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In January of 2000, he traveled thousands of miles to play in the Australian Open.He was still in the juniors rankings, and surprised many when he became the first American male player since 1959 to win the junior men's title.Tennis player Andy Roddick had just turned twenty-one when he won the men's U. Both, Roddick has joked, were much better players than he was at the time. The Florida athlete's rugged good looks and down-to-earth personality have helped make him one of the sport's newest celebrities, but it is his athleticism and powerful serve that have propelled him to the highest world rankings in men's tennis. Jon Wertheim asserted that Roddick has a new style, far from "the unimaginative, topspin-heavy baseline tennis that, lamentably, has characterized the U. The family eventually settled in the Austin, Texas, area, where a very young Roddick took tennis lessons in a group that included two future professional athletes: Chris Mihm (1979–), later of the Boston Celtics, and Drew Brees (1979–), who became a quarterback for the San Diego Chargers.Both had similar physiques, forceful serves, and a strong forehand that unnerved opponents. Open title, in 2003, sportswriters called the event the passing of the torch: Sampras had announced his retirement from professional tennis at the age of 32.Roddick had actually beaten Sampras the first time they ever went up against one another on the court, in March of 2001 at the Ericsson/Lipton ATP tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida. He was honored for his achievements at a ceremony that took place on the first day of the Open."I was telling myself, ' Give it your all until the last ball is over.'" Roddick failed to advance much further during the 2001 French Open. Both Opens, along with Wimbledon and the Australian Open, are known as tennis's "Grand Slam" titles. "Rare Specimen Found in Florida: Andy Roddick Is the First American Boy to Win the Australian Junior since 1959." Sports Illustrated (Feb 21, 2000): p. He was eliminated at Wimbledon and in the quarterfinals of the U. They are the toughest and most prestigious tournaments, watched by millions around the world, and also come with generous cash prizes for a first-place win.
He won two juniors titles in Florida, the Orange Bowl and the Eddie Herr International.It was a long game that lasted nearly four hours, and halfway through it Roddick began suffering from leg cramps.He seemed to play more fiercely then, commentators noticed.He begged his mother to let him have a rebound net in the garage. You'd hit the ball and it came back to you," he explained to Neil Harman, a journalist for the London Times."I'd spend hours on it and Mum would ask: ' What did you do today? His father, Jerry, owned several Jiffy Lube automobile maintenance franchises. Armed with a bludgeon for a forehand and with a serve that regularly eclipses 125 [miles per hour], he just, as he puts it, 'whales away out there.'" Roddick was born on August 30, 1982, in Omaha, Nebraska, and was the youngest of three boys.He admitted at the post-match press conference that he had been determined to come out on top."You don't play three and a half hours to lay down and die when it gets tough," he was quoted as saying by New York Times reporter Selena Roberts.During the 2001 season Roddick struggled to fulfill that promise.There were several highlights, including the moment when he eliminated another one of his heroes, Michael Chang (1972–), early in the French Open in May.