Andy Roddick lost the last tennis game of his career earlier today to Juan Martin del Potro in four sets 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4. He used the US Open as his swan song, partly because it is the site of his only major tournament title.
Now the question we must ask of Roddick, what should his legacy be? I think he legacy should be described with one question: “what if?”
What if his prime did not coincide with Roger Federer’s domination in men’s tennis? What if Roddick won half of the finals vs. Federer in majors, notably his last Wimbledon final a few years back? In fact, what if Federer didn’t arrive on the scene at all?
We may have been mentioning Roddick among the greats in men’s tennis if it weren’t for Federer. During Roddick’s prime and Federer’s domination, both men were clearly the top two male tennis players in the world.
Instead, I look at Roddick’s career and view it for what it is: a potentially great tennis player who played during the wrong possible time.