Roger Federer leads the tributes to retiring Andy Roddick

Roger Federer admitted he was saddened by Andy Roddick's retirement, insisting he'll always regard him as a "Wimbledon champion" despite the American's epic failures to lift the All England Club title.

Federer beat Roddick three times in the Wimbledon final in 2004, 2005 and 2009 with their last encounter decided 16-14 in the final set.

"He could have gotten that title," said Federer, whose stranglehold over Roddick also extended to the 2006 US Open championship match."

"That's what I said about him in 2009. He deserves this title as well. In my mind, he is a Wimbledon champion, a wonderful ambassador for the game."

"I thought maybe he was going to get past this US Open and maybe play one more year, so obviously a disappointment, but I think big celebrations for him because he’s had a wonderful career. He told me one hour before the press conference and he seemed extremely happy and at peace and excited, so I wish him the best US Open he’s ever had."

"I am thankful for everything he has done in the sport here in America. It's not been easy after Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, you name them."

"It's been hard for him at times but I thought he always did the best he could. That's all you can ask for from a guy like Andy."

Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion and a former world number one, turned 30 on Thursday and marked the occasion by revealing his intention to retire once this US Open is finished.

"It's sad. That's how I felt when Andy told me," added Federer.

Date: 31st August 2012, Source: Telegraph


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