Now in its 19th season, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, TV’s only sports program recognized with a prestigious 2012 George Foster Peabody Award, presents more enterprising features and reporting when its 197th edition, available in HDTV, debuts at a special time TUESDAY, AUG. 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Segments include: Andy Roddick, now 30, retired from tennis in Aug. 2012 after a fourth-round exit at the US Open, where he captured his lone Grand Slam title in 2003. Retirement has changed not only Roddick’s life, but also the face of American tennis. Meanwhile, the outspoken Roddick has found a niche in broadcasting, recently signing on to co-host “Fox Sports Live” on the newly established Fox Sports 1 network. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, Roddick sits down with correspondent Mary Carillo on the eve of the 2013 US Open to talk about his post-tennis endeavors and the state of the game they both love. Also interviewed is Roddick’s wife, former supermodel Brooklyn Decker.
Andy Roddick did not plan on retiring after his 13th US Open last summer, but two days after arriving in New York he says that something felt very different when he woke up.
ANDY RODDICK: “I woke up and — I was kinda pacing around my hotel room for an hour or so. Brooklyn was out — kinda running some errands. And I said, ‘You need to come back ’cause I’m kind of in a weird deal right now.’”
BROOKLYN DECKER: “And I came home. And he said, ‘This is it.’ That’s exactly what he said. He said, ‘I am done. This is it.’”
Roddick’s wife, the former supermodel Brooklyn Decker, explains further about the day he decided to leave the game of tennis.
BROOKLYN DECKER: “It was his 30th birthday. Oh, such an emotional day. And I said, ‘Do you want to wait on this, and — and just maybe sleep on it, and announce it tomorrow? You know — are you in a bad mood today? You know, are you on your period?’ I asked him all the questions one would.”
ANDY RODDICK: “We talked it out and — that was that. I decided at 10:00 that morning and I was at a press conference at 5:00 or 6:00 that evening.”
Roddick and Decker discuss how they came to be a couple.
BROOKLYN DECKER: “Andy will tell you that he quote-unquote stalked me. I just thought it was incredibly creepy that I got a random call saying, ‘Hey, this guy wants your number.’ I mean, it’s — it’s a little weird. So I’m like, ‘No, that’s — no thank you. Like, if we can meet, he can come up to me and ask for my number. But it’s not gonna be through his agent.’ So five months goes by. My agent showed me a press conference from the Aussie Open in ’07. Yeah…”
MARY CARILLO: “It’s a classic.”
BROOKLYN DECKER: “It’s a classic.”
MARY CARILLO: “Yes.”
BROOKLYN DECKER: “So he shows me the press conference. And I was like, ‘This guy is pretty funny.’ He came to New York for our first date. And we’ve been together ever since.”
ANDY RODDICK: “I didn’t know that until yesterday. She said she had watched videos and said I was funny, but I didn’t know it was that one specifically.”
MARY CARILLO: “That press conference has done a lot for you.”
ANDY RODDICK: “It’s done a lot for me, we’re standing here probably because of it too.”
The golden age of American tennis had produced one superstar after another. From Connors and McEnroe…to Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Roddick was supposed to be next.
ANDY RODDICK: “Everyone wanted me to be Pete or Andre, and I would’ve loved to have been those guys, you know. And I would’ve loved nothing more. But I slept well at night knowing that I had had a productive day and kinda built towards the goal of winning another one. It didn’t happen. But I put myself in position a lot. And it was real close.”
Roddick made it to four more Grand Slam finals. All four times he lost to Roger Federer.
ANDY RODDICK: “I was very good for a long time and I think people respect the way I went about it. And — you know frankly the fact that I was a smart-ass probably got some play also.”
Retirement didn’t last long for Andy Roddick. When Fox Sports was looking for just the right personalities for their brand new 24-hour sports network, Roddick was an unlikely choice.
ANDY RODDICK: “They were hiring me because they understood my personality and they didn’t wanna like, rein it in, they just wanna make sure that I don’t get ‘em kicked off the air — you know.”
MARY CARILLO: “And you’re gonna get to wear makeup.”
ANDY RODDICK: “I know. It’s completely emasculating. ‘Andy, makeup.’ I’m like, ‘I’m good today. I’m feelin’ really good about where my skin’s at today. I think we’re good.’ Doesn’t work.”
Andy reflects on the manner in which he chose to retire.
ANDY RODDICK: “I think I got it right. I’m positive I got it right. And I’ve talked about it — you know, with some friends. And they were like, ‘We can’t believe you just pulled the trigger like that, gone.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, it was — it was ballsy. It probably wasn’t smart.’ But it went exactly how I wanted it to go.”