by Lindsay Coleman
Life is hard for Andy Roddick. The former number one tennis player in the world has been reduced to spending the rest of his life lamenting what could have been as he retires at the ripe old age of 30. With only his fame, fortune and supermodel wife to console him, the road ahead will be paved with tribulation. After an illustrious career, Roddick threw in the towel after his three hour match against Juan Martin Del Potro in the 4th round of the US Open. When handed the microphone go say goodbye to his fans, the witty fan-favorite choked up, exclaiming:
"For the first time in my career, I'm not sure what to say," Roddick said. "Where do I start? Since I was a kid, I've been coming to this tournament. I felt lucky just to sit where all of you are sitting today, to watch this game and to see the champions who have come and gone and I've loved every minute of it.
"It has been a road with a lot of ups, a lot of downs and a lot of great moments. I've appreciated your support along the way. I know I certainly haven't made it easy for you at times, but I really do appreciate it and love you guys with all my heart. Hopefully I will come back to this place some day and I will see all of you again."
A Slow Demise Leads to Bulldog Kisses
Roddick hasn't been shy about his rocky past few years. The power-server doesn't put on any airs or pretense about his less than epic performances. A mashed-up shoulder and heavy legs left the aging great at the mercy of the younger, stronger opponent. When darkness cloaked Ashe Stadium last Wednesday with Del Potro in the lead 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 5-3, Roddick went back to his chair at the changeover a broken man, literally and figuratively, as he knew this would be his last romp in the big leagues.
Sitting among his adoring fans perched Roddick's wife, fashion model and actress Brooklyn Decker, who has generated her own following from appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. As the tennis pro glanced her direction, she beamed adoringly back at him, cheering through her tears. The two got together when Roddick was browsing Sports Illustrated looking at Brooklyn Decker pics and videos in 2006 and the young beauty caught his eye. He had his agent contact her and ask for a date and they married in a twilight ceremony in his Austin home in 2009.
Since then, they've been two peas in a gorgeously athletic pod. The model and “Just-Go-With-It” actress has played the part of supportive wife since day one, undoubtedly helping fuel Roddick's drive, and she was there stoically supporting him through his bittersweet farewell.
What Will His Future Hold?
Brooklyn won't be the only one looking forward to Andy's return to their Texas home. The couple's beloved bulldog Billie Jean is snorting and wagging her tail with glee at the prospect of her daddy no longer being a “deadbeat dad,” as he joked in one press conference. He also mentioned the amount of time he'll be pouring into his Andy Roddick foundation, giving children the opportunity to reach their tennis goals and dreams.
The dramatic ups and downs of Roddick's career have been paved with action, strength and charm. Wherever the road ahead takes him, his adoring fans, doting wife and furry little friend have his back-hand.