This post is going in 2 threads. When I wake up in the morning, I'll do a nicer tribute with pictures to go with the story:
Twenty-six years ago today, a son was born to Blanche and Jerry Roddick. They named him Andrew Stephen.
He was an active boy, playing tennis and high school basketball. He lost to his older brother, John, often until he grew two feet and was able to blast serves.
He grew up with Mardy Fish and befriended James Blake, Robby Ginepri, and Justin Gimelstob. He admired Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, practicing with them and getting advice. The greatest piece of advice came from Andre Agassi who said that the only thing he regretted about his career was not starting his foundation early enough. With that came the Andy Roddick Foundation -- Helping Children Today for Tomorrow.
Andy won his first two career titles back to back at Atlanta and Houston in 2001 at age 18 on red clay.
Andy was known as a up and comer -- the future of American tennis -- after reaching his first Masters final at Toronto in 2002. He reached his first grand slam semifinal at the 2003 Australian Open, winning the longest match in AO history in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately because of that, he had no energy left and lost easily in the semis. He then lost to, what would be many, Federer in his first Wimbledon semifinal.
Andy then dominated the summer season, sweeping both summer masters and avenging his loss to Federer. Andy went on to the USO, saving a MP on route to blasting his way to his first grand slam title. Shortly thereafter, he topped the rankings and ended the year as #1.
He reached the Wimbledon final in 2004 and 2005 and the USO final in 2006 losing to Federer on all three occasions. He is one of just two active players to have finished in the top 10 for 5 straight years (Federer). He is also one of three players to have won titles on all four surfaces: clay, grass, hard court, and carpet (Federer and Gasquet).
Andy has become extremely popular because of his boyish charm and good looks as well as record holding serve at 155 MPH. He has been on many lists including 25 Hottest Under 25, 100 Hottest Hotties, and People's Hottest Bachelors.
In his personal life, many ho's have come and gone but only one woman has managed to beat his bachelor's ways and keep her for his own. Just days before beating Federer for the second time in his career, he proposed to Brooklyn Decker, promising a long engagement. There is no date.
Andy has lost only one match on his birthday at the USO (first round USO 2005) but has won all others. August 30 seems to be a lucky day for him. So happy 26th birthday Andy and have fun today.