Five Minutes With… Andy Roddick

NEW HAVEN, CT - AUGUST 21: Andy Roddick returns a shot to James Blake during the Legends match during the Connecticut Open at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale on August 21, 2014 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Before Andy Roddick arrives in New Haven to face his longtime friend James Blake in the Men’s Legends presented by PowerShares, we caught up with the former World No. 1 to ask him a few questions. See what Andy had to say about his work in the broadcast booth, why playing James Blake in New Haven might work to his advantage and more!

Connecticut Open: James Blake recently talked with us about raising his daughters and the fun he’s having, and learning at the same time. Has James given you any tips about what to expect?

Andy Roddick: I think everyone has advice here or there, but I think it’s something to get through on your own as well. But James has a couple of girls and Mardy has a little boy, so I definitely have a sounding board if I need to ask some questions.

CO: You’ve always been known for your great serve, and we have some players in the Connecticut Open field with great service games, including Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and CoCo Vandeweghe. Who do you feel are some of the better servers in the WTA?

AR: The best serve ever in the women’s game will be Serena Williams. When she’s on, she completely dictates the pace of the match. But I think Madison is a great server. I actually love seeing her kick serve. She’s definitely on the upswing, can mix it up and she’s definitely on the upswing.

CO: Your work in the booth at Wimbledon was widely met with great acclaim. Is broadcasting something that we can expect to see more in the future?

AR: I think so. I’m certainly open to it. I enjoy covering for BBC. It was actually kind of fun to call the matches in real time, break down what players were trying to do and what their intent might be. I enjoyed it, so we’ll see what offers may come from that.

CO: New Haven is home to Yale University. What was your favorite subject to study in school? Also, what was your worst?

AR: Asking me anything academic in the context of Yale is not favorable for me [Laughter]. The only chance of having fans cheer for me in New Haven is that they like Yale over Harvard.

CO: Could you give us any predictions for the US Open? Other than the favorites, do you have any sleepers?

AR: It’s tough because you want to see what happens in the lead-up events, and I put a lot of stock in current form. If players haven’t had a lot of practice leading up, it’s hard to predict. The big story is Serena going for the calendar Grand Slam and her run on Steffi’s Graf’s total and Margaret Court afterwards. That’s a great story, and I hope it gets celebrated the way it should be if she accomplishes that.

CO: This year marked the 15th Anniversary of the Andy Roddick Foundation. Could you talk about the Foundation and its growth from when it started 15 years ago?

AR: The last three or four years have been very important. As it was apparent that my playing career would come to an end sooner rather than later, it was important to establish ourselves from a pass-through organization to having our own programs run in-house. So that was a fun transition. It ensures there will be another 15 years, another 30 years afterwards. The fact that we have successfully done that and gotten high marks for our programs has been a really fun process. There’s certainly been some stressful moments, but it’s something I take a lot of pride in.

CO: We recently asked Madison Keys about her first “Wow” moment, which was the first time she stepped on a court with someone that she idolized. Do you have a “Wow” moment that you experienced early in your career?

AR: I played Andre Agassi after I won my first match in Miami. That was pretty surreal. Then the next month I was a practice partner on the Davis Cup team. Andre was playing singles, McEnroe was the captain, Todd Martin was the other hitting partner, and Alex O’Brien and Jared Palmer were the top-doubles team in the world at the time. That was pretty crazy for me, being able to spend a week in close proximity to those guys.

CO: First thing that comes to mind, and why…

CO: Hard court, grass or clay?

AR: Grass is my favorite. We don’t get to play on it that often, and I think there is a very small percentage of players that love it and feel comfortable on it.

CO: Movie theatre or Netflix?

AR: You’re putting me a tough position because my wife is on a Netflix show [Laughter]. I enjoy both. I probably do Netflix more often, but I do enjoy the old-school process of popcorn at a movie theatre.

CO: Aisle seat or window?

AR: I go window. I like being able to settle into my little corner, so I definitely go window.

Thanks, Andy!

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