While he wouldn’t call it a comeback, Andy Roddick was trying to make a surprise return to the US Opens as a doubles act with fellow American Mardy Fish. Sadly, it was not meant to be, as the International Tennis Federation intervened with their drug policy that stated that retired athletes were required to undergo several months worth of testing before they could compete in Grand Slam action.
“I was pretty confident that it was the right one, even though it was made kind of on a whim. I went into the tournament not retired. After my first round, I was. You know, I didn’t have a lot of second thoughts. I missed it a lot. You have those moments of wishing you were there. But it’s the process to get to those moments that I couldn’t commit to anymore.
“As far as training, I’ll tell anyone, I don’t train anymore but I work out a lot, if that makes sense. They’re two entirely different things. Training is an all‑day affair. It’s preparing beforehand, stretching beforehand, getting treatment afterwards, being mentally there, doing exercises specific to your sport. I do a lot more jogging and hitting some balls now. It’s not as calculated. I don’t train at all, but I still work out.”
USA Today’s Douglas Robson recently sat down with Mardy Fish and brought to the public’s attention an insightful perspective on the severe anxiety order that the former world No. 7 had been suffering from. The mental health issues are the main reason for Fish’s withdrawal from the sport.
Roddick revealed that the doubles partnership was his suggestion and that he wanted to Mardy to be in a “pressure-free” environment where he could feel comfortable playing tennis once more.
“It was my idea first. Mardy actually talked about it this week for one of the first times in‑depth, which I was happy to see him do. With me retiring, then James retiring the next year, we both had our good‑bye. I got to enjoy that week when I stopped. It was one of the best weeks of my career. I loved it. James got to say good‑bye to the guys in the locker room. Mardy didn’t have that. There’s still I guess some space where he hasn’t fully retired yet. But I thought it would have been a great thing for him to be able to enjoy it in a pressure‑free environment, something we don’t do all the time, which is playing doubles.”
“Unfortunately I would have had to have entered the drug‑testing program months and months and months ago, which I understand. I wasn’t thrilled about it at all. You know, you have guys winning junior tournaments, getting wild cards. They’re obviously not involved in the program at all. It’s unfortunate. But I wanted that for Mardy. He had his son earlier this year. For them to come and enjoy it without the stress of it all, without everything, just really kind of have that moment. If it was good‑bye, to have a nice good‑bye. If it’s not, maybe it’s a springboard into competitive tennis again. Either way, I thought it would have been a great lane for him.”
Roddick was adamant that he had not intention of coming out of retirement to play singles competition again. He no longer trains regularly and works for FOX Sports 1 and FOXSports.com apart from running a foundation as well. All that leaves very little time to consider the urge to play tennis again.
“I work for FOX Sports 1. They let me on TV every once in a while. I work with a brand called Travis Mathew. I run a foundation in Austin, Texas. That’s a full‑time gig. I’m a minority owner in World TeamTennis. That takes up some time. I still come out and do this stuff every once in a while also. Then I do what my wife tells me also. That takes up a lot of time (smiling).”