Former world number one Andy Roddick says he was always very ‘jealous’ of Roger Federer due to his ability to relax before matches.
Roddick’s career overlapped to a large degree with Federer’s, meaning he got a front-row seat to see the Swiss star’s development into the player, and personality, we see today.
Federer beat the American in three Wimbledon finals to restrict him to just one solitary Grand Slam title in his career, and Roddick admits he thinks he lacked something mentally compared to his then-rival.
“I was always jittery before matches,” Roddick told the Tennis Channel.
“One of my many sources of jealousy with Roger was how relaxed he was able to be, just through kind of his operation, whether it was practice before matches.
“I was not that way. I was and am pretty high-strung when I care about something. I was actually less nervous probably later on in tournaments.
“Obviously, what was on the line was greater but if I was in the quarters, semi-finals of a tournament, I largely knew that I was playing okay. So, I didn’t really have to worry about that as much.”
Roddick also answered a question about his favourite match at the Miami Masters, and he quickly mentioned how ‘cool’ it was to beat Rafael Nadal there – although even that didn’t surpass beating Pete Sampras.
“I won it twice. [I] beat Rafa in 2010, which was really cool.
“But the one that’s probably my favourite is I played Pete Sampras there when I was 18 years old.
“He was three in the world and I was far from that and I got a win. That was a big, big deal for me, not only take the court with Pete but actually win.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?