TENNIS CHANNEL LIVE: Roddick gives the partnership between Gilbert and Coco Gauff high marks in Cincinnati.


NEW YORK—Andy Roddick remains in the history books as the last American man to win a major title, but coach Brad Gilbert may have made an even bigger impact on tennis fashion when he paired with the then-20-year-old American in 2003.

In a sprawling profile with GQ, a now 40-year-old Roddick looks back on the 20-year anniversary of his US Open victory, one which helped him become No. 1 on the ATP rankings and become an early-aughts icon—all within three months of hiring Gilbert, who is currently working with Western & Southern Open champion Coco Gauff, as his coach.

Gilbert’s first act? Telling Roddick to ditch what had become his signature headgear.

“He was wearing this ridiculous orange visor,” Gilbert tells GQ’s Sean Manning. “I said, ‘Get a frickin’ proper hat, a trucker hat, anything. But you will never wear a visor in my presence.’”

Roddick swapped the visor for a full baseball cap look, which remains the rage in men’s tennis, that, to this day, he rarely seen without—and jokes in the profile as to the reason why.

“If I would’ve known it would’ve ended like this,” he says pointing to his bald head, “I would’ve worn the visor a lot longer. I texted Brad and was like, ‘Fuck you, man. You took away my best hair years.’”

Roddick gives much credit to the team that helped him lift the US Open trophy within two weeks of Pete Sampras’ retirement from tennis, which put him at the forefront of American men’s tennis for a decade until his 2012 retirement.

“Tennis was never an individual sport for Roddick,” writes Manning. “He always saw himself as part of a team, almost like an F1 driver. ‘It kind of is the same,’ he says. ‘It just doesn’t get treated the same. You see a pit crew. You don’t see the stuff we’re doing behind the scenes.’”

It was that teamwork that also helped Roddick through the heady days of his rise to celebrity status, culminating with an appearance hosting SNL—an opportunity to flex his underrated comedy chops.

“You’re 21 and you’re like, ‘This is awesome. I’m super famous,’” Roddick says. “There’s a certain amount of like, ‘Oh, I hate being famous…’ But then you go to the restaurant where everyone is. Like, Shut up. You don’t actually hate it.”

Check out the full profile with GQ, and tune in for more of Roddick’s thoughts on the current state of the game on Tennis Channel.