By Ann Liguori
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Andy Roddick surprisingly announced on Thursday that he will retire after this US Open.

Roddick was celebrating his 30th birthday, and at approximately 6:03 p.m., he shocked the tennis world with a retirement announcement that he said he has been thinking about for months.

Roddick is the last American male to take a Grand Slam tournament. He won the US Open in 2003, and he’s been carrying that pressure on his shoulders ever since. Despite not winning any more major championships, Roddick had a Hall of Fame career, winning 32 titles and being a shining light on the US Davis Cup team from 2001-2009 and 2011.

Even while struggling physically this year (he retired with a right hamstring injury in the second round of the Australian Open), Roddick won two tournaments and had a victory over Roger Federer in Miami at the ATP World Tour Masters in the round of 32.

Perhaps Roddick never got over one of the greatest matches in the history of tennis — the 2009 Wimbledon final he lost to Roger Federer, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14. It was the longest Wimbledon final of all time, plus the longest final at any of the four majors. What an amazing effort from both players.

Roddick battled Federer 25 times his career, with Federer winning 21 of those matches. How frustrating must it have been for him!

Roddick always gave 110 percent on the court. Sure, American tennis fans were disappointed that he couldn’t continue the championship legacy of his predecessors, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. And he took criticism for that. But he is going out on his own terms after playing hard for over a decade.

“I don’t feel healthy enough to continue to give the game 100 percent,” Roddick said. “I’m not sure I can put everything into tennis both physically and mentally anymore. … I had planned to play a smaller schedule next year but the more I thought about it, I said, ‘You have to be all in.’ ”

That is Andy Roddick – all in.

Roddick said he has a lot of interests outside of tennis and looks forward to pursuing a variety of projects in the future.

Roddick has always been open and honest with his feelings. He’s witty, smart, has a great sense of humor. He’s mentored many young American players and feels good about the future of American tennis with the likes of John Isner, Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Donald Young, etc.

Roddick’s second round match Friday evening under the lights against Bernard Tomic should be electrifying. It could be Roddick’s last match ever. And one thing is for certain, he’ll put it all out there on the court and when he looks back as a wise ol’ 30-year-old, whose body may feel decades older, he can be very pleased with his amazing career and effort.

How will you remember Roddick’s career? Let Ann know in the comments below!

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