Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" has been a popular song at this year's U.S. Open.
And while Andy Roddick gave all of his fans one last chance to believe, he will now step away from the game that he has played at the professional level since 2000 following his loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the Round of 16 on Wednesday at Flushing Meadows.
I'm one of Andy Roddick's fans. I always have been, even through all of the mid-match rants and the disappointing losses.
But make no mistake about it: Andy Roddick is not a disappointment.
Ever since Andre Agassi retired in 2006, Andy Roddick has been the standard-bearer for American men's tennis. He's been someone for younger tennis players to look up to, including myself.
When I went through my tennis phase during my final two years of high school and my first two years of college, it was Andy Roddick that I patterned my game after, even going so far as to buy an expensive pair of his name brand shoes.
I know I'm not the only one who shelled out $100-plus in an attempt to look more like and play more like Andy Roddick.
Although I'll never reach my former goal of making it to the pros, I lived vicariously through Andy Roddick for many years, watching my fellow American represent his country so valiantly.
It's still surreal watching a 30-year-old hang 'em up with so much life left to live, but when it comes to tennis, 30 is an advanced age.
Still, I'm proud of Andy Roddick. Not only because of his 32 career singles titles (his only Grand Slam victory coming at the U.S. Open in 2003), his lightning-quick serves, or his candid comments before, during, and after matches.
The main reason I'm proud of Andy Roddick is because for 12 years, Andy Roddick was, well, Andy Roddick.
And if at this point Andy Roddick is happy with who Andy Roddick is, then so am I.
Josh McKinney has cheered for Andy Roddick since the American broke into professional tennis at the beginning of this century. He has always loved Roddick's on-court game as well as his genuine behavior off the court. You can follow McKinney on Twitter @SuperJMac32.
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