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The newest tennis "phenom"

Not much biographical information on this young man as yet, but that's all about to change. He's grabbed the attention of tennis fans around the world with his sensational U.S. Open debut (as a pro, that is) this past week. He's been the focus of a lot of hype, but instead of talk, he's beginning to walk the walk, or should I say, serve the serve. And that serve is approaching 140 mph, with plenty of on-court pazzaz to back it up.

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska and celebrated his 19th birthday this past week while playing in the Open. His family moved to Austin, Texas when he was young and a few years ago moved to Boca Raton, Florida. His older brother was originally thought to be the one who would serve out a tennis career, but young Andy spent so much time with him on the courts, he finally took up the game himself. It was only two years ago that he finally got a professional coach and things haven't been the same since.

Roddick was the first American in eight years to become the World Junior number 1 player in the year 2000 and since his professional debut this February, he has won 3 singles titles with a record of 33 games won, 11 lost. His prize money this year totals $548,314 and he's still in the running in the Open. As stated before, it's his serve that first grabs your attention, not only the speed, but the quickness of the movement itself; it's really just a blur; a well defined and timed blur. And the rest of his game follows closely behind. Roddick is already a name to be reckoned with and shortly it will be as recognizable as McEnroe, Sampras, and Agassi. Hopefully, Roddick will be around for years to come for it is indeed a treat to watch him play.


A-Rod, as Andy Roddick likes to be called, is now the youngest player in the top fifty professional tennis players. He also is arguably the player who has the best time on and off the court. As he said in a recent Rolling Stone interview:
"Tennis isn't a job for me. It's fun. I like winning matches and seeing what the rankings are after that. It's a game."

Roddick plays fearlessly, with a youthful abandon. "I kinda go balls to the wall when I play" Roddick says. His serve is perhaps his main weapon. As one recent opponent said of trying to return it: "You don't know what it's like to take that serve. It feels like someone's breaking my arm." He also has a strong forehand, but his backhand is somewhat awkward. He tends to win on Aces and strong returns with his forehand.

In many ways, despite earning massive amounts of money and receiving mind boggling attention, Roddick is a normal teenager. He likes going to concerts, and saw Janet Jackson twice, The Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, and Matchbox Twenty. He did, however, pass up seeing U2 TWICE to prepare for a match. He loves to shop and watches South Park faithfully. When asked about how he handles his life, Andy replied "I have to handle playing in front of huge crowds every week, but I still love to joke around and act like a kid sometimes. It's a fine line, but I'm walkin' it"

Andy Roddick, from Omaha, Nebraska, is a former world No. 1 ranked tennis player. Born August 20, 1982, he turned pro in 2000 and in 2001 he became the youngest ever player to end the year in the ATP Top 20. Roddick has recently been credited with having the fastest recorded serve on the tour, clocked at 246.2 km/h (155 mph), and consistently very fast.

At the time of writing Roddick is 6th in the world standings and 2nd in America after world #4 James Blake. He has 21 singles titles to his name, and $11,550,406 in prize money. However, since winning the US Open in 2003 he has not won a major title. He fought valiantly to reach the 2006 US Open final (now under the tutelage of new coach Jimmy Connors), but ultimately lost 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to Federer, the two-time defending champion and World No. 1.

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