As fun as Lindsay Davenport's and Paul Annacone’s Twitter banter was, Andy Roddick’s “audition” for a spot on Tennis Channel Live was the definition of a formality.
Easily one of the funniest athletes to grace the sport, tennis commentary seemed like Roddick’s most obvious career path. He was, and still is, a fearless performer both on the court and on the microphone. Who else would throw a tennis racquet at Roger Federer? Or call him annoying in front of thousands of people? Who else would take a mid-match break to ask Ben Stiller for his autograph? Surely, only Andy would. His resume of knee-slappers and side-stitchers nearly equals that of his 32-title career.
“I’m fired up to join the Tennis Channel team and talk about our sport and its great players and history during this break in the action,” Roddick said.
Perhaps no one is as fired up as the tennis community. Roddick’s initial job request received dozens of fan responses begging their favorite player to entertain them on television once again.
The 2003 US Open champion is the most recent Hall of Famer to join the Tennis Channel Live crew, joining Martina Navratilova, Jim Courier, Tracy Austin, and Lindsay Davenport. Roddick will Skype into the show every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the next several weeks.
His appearance Wednesday marks his Tennis Channel debut, but Roddick is no stranger to interviews and pointed-analysis. He’s interviewed Roger Federer, after all.
“I’m happy to say something, even if it’s negative, as long as I would say it to the person sitting across from me if they were looking me in the eye”, Roddick said in a 2015 New York Times interview. “And I think that’s fair. I am certainly not going to shy away from anything.
It’s safe to say Roddick’s first appearance on Tennis Channel was a smashing success.
Welcome to the family, @andyroddick! ????— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) March 25, 2020
The former World No. 1 and Grand Slam champion joins @Steve_Weissman, @paul_annacone, and @LDavenport76 to weigh in on the G.O.A.T.S and who his recent favorites are to watch.
Tune in →https://t.co/tPoe44TDv0#TCLive pic.twitter.com/71MyY7MTD4
The bulk of the conversation was spent discussing the Big Three, as it's G.O.A.T. week on Tennis Channel Live, and perhaps no one is more qualified to speak on the subject. Roddick has played Federer, Nadal and Djokovic a combined 43 times.
“I think it’s kind of dumb,” the former world No. 1 said of the ongoing G.O.A.T. debate. “It’s like handing out Oscars before you even see the end of the movie.”
“I’m either guessing or acting like I’m a medical professional,” he added. “I just think we’re lucky to still have Roger, Rafa and Novak at the top. You run out of superlatives and adjectives to describe them.”
As expected, Roddick aced his audition. “It was a Hall of Fame debut,” said Tennis Channel's Steve Weissman. The times are tough, but at least we can look forward to Roddick’s triweekly sharp and pithy tennis commentary. “It’s a weird time,” Roddick said, “but it’s a great time to talk some tennis and get back into it.”