Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thanks for the Memories, Andy

I will honestly say that I've been having major performance anxiety.  It amazes me/astounds me that people are actually reading (trust me, I have the google stats to prove it) my little blog or that anyone actually gives two hoots about what I have to say.  I've been literally wringing my hands today wondering what sort of profound thing I could come up with to write about.  

I was drawing a major blank.

That is until about 4:57 this afternoon.

If you know me or have known me any time at all, you know that I'm an avid men's tennis watcher.  And if you know this, then you know my main guy, my go-to, my dude is Andy Roddick. 

I will preface this little story by saying that my husband got me into watch tennis (Wimbledon to be exact) while we were dating.  And I loved everything about Wimbledon.  The pomp, the circumstance, ladies and men wearing white, champagne and strawberries for breakfast, Pimms, and the royal box.  I loved it all. 

I rooted for Pete Sampras back in the day.  He was amazing.  He broke records left and right, had an amazing serve and could play on the grass courts of Wimbledon like a champ.

And suddenly in the height of his reign, Pete retired. 

I was left with no one to root for. 

And then, then along came Andy.  This brash, cocky underdog who could serve like lightning.  He was a smart ass on and off the court and there's a part of me that was always a little shocked by some of his behavior and then I would watch him step on the grass courts of Wimbledon and forget what he'd said in a press conference the day before.

I loved, absolutely loved yelling for Andy.

No time was more evident probably than the Wimbledon of 2009.  It was an all day affair stopping and starting due to rain.  Andy was playing the game of his life against Roger Federer.  They broke records that day and I yelled until I was hoarse. 

When I say that he played the game of his life, I mean it.

Andy literally played better that day than any other day I've ever seen him play.

He ended that day not the victor but I was still so very proud of our guy.  He was the victor in my eyes.

Today, today, my friends was Andy's last match.

Earlier this week, in a move that shocked the tennis world, Andy announced his retirement.  He said that he would be leaving tennis at the end of the US Open. 

I've literally held my breath during every match he's played this week.  I, along with every audience member in Flushing Meadows, has yelled loudly and cheered on our hometown hero.

Today, was the end of that run.

So please bear with me as I'm writing this with tears in my eyes. 

I will miss him stepping onto the grass at Wimbledon and I don't think his smile was any bigger than when he was playing in New York.  He loved Davis Cup and playing for his country in the Olympics.  He's been a wonderful behind-the-scenes mentor to kids younger than him and built a foundation from the ground up.  But more than that I will miss his intensity and on the other side of the coin, his sense of humor.  He is one of the most liked players on the tour.  He's hilarious. 

I will watching you play, Andy, but thank you for the last years and all of the memories.  Through you, I got to pass a love of tennis - or at least watching it - down to another generation of my family.  There's nothing like hearing my five-year-old holler your name, "Go, Andy!"  Thanks for allowing us to participate in your journey. 

Most of all, just thanks for the memories, Andy. 

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