Four years ago, I became a huge fan of professional tennis. Serena and Venus Williams were what drew me into the game and have held my interest ever since. I love their fresh attitude, style and strength. However, its a love I don’t share with most conservative tennis fans.
At the 2003 U.S. Open, the attention strayed away from women’s tennis in a big way, as the new U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick paved the way for a new breed of men’s tennis.
Roddick defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero (6-3, 7-6, 6-3) to win his first grand slam title, a dream he has had since he visited the U.S Open as a child.
In front of thousands of fans at the court, and millions watching from around the world, Roddick cried and raced into the stands to be with his mother.
It always amazes me when an athlete cries from the pure joy of victory – it’s one of the few times a man feels he can show emotion in an acceptable manner. For the first time in years, I find myself following men’s tennis over women’s tennis, and have witnessed the media’s attention sway as well.
Roddick is the poster boy for this new attention. He was featured in several mainstream magazines such as Rolling Stone and even dates Mandy Moore. That’s cool in my book.
Roddick is only 21 and is already ranked No. 2 in the ATP Tour rankings, his career-best. I’m 21 and a senior in college, I guess you could say that’s my career best.
Some conventional fans don’t like Roddick and it is rumored that several players despise him as well. Ferrero went as far as to say that Roddick is hated in the locker room.
I disagree with the snobbish, elitist tennis fans that don’t give Roddick a chance. I appreciate his attitude and style, similar to that of Serena and Venus Williams, because it provides a different choice for tennis’ younger fans.