For tennis fans in Southwest Missouri, July 12th, 2013 will leave a lasting memory. 3,053 were in attendance at the Cooper Tennis Complex on Pythian. They came to see Andy Roddick, and undoubtedly got their money’s worth…but received so much more for their money. The entire match was electric from start to finish, with high-quality of play from both teams. In the end, Roddick’s home-team managed to come from behind and win it in the final event.
As a locally-owned sports franchise, Friday was a huge shot-in-the-arm for the Springfield Lasers and the Springfield Greene County Park Board. As he’s done throughout his career, Andy Roddick brought the fans, delivering up to their expectation. Though he and Jean-Julien Rojer lost the first Mens Doubles event to Treat Huey and Steve Johnson, Andy held-serve throughout the third event, eventually breaking Steve Johnson in the tiebreaker to pick up an elusive win in Mens Singles.
Relief for Andy Roddick. Epic for ticket holders.
As is always the case, Roddick’s impact was greater than his singular performance, or the boost in ticket sales. He was able to expose over 3-thousand fans in Southwest Missouri to World Team Tennis, a league where he is now a part-owner. That exposure is invaluable to the Lasers, the Springfield Greene County Park Board, and to tennis fans who never would have been exposed to WTT’s high-level of play had they not purchased tickets based on Roddick’s name, talent and reputation.
Don West and I had a chance to cover the match for Mediacom and the World Team Tennis live stream at wtt.com. During halftime, I joined Andy on the court to talk about the season, the league, and life after retirement from the ATP World Tour. Unpredictable, unapologetically honest, and always quick on his feet, Andy killed.
Having mastered the “post-match sound bite” over the past decade, I asked Andy to imagine the fans at Mediacom Tennis Stadium were members of the press corps and to break-down his tiebreak performance against Steve Johnson. “Can’t do that,” he responded. “I actually LIKE these people.”
So I brought up the previous night’s match, a tough 2-5 loss to Kevin Anderson, and the fact that Andy Murray tweeted that he was watching the live stream. Roddick said: “Look, with all Andy Murray just recently accomplished, I can’t imagine that I would be up watching a World Team Tennis match…let alone be sober enough to write a coherent tweet.”
His work-ethic and blue-collar style of play made people watch, his authentic character continues to make the viewer a fan. Fox Sports One is lucky to have you, Andy Roddick. We look forward to August 17th and your challenge to that other…four-letter network.
7/12 – WIN 21-19 over the Orange County Breakers
MD (L) 3-5 Rojer/Roddick vs. Huey/Johnson
MXD (W) 5-4 Rojer/Kleybanova vs. Huey/Camerin
MS (W) 5-4 Roddick vs. Johnson
WS (L) 3-5 King vs. Vandeweghe
WD (W) 5-1 King/Kleybanova vs. Vandeweghe/Camerin
2013 WORLD TEAM TENNIS STANDINGS
- Springfield Lasers (4-1)
- Sacramento Capitals (3-1)
- Texas Wild (2-2)
- Orange County Breakers (2-2)
- Washington Kastles (2-2)
- Boston Lobsters (2-3)
- New York Sportimes (2-3)
- Philadelphia Freedoms (1-3)