When Andy Roddick announced yesterday that he was retiring from professional tennis after this year's U.S. Open, every person I watched commenting on this did so, seemingly, almost on the verge of tears. Whether they were sad about the announcement, surprised by the timing of it, or, as Roger Federer put it, noting it as an occasion to celebrate Roddick's storied career, the announcement triggered an emotional response. For me, it was all three.
I'm sad that I missed the press conference where Andy announced his pending retirement, and I'm sad that I won't get to see him take the stage tonight against Aussie Bernard Tomic in what will be his first (but hopefully not last) U.S. Open match since his announcement. But I take solace in knowing the bigger picture to all this - whether he wins or loses tonight's match: that his combination of talent, hard work, and raw honesty (on and off the court) will not go quietly into the night. And as a fan, a tennis player, an actor, an artist, and a human being, it's good to know that all you can ever hope for is indeed within your control.