From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Andy Roddick's tennis career will close at the U.S. Open, the site of his biggest triumph. The 2003 champion at Flushing Meadows and former No. 1-ranked player decided to walk away from the sport whenever his U.S. Open ends, making the surprise announcement at a news conference on Thursday, his 30th birthday. "I'll make this short and sweet: I've decided that this is going to be my last tournament," said Roddick, wearing a black T-shirt and baseball cap with his clothing sponsor's logos. "I just feel like it's time. I don't know that I'm healthy enough or committed enough to go another year," he said. "I've always wanted to, in a perfect world, finish at this event." The 20th-seeded Roddick is scheduled to play 19-year-old Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I think I wanted an opportunity to say goodbye to people, as well. I don't know how tomorrow's going to go, and I hope it goes well, and I'm sticking around," Roddick said. He was, by turns, in reflective and joking moods while speaking to reporters about his decision. "If I do run into some emotions tomorrow or in four days, I don't want people to think I'm a little unstable. Or more unstable," Roddick said with a chuckle. "So that's why I came to this decision." His title in New York nine years ago was the last time an American man won a Grand Slam singles title, and Roddick spoke wistfully -- as he often has in the past -- about coming to the U.S. Open with his parents as a present when he turned 8. He said he's "been thinking about (retirement) for a little bit," and knew for sure that the time now after his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 first-round victory over 21-year-old American Rhyne Williams on Tuesday. "I've thought all year that I would know when I got to this tournament," he said, "and when I played the first round, I knew." In addition to winning his U.S. Open trophy, Roddick also played in four other Grand Slam finals -- three at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open, losing to 17-time major champion Roger Federer each time. That included a 16-14 defeat in the fifth set at the All England Club in 2009, when Roddick was saluted by spectators who chanted his name at the end of the match. Buoyed by a booming serve -- he used to hold the record of 155 mph -- and big forehand, Roddick is 610-212 (a .742 winning percentage) with 32 titles, including two this year at Atlanta and Eastbourne, England. He also helped the United States end a 12-year David Cup drought by winning the 2007 title. "Look, he's been our best player for many, many years. Do we love to have a guy like that out there? Sure. Was it great that he's American? Sure," said U.S. Tennis Association CEO Gordon Smith. "We could use another dozen Andy Roddicks, and we're grateful for all he's meant to American tennis, to the Davis Cup, to the U.S. Open." Roddick's announcement came one day after four-time major champion Kim Clijsters played the last singles match of her career, a second-round loss to Laura Robson at Flushing Meadows. "I haven't done this before. I'm sure it'll be very emotional. I'm sure I'll still be nervous," Roddick said, looking ahead to facing Tomic. "I don't know." He's been dealing with a series of injuries over the past few seasons, and in February dropped out of the top 20, then slid to No. 34 in March, his lowest ranking since 2001. A hurt right hamstring forced Roddick to retire during his second-round match at the Australian Open in January, and he lost in the first round at the French Open and third round at Wimbledon. "With the way my body feels, with the way that I'm able to feel like I'm able to compete now, I don't know that it's good enough," Roddick explained. "I don't know that I've ever been someone who's interested in existing' on tour. I have a lot of interests and a lot of other things that excite me. I'm looking forward to those." He mentioned the youth tennis and learning center that his foundation is building in his hometown of Austin, Texas, and a radio show he appears on. The latter would seem to be a natural second career for Roddick, known for a sharp, often sarcastic, wit. He's never been shy about showing his emotions on the court -- whether tossing a racket or insulting a chair umpire or line judge -- or sharing his opinions off it. Roddick grew up in the spotlight and the world watched him morph from a brash, Gen-X kid with plenty of tude to something of an elder statesman in the game. He has spoken out about tennis players perhaps needing a union to fight for their rights the way athletes in U.S. team sports do, and he emerged as a mentor to younger Americans. Up-and-coming players such as Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison have thanked Roddick publicly for his help, whether it's offering advice about dealing with life on tour or inviting them to come train with him in Austin. "I was a little shocked. I think he kept it a very good secret," the 20-year-old Harrison said about Roddick's retirement. "Honestly, there were a lot of things he taught me, but probably the most important thing on the tennis front was the consistency of every day -- every day, working, being out there, putting in time and effort. It's 100 percent. ... If you're going to do it halfway, there's no point in doing it at all. That's what he taught me," Harrison added. "That's what he's done throughout his career and that's what he's all about." Constantly confronted with questions about why his generation wasn't as successful as previous groups of American men -- like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi in the 1990s, or John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors before that -- Roddick did his best to keep adapting his game to try to keep up with Federer, in particular, as well as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. He improved his fitness. He added a better backhand. He worked on his volleys. Eventually, though, he found it too hard to stay at the level he once reached. "I don't know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home," Roddick said. "I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year. But the more I thought about it, I think you've either got to be all in or not. That's more kind of the way I've chosen to do things."
RICHMOND—The Redskins are making one more key contributor to their glory years a member of the team’s Ring of Fame.
When the Redskins host the Vikings on November 13, a plaque with the name of Bobby Beathard will be unveiled during a halftime ceremony.
Beathard becomes the 49th member of the Ring of Fame.
“His resume is more than impressive,” said Redskins President Bruce Allen when making the announcement.
And indeed it is. Beathard served as the Redskins’ general manager from 1978-1989. Perhaps his single best move was hiring Joe Gibbs as the team’s head coach in 1981. Gibbs was an obscure offensive coordinator for the Chargers but Beathard saw something in him. In 12 seasons Gibbs took the Redskins to four Super Bowls, taking home three titles.
Beathard brought in talent to fit Gibbs’ philosophy. He brought in four of the offensive linemen who became the famed Hogs, drafting Mark May and Russ Grimm and signing Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic as free agents. Prior to Gibbs’ arrival Beathard drafted Hall of Fame wide receiver Art Monk and in 1983 he took another Canton enshrinee, cornerback Darrell Green.
In all, Beathard acquired 12 players who ended up in the Ring of Fame. It’s about time that he joined them.
Redskins rookie WR Josh Doctson sounds like his Achilles is feeling better and improving rapidly, but he's not so sure about GM Scot McCloughan's left hand. After opening training camp on the PUP list, Doctson said Friday evening that he expects to be back before training camp but must wait until he is 100 percent.
"I'm feeling good," Docston said.
Asked about the story that McCloughan hurt his hand punching a wall upon hearing the news that Doctson might be out as much as three months with the injury, Doctson laughed.
"I thought he was playing around but he was being for real," the rookie said.
Doctson said the three month report was just wrong.
"It was just speculation," he said. "It wasn’t anything to be scared about because I know my body. I know it's not that long [until I return]."
His actual return, however, remains a question. Doctson said he wished he could get back on the field immediately but he knows he needs to wait until his leg is 100 percent.
"That's the plan, try to come back as soon as I can. If I could come back tomorrow I would."
The good news for Doctson is that he is able to learn a lot being on the sidelines. It's also important to remember that with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Jameson Crowder, there is no urgent need for Doctson to play as a rookie. Not to suggest the team doesn't want his blend of size and athleticism on the field, but Washington is able to be patient with the rookie.
"I get to really sit back and watch Pierre, DeSean, Crowder, all those boys," Doctson said. "It's really a blessing in disguise."
Asked one more time about his GM's reaction to his injury, Doctson said he had never heard about something like that.
"That might be a first."
For the last week, I've been recapping all the moves the Caps made in the offseason. Now it's time to talk about the move they didn't make.
Stanislav Galiev spent last season in hockey limbo. Since moving to the AHL would require he pass through waivers, the Caps kept him up with the NHL roster despite not having a clear spot for him to play. As a result, Galiev played in just 24 games last season, none in the playoffs.
When looking at the Caps' lineup for the upcoming season, one again has to wonder if it will be more of the same.
Galiev is a right wing. With T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Tom Wilson and Brett Connolly, just what role, if any, does this team have for Galiev?
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Part of the problem is that Galiev's skillset is not well suited for the fourth line. He is a skilled offensive playmaker who often struggles in his own end. That makes it hard to crack the lineup under head coach Barry Trotz.
Basically, the traditional role of the fourth line does not allow Galiev to utilize the best aspect of his game. But if you want to move him up the lineup, just who do you move down?
General manager Brian MacLellan has indicated he wants to see an increased role for Wilson this season which likely means he will play on the third line. It also seems doubtful that Galiev would supplant either Oshie or Williams. Thus, it appears as if Galiev could again struggle to make the lineup.
But there is no point to having Galiev spend the majority of the season sitting in the press box as the team's No. 13 forward. At only 24 years old, Galiev is still developing. Sitting him out not only hurts that development, it also hurts his trade value.
After a disappointing season, the summer was expected to bring some clarity to Galiev's future in Washington. Would they trade him, or carve out a clear spot for him in the lineup? Now it looks like the team has done neither.
Another year in the pressbox won't be good for either Galiev or the Caps, whether they want to develop him or trade him. Yet, barring a late summer trade, all signs seem to indicate that's exactly what is going to happen.
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