Roddick ready for Dubai Championships
1 February 2008
DUBAI - It is a measure of Andy Roddick’s success that, when his ranking slumped from three at the beginning of 2006 to 11 after Wimbledon that year, many said his career was in crisis. That is when he took tennis Hall-of-Famer Jimmy Connors on board as his coach, and the legend soon steadied the boat and returned Roddick to the top five.
The 25-year old’s proudest moment came just a few weeks a go when he joined James Blake, the Bryan twins and captain Patrick McEnroe in lifting the Davis Cup for the United States. Now he will try and add the prestigious 2008 Dubai Tennis Championships title to his bulging portfolio when he makes his first visit to the Emirates in March, a Press release said.
Roddick has earned respect for his level-head, realising even in defeat how fortunate he is to be doing something he loves.
“Honestly, I get a lot of opportunities. I'm very lucky,” he said after losing to Roger Federer at the US Open. “If I start feeling sorry for myself I need a serious sense of perspective. You can just feed off the energy. It's a show. You walk out there, you're part of a very small percentage of people who can go out there and hear someone cheer for them, compete on that stage with that amount of hype. I'd have to be totally out of touch not to realise that and appreciate it.”
Another benefit of his profession is the travel, of course, and while many players complain about so much of it he can see some of the advantages.
“I think growing up on tour and kind of having to rely on yourself, and being exposed to other cultures and things like that, allows you to grow up a little faster,” he said. “Especially as an American. In our youth we don’t get a lot of chance to travel as much as the rest of the world. I definitely make a point to at least have a walk around, in no direction in particular. You just run into stuff. You get lost and all of a sudden you make a right turn and you'll be staring at the Coliseum. So I feel I’ve been blessed with a little bit of culture and I’ve probably learned a lot through travelling.
“Obviously you don’t like sitting on planes for days at a time, but at the same time I love being able to see different parts of the world, and I think what seems tough at the time you look back on with the most fondness. The biggest thing I’d change would be the length of the schedule. The travel, you make the decision on the places you go for the most part, so it’s not so bad.”
Roddick will face the toughest possible challenge as his bids for the title, with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray just some of those making up the best field in the history of the tournament.
“Andy Roddick is one of the greatest entertainers in the game, and his serve is one of the biggest on the ATP Tour,” said Colm McLoughlin, managing director of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free. “He has shown he can beat anyone in the game, and we look forward to welcoming him to Dubai for the first time.”
Play at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, begins on February 25 with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournament, and is followed by the ATP event from March 3 to 8.