Every tennis fan, even those who only marginally follow the sport during the Slam seasons, has to have noticed Andy Roddick's decline by now. He has been the face of American tennis for so long and would most likely have had a career that would put him on the list of all-time greats (not the top tier but definitely up there) had Roger Federer not been in his way. Roddick would most likely have three Wimbledon championships and several other Slams in addition to the 2003 US Open crown that he won. Unfortunately for Roddick, Federer's and his careers did overlap and Federer has a 20-2 head-to-head record against the American.
Their twenty-first meeting may go down as the final turning point in Roddick's career. Roddick's results had been slipping for a few years, but he was still a player to be feared who could beat anyone if he played his best. He met Federer in the 2009 Wimbledon final in what was to become an epic five-setter. A missed backhanded overhead in the second-set tiebreak still haunts Roddick fans to this day. Roddick played a level of tennis that he had very rarely displayed at any time in his career. Ultimately he fell 16-14 in the fifth set and hasn't really challenged at a major since.
It is actually a little unfair to just call that 2009 Wimbledon Roddick's last hurrah. In early 2010 he played a very good Australian Open and followed that up with a win and a final in the two American Masters events in March (Indian Wells and Miami). He later blamed a poor rest of 2010 on a case of mono. But he really has not been a contender since that spring. He has not been past the fourth round of a Slam since that 2010 Australian Open and has not beaten a top 20 player since defeating Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic back-to-back in Cincinnati in August 2010. He has only taken one set off a fellow top 10 player since then-against Nadal in the World Tour Finals last year on Nadal's worst surface.
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