The last American man to win the U.S. Open, Andy Roddick, is making a brief and thrilling comeback teaming with another comeback kid, Mardy Fish. Last week, this duo reunited for an exciting quarterfinal fun in the ATP doubles event in Atlanta.
Roddick wants to team with Fish in this year's U.S. Open for one last time, and it would be great for fans to have a chance see this comeback. Unfortunately, Roddick has not complied with drug testing protocol, so he is not eligible for the U.S. Open and the fans’ loss is the sport’s gain.
The ITF requires three months’ notice so that athletes are eligible for drug testing, and Roddick did not comply. Roddick, however, went on a 24-minute rant, complete with some very generous use of language not suitable for children, on Fox Sports last week to complain.
Here is a clean part that can be repeated: "I get the rule in place, the three-month rule, but I feel like there should maybe be an appeals process."
Perhaps the ITF should get started on this right away and maybe call it "Andy's Law" so something like this never happens again.
Or, maybe the sport should uphold its drug testing protocol and not give in.
It's as simple as this … no athlete is above the rules, especially when the rules are at the very core of the integrity of the game. Both the ITF and USTA got this one right.
Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.