Andy Roddick has retired. A fair few pieces have been written singing his praise, and why not. He has had great attitude and spirit. Despite being second behind the likes of Federer and Nadal, he has born a smile on his face and carried himself with much dignity.
Roddick was a delight to watch. However, thirty-forty years down the road, how many of us will remember Roddick’s name? How many people remember Jonas Bjorkman, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Greg Rusedski and Carlos Moya? These are the rank 4-7 players from year end 1997 top 10 list.
We do remember rank 2 and 3 but for different reasons. Michael Chang is memorable as he burst into the scene with great promise and will be enshrined on the generations which saw him. Pat Rafter was another likeable fellow, like Roddick. Memorable for the generations which saw them. However, I doubt we will be still talking about Chang, Rafter and Roddick for time immemorial.
This is not to say these are not great players. When Lleyton Hewitt or Patrick Rafter played great, you gaped at their ability. Being in the top 5 of world tennis, challenge the ultimate best of the generation is no mean feat.
However, in the end, you remember only the truly great. This is a bit sad.
There is joy in the pursuit and even in just playing, with no real pursuit most of us, who aren’t professional sports persons but love sports, do when we do play various sports.