Roddick remains an ace player

Posted: July 22, 2014

WHEN JUAN Martin del Potro defeated Andy Roddick in the fourth round of the 2012 U.S. Open, the book was closed on Roddick's career as a touring pro. The then-30-year-old Roddick announced before the tournament, which he had won in 2003, that his days on tour were over.

But that doesn't mean he doesn't remain competitive.

Last night, Roddick helped lead the Austin Aces - the World TeamTennis team he co-owns - to a 21-18 win over the Freedoms at the Villanova Pavilion.

Roddick teamed with Treat Huey in the final match of the night to defeat Frank Dancevic and Marcelo Melo, 5-3, and snap the Freedom's five-match winning streak.

The Freedoms (7-5) will host the Boston Lobsters (1-11) tonight at 7 o'clock and take on the Washington Kastles (9-3) on Thursday for the Eastern Conference championship. The site has yet to be determined.

Just because Roddick has lost a step or two on the court doesn't mean he is not still a big part of the game in America. Roddick joined an ownership group of World TeamTennis that brought a team to his hometown of Austin, Texas. The idea never really crossed his mind when he was playing on tour, but he jumped at the chance when approached by Billie Jean King.

"It was a great opportunity for me to stay involved in the game . . . and frankly learn from someone who has been pretty important in tennis and away from tennis for a pretty long time," Roddick said. "To kind of get that free intel on a daily basis when you are working together is something you can't really put a price on."

Roddick was introduced to TeamTennis in 2000. He was the world's top-ranked junior, and joined the Idaho Sneakers before he hit the national stage. Back then, he never envisioned that he would play a large part in getting a team in that same league to move from Orange County, Calif., to his hometown.

"It has been a fun experience," Roddick said of the Aces' debut season. "I don't know that I would have thought when I was 17 playing for the Idaho Sneakers that being a part of moving a franchise to my hometown would be something that was a realistic possibility. Austin has taken well to it."

His time away from playing professionally has brought him many opportunities in both the sports and business worlds. When he's not spending time with the Aces, he's an analyst on Fox Sports 1 and a spokesman for a clothing company.

Roddick has learned from all the experiences since he walked away from the game 2 years ago.

"I've started doing a lot of new things since I stopped playing and a lot of them are start-ups," Roddick said. "There is a list of things we did really well, and there are some things I would do differently next year. I think that is the case with any start-up business. The overwhelming feedback has been mostly positive. The positives outweigh the negatives this season."

Roddick enjoys playing with the Aces (6-7), but is realistic when competing against opponents who play a lot more often than he does.

Last night, he lost to Dancevic, 5-4, in men's singles.

"Listen, I think it would be presumptuous to think you go out there and beat guys who are playing in Wimbledon a week ago," Roddick said. "I have held my own. It has been tough. It is certainly not easy but I really enjoy it. It is a great way to stay competitive and fill that need, but in a smaller sample size."

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