Monday is never a slow news day when Andy Roddick is involved.
Roddick is known for giving classic answers during his press conferences and his response today to a reporter’s question about his possible impending retirement may rank as a Roddick all-time great or worst depending on your opinion of the American star.
For those who haven’t heard about or watched the video above, after Roddick’s first round loss to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson at the China Open in Beijing, Roddick was asked by a reporter about a statement Roddick made years ago that if his ranking dropped below a certain number, he would consider retirement. The reporter then asked Roddick whether he or Roger Federer might retire first.
Roddick’s reply to that? Well I’ll let you watch but let’s just say it provoked applause not only in the room but around the world. Once the video broke worldwide, the reporter was both derided for what some thought an inappropriate question while others defended him on the grounds that because he didn’t seem to be a native English speaker, that his question got lost in translation.
Actually I don’t think so. The statement the reporter was referring to was one Roddick made years ago to his then agent Donald Dell while they were negotiating Roddick’s deal with Lacoste. Dell, in his recent book “Never Make the First Offer”, wrote that Lacoste wanted the right to drop their multi-million annual guarantee with Roddick by 75% if he dropped out of the top 15. Roddick responded to that by telling Dell, “Hell, if I ever drop below number fifteen, I’m going to retire from tennis anyway and Lacoste can do whatever it wants.”
So yes, the reporter in Beijing did ask a legitimate question based on a past Roddick statement even though I’m still not quite sure why he decided to ask Roddick about Federer’s retirement plans, though Roddick does get asked about Federer quite a bit since they are closer in age than many of the other top players on tour. However you look at it one thing is for sure, the reporter’s words may have gotten lost in translation but Roddick’s answer proved sometimes no words are needed at all to get your point across.
(Thanks to @roddickwatch for finding the original video source)