Just couple days back, Andy Roddick lost in straight sets to David Ferrer in an indoor court in his current home town as part of the Spain-US Davis Cup qquarterfinal tie.
It was played on his favorite surface and not necessarily Spain's strength, who by the way were without Rafa Nadal. Spain's strength traditionally has been clay, and furthermore, it was played in front of diehard Texans rooting for their local boy.
Alas, the writing appears to be on the wall.
Jim Courier (US Davis Cup Captain), said after Mardy Fish's second defeat in the return match, "Andy wanted the ball, He was ready for the ball."
I am not so sure that Andy would have defeated Feliciano Lopez, who crushed him just recently in Wimbledon where Andy had no answer to his overpowering game.
In hindsight, Fish's second defeat may have saved Andy some blushes, for obviously he would have been under tremendous pressure to win the final match had the scores been tied 2-2.
Overall, this has been a bad year for Andy. It hasn't just been the defeats, it has been the manner of the defeats.
Andy Murray showed how much the power tennis has moved up in a systematic dismantling of Roddick in the Queens semifinal. The loss against Lopez in the Wimbledon was really anything but a surprise.
For all of his prowess in his serve and forehand, the sting just isn't there anymore and the game has moved on. There are too many great returners of serve for his serve to be a weapon like before.
Andy Roddick has done justice to his talent, although some may say that he only won one grand slam. More than being abundantly talented, he was a hard worker, possessed a great serve at one time and wore his heart on his sleeve.
His Davis Cup record and his commitment when called to play for his country was fantastic and will always be remembered.
However painful as it may be, one has to admit that on the talent front, he was definitely a couple notches below Roger Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
It can be said, without a certain Federer, Andy would have won a few more slams.
Larry Stefanki did all he could with Andy and did a brilliant job. He almost brought him the ultimate prize that Andy had forever dreamed of, in that unforgettable 2009 Wimbledon Final against Federer.
It is hard to say if Andy would have gone on to win had he been two sets up against Roger. But he will for the rest of his life remember that missed volley when on set point in the second set, that would have given him glory.
Larry needs to do one more job, and that is to tell his pupil to retire gracefully from the game. He deserves the respect, for he has been a yeoman of American tennis in the past decade.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!