Roddick: Aces ‘Ready To Challenge For Title’
In 2013, Andy Roddick finished one match short of winning his first Mylan WTT championship. A year later, Roddick’s desire to lift the King Trophy has grown even stronger.
The former world No. 1 will play his eighth season of Mylan WTT for one of the league’s two new franchises, the Austin Aces. Suiting up for his hometown team, Roddick believes the Aces can go all the way in their debut season.
“On paper, our team is very, very good. I think we’re ready to challenge for the title this year,” Roddick said. “We’d like to make that a reality and it’s our job to maintain the fans’ interest.”
Last season, the 2003 U.S. Open champion was part of the Western Conference champion Springfield Lasers, who fell to the Washington Kastles in the championship match 25-12.
“I had an unbelievable experience in Springfield last year. The only way I wasn’t returning to Springfield was if there was a franchise in my hometown of Austin, Texas.”
Roddick, who is a longtime resident of Austin, is just a short drive away from the Ace’s home court at the Cedar Park Center. He feels the community’s optimism in his hometown fits well for the Mylan WTT format.
“Mylan WTT is so interactive. Most people tell you to be quiet at tennis matches, we tell you to be louder,” the former world No. 1 said. “Everything fits for Austin. I’m so excited that this dream of having a franchise there is finally a reality.”
Along with Roddick, the Austin Aces team roster will feature 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, 2010 Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva, and doubles specialists Treat Huey and Eva Hrdinova.
“I really like the way we look, especially with Vera coming back and winning matches at the Tour level. I pushed for having Treat Huey on our team. Playing a lefty in doubles, where the points are shorter, not having a lot of rhythm is a big thing.”
Last year, Roddick joined the ownership group with Washington Kastles star and seven-time Grand Slams singles champion Venus Williams. Their goal is to reach out to younger players and bring more excitement to tennis and Mylan WTT.
“Once the season starts, I put away my owner’s hat and I want to win. I’m concerned about winning my matches and contributing to my team.”
Roddick will play in ten Mylan WTT matches this season, including all the Aces home matches. He will begin his Mylan WTT season for the Aces on the road July 7 when they face the San Diego Aviators, and will also return to Springfield on July 13 for a match that will feature American star James Blake playing for the Lasers.