World No. 6 and top ranked U.S. player Andy Roddick recently declined the invitation to join the U.S. Olympic Team in Beijing. The Austin native prefers to focus on the hard-court tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open in August.
!http://active.com/Assets/tennis/Roddick_olympics.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://active.com/Assets/tennis/Roddick_olympics.jpg!“Let me first say that it was probably one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my career. You normally don’t have to choose between two huge events,” Roddick said.
“My decision had nothing to do with lack of respect for the Olympics or anything like that. I completely am the biggest fan of it, and I’ll be a huge fan watching it from home. It had to do more with, at the end of my career, I want to have been making runs in Slams.”
This leaves the U.S. Men's team to include James Blake, Sam Querrey, Robby Ginepri and Bob and Mike Bryan playing doubles.
It's an interesting gamble for Roddick, having recently lost in the second round at Wimbledon and struggling with a lingering shoulder injury. Nine of the world's top ten in tennis will represent in Beijing, including Roddick's top rivals for the Open crown: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
Roddick's strategy seems solid: skipping the wear-and-tear of the Olympics with hopes that the travel and competition will leave his competitors with little fight.
Is Roddick being selfish in skipping the Olympics or is he just being strategic?
Photo: Getty Images/Kevin J. Cox