Andy Roddick is a retired American tennis player, who was one of the best players in the world at the turn of the century.
Roddick was known for his titanic serve and bruising groundstrokes, and dominated the game early on as he ascended to the World No. 1 ranking and won the US Open in 2003. He was unfortunate to lose to Roger Federer in several Grand Slam finals after that, but still carved out an excellent career for himself through his hard work and persistence.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: Semifinalist (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009)
French Open: 4th Round (2009)
Wimbledon: Runner-up (2004, 2005, 2009)
US Open: Champion (2003)
Highest Ranking: No. 1
No. of weeks at No. 1: 13
Roddick was a predominantly baseline-oriented player, powering groundstrokes from the back of the court and looking for every opportunity to hit a winner.
His serve was a vital part of his game, as he used it to get free points as well as set up easy putaways for his forehand. He also started approaching the net fairly regularly towards the end of his career, looking to finish points with attacking volleys.
Roddick's biggest and most obvious strength was his serve. Having held the record for the fastest serve ever at one point of time, he regularly hit double digits in his ace count and earned a ton of free points off his flat delivery.
The American's forehand was also a major weapon, especially early on in his career. He hit it flat and hard from the baseline, dictating most rallies with that wing. As his career progressed he started imparting more topspin on his forehand, which reduced a bit of its power but made it a more consistent tool in his armory.
Roddick's backhand was a rally shot at best, and was often exploited by his opponents. His movement wasn't the greatest either, which limited his success on clay and other slow courts.
Roddick also occasionally struggled to stick his volleys. He famously missed an easy backhand putaway in the second set tiebreaker of the 2009 Wimbledon final, a match that he ultimately lost in heartbreaking fashion.
Roddick was born in Omaha, but moved to Austin at the age of four. His father Jerry and mother Blanche have three children together, with two of them having played tennis - Andy's brother John was a university player and is currently a tennis coach.
Roddick played basketball in high school but eventually decided to focus exclusively on tennis. He was a highly successful junior player, winning the boys' Australian Open and US Open in 2000.
In April 2009 Roddick got married to model and actress Brooklyn Decker, and the couple have two children together.
Roddick was perhaps unfortunate to have started his career at around the same time that Roger Federer was starting his. The Swiss proved to be a perennial obstacle for Roddick, defeating him in three Wimbledon finals and one US Open final, along with numerous other Slam quarterfinals and semifinals. However, Roddick never let that faze him, and kept working on his game to remain in contention for the big titles.
His serve kept him relevant at the top of the game far longer than some of his contemporaries, and his performance in the 2009 Wimbledon final will always be remembered for its intensity and quality.
Social media presence:
Andy Roddick Twitter: @andyroddick