He said he sat back and didn’t make as much of an effort to attract attention for his non-profit.

“I wish I’d have tried to be more established here now,” Roddick said. “I wouldn’t have had to play catch up.”
06-29-2015 09:57 PM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Andy Roddick Talks About His Life After Tennis
06-16-2015 12:01 AM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Andy to play doubles with Mardy in Atlanta and also a exhibition against Frances Tiafoe. Here they talk about the state of American tennis specifically about the upcoming players...
05-13-2015 12:02 AM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Parents-to-Be Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker Talk Baby Names
05-07-2015 08:21 PM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Congrats to Andy and Brooklyn

Brooklyn Decker ‏@BrooklynDecker May 2

So this happened... #the3ofus @andyroddick
01-23-2015 10:19 AM
Dead Net Cord
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Andy Roddick on Making the Decision to Retire

12-08-2014 09:51 PM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Roddick Made Honorary Wimbledon Member; Faces Gonzalez For Title

It’s been a good week for Andy Roddick. The American returned to one of his favourite cities in the world for the first time since retirement, reached the final of the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, and according to Tim Henman, was made an honorary Wimbledon member by the All England Club.

Roddick defeated 2002 Wimbledon semi-finalist Xavier Malisse, 6-4, 6-2 to set up a final day clash with fellow debutant Fernando Gonzalez at the Royal Albert Hall. Gonzalez overcame Henman 6-4, 2-6, 10-6.

Afterwards, in an interview with the Tennis Podcast, Henman elaborated on Roddick’s tale from yesterday’s show about how they shared ‘a spot of tea’ together at Wimbledon on Thursday.

"I was able to take him to Wimbledon a couple of days ago because he's being made an honourary member, which he was so excited about, having been a three time finalist,” said Henman.

"If you win the tournament you become a member automatically but I think with his impact in that event and his rapport with the British crowd it was felt that it would be a really nice gesture. So Andy and his wife Brooklyn came and had tea with Phillip Brook, the Chairman, and his wife and myself, and he loved it. It's very rare to be made an honourary member when you haven't won the singles title there. I think Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde are the only ones I can think of, and they won the doubles 87 or so times. They're a rare breed, but in Roddick's case, it’s thoroughly well deserved."

Membership wasn’t the only thing Roddick received.

"He was given a few gifts, one of them being a club tie, which is completely useless because he doesn't know how to tie a tie," teased Henman.

Roddick owned a 10-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage over Gonzalez during their ATP World Tour careers.

The full order of play and results are available here:
12-03-2014 10:46 PM
Andy Roddick: Former world No 1 is happy as a 32-year-old retiree


Considering he is one year younger than Roger Federer, who has just finished the season as world No 2, it hardly seems right that Andy Roddick is competing at this week’s Statoil Masters Tennis. The likes of Pat Cash, Andrew Castle and Mansour Bahrami are the names you more readily associate with the annual nostalgia fest at the Royal Albert Hall rather than a 32-year-old American who was playing in the Wimbledon final as recently as 2009.

Roddick, nevertheless, is more than two years into his retirement and the thought of spending a week in one of his favourite cities helped to persuade him to enter his second event on the ATP Champions Tour. He will join another Albert Hall debutant, Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez, to compete alongside regulars like Tim Henman and Mark Philippoussis. Returning to London for the first time since the 2012 Olympics, Roddick looked around the Albert Hall for the first time today, his eyes agog at its splendour.

But for a long-term shoulder injury, Roddick might still be playing at the top level now. Even with the injury he might have carried on if he had been able to pick and choose his appearances, but the ranking system and the number of mandatory tournaments on the modern men’s tour mean that players who want to compete at the top have to choose between all or nothing.

Roddick clearly does not approve. “If Andre Agassi wanted to play only eight events a year we should have held on to him for absolutely as long as we could have,” he said. “If I’d had the option to play eight or 10 events, I might have thought differently about retirement.”

The American, nevertheless, is more than happy in his new life, which was evident as he chatted in relaxed fashion at the Albert Hall. “Retirement was easier than I thought it would be,” he said. “I thought some days you would wake up and you would feel like you’d been kicked in the stomach because you missed it.

“I certainly missed it but I was fulfilled and I felt like I had enough going on in my life. The part that I missed wasn’t the travelling or the hotels. It was the discipline of being on the track at eight o’clock, having a process to the day. When I had all the free time in the world it was a little awkward at first. The first six months I didn’t really do too much. I’d wake up in the morning and then take a nap. Since then I’ve got busier.”

Andy Roddick with Roger Federer after losing the 2009 Wimbledon men’s singles final Andy Roddick with Roger Federer after losing the 2009 Wimbledon men’s singles final (Getty)

He added: “When I retired I said the one thing that I wasn’t scared about was the people I was going home to. For a lot of tennis players their social life exists on tour. That wasn’t the case for me. I always had a distinct home life, with friends who didn’t have anything to do with tennis. I was happy when I won, but tennis didn’t define me.”

Coaching – and, in particular the travelling that it would involve, – does not appeal to Roddick, whose main connection with sport these days is through his broadcasting work with Fox back in the United States. He appears on a nightly sports news and highlights programme – working on all sports – and on radio and podcasts. “I still work on my foundation back home and I have a commercial real estate company,” he added. “And I still moonlight as a tennis player every once in a while.”

Roddick is sure to be given a great reception when he plays his first match tomorrow, having always been popular with the public here. Queen’s was one of his favourite tournaments and he reached three Wimbledon finals, losing to Roger Federer each time. When the American sat disconsolately on his seat at the end of the last of them in 2009, having just lost the deciding set 16-14, the Centre Court crowd broke into a chant of “Roddick! Roddick!” in a remarkable show of affection.

“On paper it’s not something that should work, right?” Roddick said as he recalled his relationship with the public here. “The obnoxious, opinionated American with the British sporting crowd? At the end of it I guess they appreciated my honesty. People pretty much knew what I thought and they knew what they were getting.”

Roddick still follows the sport and was intrigued by Federer’s clash with his fellow Swiss, Stan Wawrinka, at last month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. Wawrinka was unhappy about heckling by Mirka, Federer’s wife, and complained to the umpire, saying she had done the same at Wimbledon.

“If it had happened at Wimbledon, then it seems to me that was a conversation that should have happened behind closed doors a lot earlier in the year,” Roddick said. “I don’t know that in the middle of the O2 Arena calling someone’s wife out is the best place to go about that, especially when it’s a friend.”

Roddick has not been surprised by Federer’s resurgence this year. “Last year everyone was saying: ‘He’s changed, he’s a different player.’ No, his back hurt. He wasn’t practising. He was pretty up front with that. In his prime – which I saw a lot of – he was the best offensive player in the world and the best defensive player.

“Last year he wasn’t playing defence, so that meant he was playing more high-risk tennis. He was pulling the trigger early in rallies, not getting that rhythm and missing more. Then confidence goes. But to my mind he just had to get healthy and regain his speed.”

In his broadcasting role Roddick interviewed Federer at the US Open. He was fascinated by his former rival’s response when asked how he continued to find his motivation. “Roger said: ‘Well, I like winning more than I hate losing.’ It was so simple in his mind. I don’t think he knows the torture that the rest of us go through. If I lost I was just p***ed off for days.”
02-06-2014 11:28 PM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Roddick, Blake Take Practice Swings At AT&T Pro-Am


Fellow retirees Andy Roddick and James Blake were seen together during a practice round for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California on Thursday. The pair looked bundled up on a chilly day as they chatted with their caddie… Larry Stefanki? It sure looks like Andy’s old coach (hard to tell with a beanie on) but whoever it is, I’m sure the trio had a lot of fun hitting the green together to prepare for the weekend.

Other celebrities entered in the competition include Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Condoleezza Rice and Wayne Gretzky.
12-10-2013 12:53 AM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

12 Days of PowerShares Series: Andy Roddick Q&A
11-16-2013 02:26 AM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

4th Annual Ebix Charity Challenge hosted by John Isner with Andy Roddick:

07-19-2013 03:39 AM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

FOXSportsLive ‏@FOXSportsLive 41m

Happy to welcome @andyroddick into his first show meeting today. This may surprise you, but he's very opinionated.
07-02-2013 12:27 AM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

Romi Cvitkovic ‏@RomiCvitkovic

Video: Roddick becomes investor, ambassador for clothing line "Travis Mathew"; will wear collection @WorldTeamTennis
Andy's TM page:
06-04-2013 03:15 AM
Re: Andy's Life After Retirement Thread

“A Life More Ordinary”
After 13 years as a top professional tennis player, Andy Roddick steps away from the game to focus on the next chapter of his life.

By Erin Quinn
Austin Monthly magazine, June, 2013

On a warm April evening at the Barton Creek Country Club, the Darrell Royal Ballroom is packed with folks dressed in their kitschy ’80s best. There’s a Run-DMC lookalike, Marty from Back to the Future and a pregnant woman wearing a gigantic Rubik’s Cube around her bump. Even radio show host Bobby Bones, who is there as emcee, has joined in, doing his best Michael Jackson impersonation in a sparkly fedora, white glove and tight leather pants. They are all here to support newly retired pro tennis star Andy Roddick in his latest endeavor: transitioning his Andy Roddick Foundation from a “pass-through” charity into a foundation that develops and inspires underserved children through sports-based mentoring and education. This party, and a celebrity golf tournament the next day, are the first new events the foundation has thrown since Roddick announced his retirement on Aug. 30, 2012—his 30th birthday.
The Young Gun
Driving to meet Roddick for an interview is a tad nerve-wracking. The Nebraska native, who lived in Austin from the ages of 4-11, moved to Florida for better training and then moved back to Austin in 2003, is known for his smarts, work ethic, wit—and bite, especially when talking to reporters. “You can’t really get much by him,” says Tennis magazine’s veteran senior editor Pete Bodo, who has been covering Roddick’s career from the very start. “One time, Doug Robson of USA Today, an outstanding fellow and writer, made the mistake of calling him a ‘one-slam wonder,’ which is an expression in tennis for a guy who maybe won a Grand Slam in the past but never won anything else, and Andy took umbrage at that. For quite a long time after that, he was pretty snotty whenever he ran into Doug. He definitely has an edge, there’s no question about it. But the thing is, you can’t fly anything by him; you can’t bullsh*t him, essentially. To his credit, I don’t think he bullsh*ts you, either.”
When I meet him at the ARF facilities on Austin’s East Side, he greets me with a handshake and a big smile. “I’m Andy,” he says. Nothing is off-limits during our interview, and we discuss everything from his tennis career and his wife of four years, actress Brooklyn Decker, to his evolving foundation, how he’s adjusting to retirement and where he loves to hang out in Austin.
Dressed in jeans, a light sweater and his signature ball cap, the 6-foot-2 Roddick is relaxed yet straightforward and concise with his answers. Does he miss anything about tennis? “I’ll see a night match, with the electricity in the air, and that makes me jealous for about five seconds,” he says. “Until I realize that it takes about two weeks of travel to get there, acclimatize, settle in—there’s a lot that goes into that two or three-hour moment.”
A-Rod, as he’s nicknamed in tennis circles, had plenty of those moments in his 13 seasons as a professional tennis player. He turned pro in February 2000, after winning the Australian Open Junior Championship. He was only 17, but he already had a killer serve and top-notch forehand. That year, he played two matches against his idol, Andre Agassi (he lost both), and his big serve drew comparisons to Pete Sampras. With no other American teenagers making waves, Roddick was anointed the future of U.S. men’s tennis.
He lived up to that title pretty quickly by winning the US Open in 2003, mere days after turning 21. “I’m in disbelief right now,” Roddick told reporters after his big win. “It’s so far-fetched for me. I came here as a fan so much when I was younger. It is an absolute privilege to have my name on the trophy.”
Although he remained in the Top 10 for nine years (give or take a few weeks), that was his first and last Grand Slam title. What happened? To put it simply: Roger Federer, the Swiss player who many call the greatest of all time. Although Roddick reached No. 1 before him, Federer overtook him in the rankings in 2004 and held onto the No. 1 spot for a record 302 weeks. Oh yeah, he also won an astounding 17 Grand Slam singles titles.
Roddick had his chances, reaching four other Slam finals—the US Open in 2006 and Wimbledon in 2004, ’05 and ’09—but standing in his way was Federer every time. “If it weren’t for Federer, Roddick would probably have two, maybe three Wimbledons, maybe another US Open or two,” says Bodo. “In fact, he himself will tell you that he was very lucky to come along before Roger. If he came along a year or two later, he may have just been one of those guys who never won a Grand Slam, made the Top 10 a bunch of years and that was it. It’s a mixed blessing for him, in a way—and he knows it.”
Although Roddick never won another major, he did have many other career highlights over the next nine years, including winning 32 singles titles and amassing more than $20 million in prize money. He held the record for fastest serve (155 mph) for seven years, and he gave the sport one of its greatest matches ever when he courageously went toe-to-toe with Federer in their marathon 2009 Wimbledon final. As for his Davis Cup career, he won 33 singles matches, placing him second to John McEnroe, and helped the Americans beat the Russians in 2007 to win the Cup back after a 12-year drought. “Andy was the ultimate professional,” says four-time Grand Slam winner and former No. 1 Jim Courier, who was the captain for the U.S. Davis Cup team in 2011. “He was always prepared, always fit, always ready to battle.”
And battle he did. He fought to stay in the world’s Top 10 until July 25, 2011, when long-standing injuries to his knees, ankles, shoulder and back, along with keeping up with Federer and Rafael Nadal, got to be too much for him. (Although he walked away with a winning record, 5-4, against current No. 1 Novak Djokovic.) In fact, when he announced his retirement, he mentioned his right shoulder injury several times. These days, “I don’t test it,” he says. “I honestly haven’t had a reason to go serve full-out since I retired. Even the exhibitions I play, I don’t do it. It became, with my shoulder, that I’d hit for two hours and then do treatment for four hours.”
Despite the lack of major titles, Bodo has no doubt that Roddick is deserving of a Hall of Fame honor. “His achievements are cumulative ones, not individual ones,” he says. “The number of years he remained in the Top 10, his Davis Cup record, his consistency over time and the number of years he did not get discouraged or mail it in—nobody worked harder than Andy did.”
A New Chapter
Now that he’s off the tennis circuit and no longer has to travel a minimum of 40 weeks per year, Roddick has turned his attention to his foundation, including the construction of its new learning center, complete with a 10,600-square-foot main facility, seven tennis courts and a full-sized outdoor basketball court, set to open this fall.
Roddick was inspired to start the foundation in 2000, a year after asking his idol Agassi what his biggest regret was. Agassi told his young colleague that he wished he had started his foundation earlier—so Roddick wasted no time in starting his. For 12 years, the foundation was what Roddick calls a “pass-through.” There would be a big event once a year, usually a gala featuring appearances and performances by Roddick’s big-name friends, such as Sir Elton John and John Legend, and then the profits would be distributed to local charities, including The Settlement Home for Children, A Glimmer of Hope and Austin Children’s Shelter. But now that he’s in the capital city permanently, Roddick is ready to take it to the next level.
While the learning center was inspired by Agassi’s charter school in Las Vegas, there are some big differences. “It’s not going to be a full-time school, it’s going to be more mentoring after school, in the same spirit of wanting to help in the way Andre has,” Roddick says. “It’s certainly not a carbon copy, but you can learn a lot from him and other people who have had success in this area.”
ARF’s motto is “Talent is Universal, Opportunity is Not.” That’s something Roddick says he has seen with his own eyes. “The thing is, the old saying ‘all men are created equal,’ that’s not always the case,” he says. “Some are born with opportunity and, for lack of a better term, they piss it away, and some have all the motivation, all the right intent, and they don’t get that opportunity. I think what we can do is raise awareness, raise funds, put the right people in place to make a difference and provide opportunities for someone who really craves it. And hopefully something really special will happen.”
Roddick actually set this transition into motion about a year and a half ago. In January 2012, he called his childhood friend Jeff C. Lau, who was working on Wall Street in New York after attending West Point and serving a tour of duty in Iraq, and asked him if he was interested in helping him transition the foundation. “I wasn’t getting up in the morning really jazzed about what I was doing,” says Lau, who had been working in mergers and acquisitions. “Andy said, ‘I have an idea of where I want the foundation to go, but I need someone I can trust and who can provide that intensity and not take any shortcuts.’ I said, ‘Let me think about it.’”
“Internally, I didn’t have to think about it too long—an 80-percent pay cut sounds wonderful. Let’s do it!” Lau laughs. “But here we are 14 months later, and I feel like we’ve got a lot of traction, and we’ve hired a lot of talented people. Billie Jean King even joined the board, and she’s emailing left and right. I think part of the battle is just getting really talented, capable people together, putting together a strategy and setting the standard really high.”
King says she and Roddick have always had a special bond. (In fact, Roddick just joined King’s World Team Tennis ownership group and is looking to start a team in Austin next year.) “One thing about Andy is he has integrity,” she says. “I knew from the first time I met him when he was 17 that he was something special. He has always tried to think beyond himself and help others. We saw that spirit when he played Davis Cup, and we are seeing that now with his leadership of his foundation.”
While the learning center is still in the planning stages, Roddick does know he wants to target kids of all ages. “It won’t be one program for all,” he says. “We’re looking at housing a number of programs under our facility. We’re going to start announcing in the next month or two some pop-ups and clinics to build some momentum and start that process of gaining trust and getting involved with different communities here on a temporary basis until we can actually get into our own shoes.”
Home, Sweet Home
His new, bigger role at the foundation isn’t the only change in Roddick’s life. While that’s running full speed ahead, his personal life has slowed down—and he’s enjoying every moment. “People ask what I’ve been up to, and I say everything and nothing,” he says. “The part that is a little different is that this was the first January in 15 years that I wasn’t in Australia [for the Australian Open]. I actually saw Austin in January for the first time ever. I was very familiar with Austin in July, for those three weeks before the summer season starts. So I’m kind of seeing different things at different times.”
He’s also adjusting to having a more flexible schedule. “For 12 years I could have told you six months in advance where I would be on a given week,” he says. “And at the foundation it’s a little bit more like, ‘We’ve got a request. We need you here to do this but it’s only 10 days out.’ So it’s not as structured, I guess, but still fun, still busy, which is nice. People make the mistake of saying, ‘I can’t believe you’re retired at 30.’ And I say, ‘I’m retired from tennis, not existence.’”
Although he has no aspirations to follow in other pro athletes’ footsteps and become a TV commentator (“I tell everyone I didn’t retire from playing tennis when I was No. 15 in the world to go sit in a box and talk about it,” he says.), he continues to offer his opinion on a weekly sports show on Fox Sports Radio with his buddy Bobby Bones. “I’m not doing it all the time because of everything else that I’m doing,” he says. “But Bobby still allows me to pop in.” Roddick also cryptically says that he’s had some “interesting” opportunities that may be revealed soon.
These days, he’s enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle at home with his wife and their two English bulldogs: Billie Jean, who they’ve had about five years, and Bob Costas, a new addition to the family. “Sometime like two years ago, Brooke was wanting to get another dog, because she grew up with way too many animals for one house,” he says. “I was like, ‘When I retire, we’ll get another one.’ Then three days after I retired, we were sitting around at lunch and she looked at me with this startled look and said, ‘I just remembered something—you said we could get another dog!’ So it was one of those things that there was no getting out of it.”
Decker says she and the pups are definitely happy to have him home more. “Less traveling has allowed him to relax more and focus on some of his favorite projects, whether they be the foundation or golfing,” she says. “I have to admit we’ve taken a greater liking to wine and Amy’s ice cream since he’s retired, and our dogs are happy to finally have their dad home!”
Besides the pitter-patter of little bulldog feet, what about the potential of having kids? “I don’t know that it’s going to be tomorrow,” he says. “If it happened tomorrow, we’d be thrilled and perfectly OK with it, but a lot of it’s up in the air as far as what she’s doing next [Decker recently filmed a TV pilot for CBS called Friends with Better Lives] and what I’m doing next professionally. So I think we’re going to wait and see what happens in the next six months and make grand life decisions after that.”
Whatever he ends up doing, whether it’s solely the foundation, a radio show or something else entirely, plenty of people will be rooting for him. “He’s far too smart, far too talented and far too restless to sit on the sidelines and not be involved,” says Courier. “He’ll have plenty of opportunities to make an impact wherever he wants to go from here.”
05-22-2013 11:04 PM
Andy Roddick hired as Fox Sports Live co-host


Andy Roddick is about to take on a new opponent: ESPN.

The retired U.S. tennis star has been hired as one of the co-hosts of Fox Sports Live, a three-hour news, opinion and highlight show that will air nightly on Fox Sports 1 between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET. The show is Fox Sports' challenge to SportsCenter and will debut when the network launches Aug. 17.

Fox Sports executives say viewers should think of Fox Sports Live as multiple shows inside a three-hour block. Roddick will join host Charissa Thompson, who will soon leave ESPN for Fox, on one side of the studio as part of a panel discussing the sports news of the day and interviewing newsmakers. Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole, the popular hosts of TSN's late-night SportsCentre show, will appear on the other side of the studio as the primary highlight readers. Test shows for Fox Sports Live will start as early as June. Fox Sports plans to hire more panelists (likely former athletes) for the show in the near future.

The 30-year-old Roddick said he will appear on Fox Sports Live nightly between Monday and Friday, working either four or five nights depending on the week. Fox Sports executives initially contacted him a few weeks after he announced his retirement from tennis at the U.S. Open last August. Roddick told Fox Sports executives that he was not looking for a full-time job in television. But the two sides stayed in touch throughout the next couple of months, as Fox Sports executives shared their vision with Roddick for a competitor to ESPN's SportsCenter.

DEITSCH: Fox Sports Live vs. SportsCenter

"Throughout the interview process I was very honest," Roddick said. "I was the way I have always been: pretty direct and pretty opinionated. I think that's what they were looking for. I don't know if they were looking for a typical, run-of-the-mill type of show or someone with fabricated opinions."

The interview process heated up a couple of months ago as Roddick embarked on three in-person interviews with Fox Sports executives in Los Angeles and multiple phone interviews.

"It started with gauging interest on both sides and I don't know that I was in a hurry to rush into anything that wasn't a perfect opportunity in my mind," Roddick said. "It was a fascinating process for me. I really haven't had to earn my keep in a given job since I was 18 years old. Getting the gig is a start, but I am certainly prepared to put the work in and learn about this side of it, and try to prove my worth to the guys taking a shot with me."

What did Fox Sports want to hear from Roddick during the interview process? That Roddick was willing to work, according to Fox Sports executive vice president of studio production Scott Ackerson.

"It's a big job for the show," Ackerson said. "You are on three hours most nights talking about stuff that might be out of your comfort zone. I wanted to find out how hard he wanted to work and the indications I got was he is fully committed to this."

Roddick's previous work on a syndicated Fox Sports Radio show (with host Bobby Bones) proved to be a big selling point for both Roddick and Fox Sports executives. (Fox Sports said Roddick could also get involved with its radio division again.)

"That was a huge thing for me to get reps, to learn how a show clock works," Roddick said. "I didn't pretend to know anything about radio. I was lucky that Fox Sports gave me a chance to learn on the job."

Ackerson said he listened to Roddick on Fox Sports Radio and became convinced he could converse on multiple sports. After the interview process, Fox Sports formally offered Roddick the job more than a month ago. (He signed a multi-year deal.) Roddick said he and his actress-model wife, Brooklyn Decker, have leased a place in Los Angeles and will also maintain their home in Austin, Texas. Asked if Decker, a former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model, has given him any advice on his new gig, Roddick laughed and said, "We discuss the logistics of our potential work decisions and how we deal with that on a personal level, but I don't get too involved in what she has going on and vice versa. We trust each other enough to get the job done. So I don't know that she'll be advising me on my day-to-day commentary on Fox Sports Live."

Ackerson described Roddick's role as being a part of "an intelligent discussion of athletes that can take any shape or form." Roddick said viewers should not expect him to merely blast athletes and coaching decisions.

"The last thing I am going to try to do is try to think I know more than someone who makes decisions as a head coach in the NFL," Roddick said. "I don't think I will be the guy questioning Bill Belichick's coaching decisions in the fourth quarter. I think that's stupidity. But I think I can give a decent look on the preparation side of athletes, the business side and maybe what they are thinking going into a big situation or moment."

Roddick still plays tennis occasionally and has an equity stake in World Team Tennis. (He'll be playing for the Springfield, Mo., franchise in July.) He said he'd be interested in an occasional one-off exhibition but his job with Fox Sports Live is his priority. He said he's not interested in commentating on tennis.

"If Andy does his homework, has intelligent stuff to say, and if he has a good personality and chemistry with the others on the set, he will be successful," Ackerson said. "If it doesn't happen that way, he won't be. But I would be flabbergasted if he doesn't have success. I think he's the right person at the right time for this show."
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