The top American tennis player in the world and the number nine overall was in the Delaware Valley on Thursday night — making his home debut with the Philadelphia Freedoms.
KYW’s Ian Bush reports it was Andy Roddick’s only appearance this World Team Tennis season at the Pavilion at Villanova University, as his squad defeated the Boston Lobsters, 24-17.
In men’s singles, Roddick clawed past the Lobsters’ Jan-Michael Gambill, the former world No. 14, 5-4 in a tiebreak. In men’s doubles, Roddick and Prakash Amritraj lost to Gambill and Eric Butorac 4-5 — again, in a tiebreak. But Roddick — serving consistently in the 120mph range, and even topping 130mph — teamed up in a mixed doubles match with Courtney Nagle to notch a 5-4 tiebreak victory — this time, over Butorac and Raquel Kops-Jones — to secure the win for the Freedoms.
Roddick (left, in file photo) says he always looks forward to coming to the Philadelphia area:
“It’s fun coming to places that have a big sport following and big sporting traditions. And I think Philadelphia certainly falls in both those categories.”
Roddick says his disappointing performance at Wimbledon means he’ll be on the court more this summer ahead of the US Open at the end of August — including at the Atlanta Tennis Championships next week:
“I feel like I need the matches more. I think I need the matches more. As far as training? Training is training. You gotta get your reps in and hit the balls. But I think it does affect the schedule and how many events you play.”
Atlanta was the site of Roddick’s first ATP title, back in 2001.
On Wednesday night, it was the “battle of the generations” in Manhattan, as Roddick and the Freedoms took on John McEnroe and the New York Sportimes.
Roddick, 27, whose 2003 US Open title is his only major, slipped past tennis’ elder bad boy 5-4 in singles play and also defeated the seven-time Grand Slam winner, 51, in men’s doubles, again teaming up with Amritraj.
With Thursday’s win, the Freedoms move to 4-and-5 on the season.
(Photo: KYW’s Ian Bush)