Andy Roddick

Andrew "Andy" Stephen Roddick, (born August 30, 1982, Omaha, Nebraska, USA), nicknamed "A-Rod", is an American former World No. 1 tennis player. As of August 2005, Roddick ranked as the best male U.S. tennis player and the fifth-best in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals, behind Federer, Nadal, Hewitt and Safin. Roddick is known for his explosive serves, powerful forehands, and off-court charm.

Roddick was born in Omaha, Nebraska, moved to Boca Raton, Florida, and now lives in Austin, Texas.

Roddick's father Jerry is an investor; his mother Blanche directs the Andy Roddick Foundation. Roddick's brother John was an All-American tennis player at the University of Georgia from 1996 to 1998, and operates a tennis academy in San Antonio, Texas. Their oldest brother, Lawrence, a chiropractor in San Antonio, was an accomplished springboard diver and a member of U.S. Senior National Team.

Roddick is considered a U.S. sports celebrity. Following his 2003 US Open win, Roddick embarked on a 12-hour media blitz, appearing on the Today Show, MTV, CNN, and The Late Show with David Letterman, among others. He has thrown out the first pitch at several Major League Baseball games, most recently Game 2 of the 2003 Oakland-Boston playoff series. After winning the NASDAQ tournament, Roddick opened that stock market on August 20, 2003.

He hosted Saturday Night Live on November 8, 2003, becoming the second tennis player (the first being Chris Evert) and only the tenth athlete to do so. He won the 2004 ESPY award for best male tennis player. He was deemed "Sexiest Athlete" by People Magazine's December 2003 issue of "Sexiest Man Alive". Roddick has appeared in Vogue magazine.

In 2004, Roddick won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award of the Year because of his charity efforts, which include: raising money for the survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami through Serving for Tsunami Relief and other efforts; auctioning off several rackets and autographs to raise money for UNICEF; and creating the Andy Roddick Foundation to help at-risk youth. The foundation is partly funded through the sale of blue wristbands inscribed "No Compromise," mimicking Lance Armstrong's yellow Livestrong bands.

Roddick was dating actress Mandy Moore until they broke up in March 2004.

In 2005, Roddick appeared on VH1's 100 Most Wanted Bodies, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Punk'd after being tricked by Ashton Kutcher on his way to the Tonight Show. Roddick also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

In April 2005, Reebok announced that it would end its contract with Roddick, who had been endorsed by the company ever since he was 10. Roddick has now joined forces with Lacoste.

Tennis career
Roddick turned professional in 2000 at 18, and became the youngest man to end the year in the ATP Top 200 (a record broken in 2002 by 16-year-old French Richard Gasquet). In 2001, he became the youngest player to end the year in the ATP Top 20.

Roddick's outstanding hardcourt record in summer 2003 included his first Grand Slam title at the 2003 U.S. Open, in which he rallied from two sets down in the semifinals to beat David Nalbandian and dispatching finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets.

In 2003, at age 21, he was ranked No. 1, the first American to finish a year at No. 1 since Andre Agassi in 1999. He also became the youngest American and second-youngest player (behind Australian Lleyton Hewitt, aged 20 years, 8 months) to hold this rank since computer rankings were started in 1973.

In 2004, Roddick set the world record for the fastest serve: 246.2 km/h (153.5 mph) during a straight-set victory over Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan in the quarter-finals of the Queens Club grass-court tournament. On August 31 of that year, he had the fastest serve in US Open history: 244 km/h (152 mph). But Roddick was unexpectedly knocked out of the tournament in a spectacular 5-set quarterfinal match against another big server, Joachim Johansson. He finished 2004 ranked as the world's No. 2, the USA's No. 1, and the player with the most aces (he hit 1017 of them in 2004).

In 2004, Roddick joined Mardy Fish and doubles players Bob and Mike Bryan on the U.S. Davis Cup team that lost to Spain in the finals in Seville. In 2005, Andre Agassi joined the team, and played behind Roddick at No. 2.

In 2004, Roddick fired his coach of 18 months, Brad Gilbert, and hired assistant Davis Cup coach Dean Goldfine.

Roddick's first 2005 victory was the SAP Open in San José, California, where he was the first to win the event in consecutive years since Mark Philippoussis in 1999 and 2000. The top-seeded Roddick breezed to a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Cyril Saulnier in 50 minutes, the event's first championship shutout set since Arthur Ashe beat Guillermo Vilas in 1975.

On April 24, 2005, Roddick won the U.S. Men's Claycourt Championships, reclaiming the title he won in 2001 and 2002. He lost in 2003 to Andre Agassi and in 2004 to Tommy Haas.

In May 2005, top-seeded Roddick chose sportsmanship over a slot in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters when he challenged a ruling that favored him at a triple match point. After Roddick's objections, his opponent Fernando Verdasco was awarded an ace instead of a double fault. Verdasco then saved two more match points, held serve, broke Roddick's serve, and eventually won the match.

At Roland Garros 2005, Roddick lost to the unseeded Argentine player Jose Acasuso in the second round.

At Wimbledon 2005, Roddick lost to Roger Federer in the final for the second year in a row.